Thank you for being a friend
Just as medical advances in human medicine are allowing us to be alive longer so too are cats living longer than ever before. This aging population of cats comes with its own unique challenges to providing health care and with a little knowledge and close observation at home cat owners are able to help us tremendously.
Today life expectancy of cats is 20 years of age. Over this time many changes in physical and mental abilities are to be expected. Your senior cat will need to visit the veterinarian more often than before. Those bi-annual exams (every 6 months) become a very important tool in catching subtle changes in health and can result in possibly diagnosing diseases sooner and hopefully resulting in better management. Chalking up these subtle changes to simply just getting older can be putting your cat at risk. Cats are incredibly resilient and amazing animals that will hide discomfort and symptoms of diseases.
If you see any of these following changes in your cat a trip to the veterinarian is a good idea.
- Changes in coat appearance. (poor coat conditions, flakey skin, oily to touch, or hair loss)
- Appetite or thirst changes (not eating, always hungry, drinking more or less water)
- Weight loss
- Behavior changes (becoming more vocal, hiding, stops using litter box)
You can always call us to discuss concerns with a technician but more than likely we are still going to recommend an exam because again of how well cats hide diseases symptoms.
My three recommendations for senior cats
1. Feeding an appropriate diet.
It’s important for your pet to maintain a normal weight. Working with your veterinarian should be the only way you determine your pet’s diet. Many factors regarding your pet’s current health can greatly influence the food your pet should be eating. There are also many nutritional supplements that can help offer support to your pet.
As your cat progress into senior and geriatric ages undoubtedly they will be sleeping more. What a lucky life to live. Physical changes to expect are muscle definition loss and arthritic changes. To help your pet’s comfort I would offer softer beds to rest on and consider joint supplements and diet supplements.
- Give more attention.
This is the best part. Spending time with your pet reassures your bond. I try to help the grooming process with daily brushing. If you’re able to brushing teeth this is also a great idea. Your geriatric cat may not really feel like playing but it’s always worth trying. This increased attention will help you become aware of any new changes or discomfort your cat may be in.