SIGNS OF AGING IN CATS
Aging is a natural process of life. As your cat continues to celebrate more birthdays, have you noticed changes in his or her behavior, sleep patterns, activity level, and/or changes in weight? Did you know, cats are generally considered “seniors” over the age of eleven?
Certain changes, as mentioned above, can be related to the aging process. While others, can be indicators of underlying medical issues that should be addressed with your veterinarian.
MOST COMMON SIGNS OF AGING IN CATS
Changes in sleep patterns
It’s normal for senior cats to slow down. However, if you find that your aging cat is sleeping more than his/her normal, or getting very little sleep, this may be an indication of underlying medical condition(s).
This is a great time to have a discussion with your veterinarian regarding the overall health of your cat.
Have you noticed your aging cat pawing at their eyes more often? Blinking excessively? Bumping into things?
These can all be primary signs of aging, or medical conditions such as heart disease, glaucoma, or even cancer. Call your vet to have a closer examination
That once energetic cat is having more difficulty jumping on furniture, tackling the stairs, or springing out the door. This may be a sign of joint pain and/or arthritis.
Keep in mind, your cat is unable to “tell” you he or she, may be in pain. Take note of any changes and seek the attention of your veterinarian.
Changes in weight
The same with humans, as cats age, his or her metabolism starts to slow down.
Notice your cat gaining weight? As your cat transitions into its senior years, it is a great time to also consider a meal plan fit for their current and future needs.
Weight loss in senior cats may be due to medical issues. Concerns should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Is your cat experiencing bouts of confusion? Having difficulty finding his or her litter box, or bed? This too, may be a sign of aging. However, it can also be a sign of neurological problems. A vet consult is advised.
Urinary and/or defecation issues
Are you experiencing more “accidents” lately with your cat? Kidney disease is one of the most common causes of illness in senior cats.
This is also a sign of aging, and may be an indication of kidney failure, or other underlying medical issues.
Although kidney failure cannot be cured, early detection can slow the progression.
If your aging cat is spending more time alone, or isn’t quite as cuddly as they once used to be, address this with your veterinarian to determine if these behavioral changes may be related to a medical condition.
New, or changes in lumps and bumps
Lumps and bumps are part of the aging process. However, if you notice a change in lump size, or any unusual mass, be sure to have it evaluated by your vet.
CARING FOR YOUR AGING CAT
Your cat has provided you with unconditional love over the past decade. His or her senior years are going to require extra care and attention to ensure he or she, remains happy and healthy for years to come.
With the right care and proper knowledge, your cat can enjoy his or her senior years in comfort.
The following are a few suggestions on how to care for your senior cat:
- Semi-annual vet visits
- Cat food designed for the biology of a senior cat
- Place extra litter boxes throughout the house
- Keep her coat healthy
- Continue to get your cat moving with daily exercise
- Give plenty of hugs, kisses and love
- Tune in to your cat
At Independence Veterinary Clinic, our staff, technicians and veterinarians care for your pets as if they are our own. Do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions or concerns you have, regarding your pet’s overall health.
We are here to help you comfortably transition your aging cat into his or her senior years, with grace and tons of love.
At Independence Veterinary Clinic, we love providing you with helpful ways to maintain your pet’s health and safety. Click here to learn more!