Many elderly cat health problems can be prevented with proper care and nutrition, and your love.
When your cat reaches her tenth year and beyond, you may notice that she has slowed down a little and is showing a few signs of growing old.
Your kitty is not as playful as she once was, she is more sedentary, sleeps less deeply but more frequently, and makes less of an effort of grooming herself than she used to.
Not all cats age at their tenth year of course, a lot will depend upon your cat's genetic background, the diet that she has been used to and the quality of care that she has enjoyed.
Cats are living longer, that's official!, far better for both you and your cat if she can enjoy a longer life without too many health problems.
If you notice a health problem with your older cat, please don't make the assumption that the condition is purely because of your cat's age - and because of that there is no treatment.
With early attention from your veterinarian many conditions can be cured or improved.
This holds true for elderly cat health problems as it does for health issues for a cat of any age.
As your cat ages she may hang around the house more than she used to and
become less active.
However, senior cats need a little exercise to maintain their muscles and keep them supple, to help with mental stimulation, and help to bolster blood circulation.
Exercise also helps with keeping your cat's weight under control.
Gently playing with your cat on a regular basis will help in preventing many health issues associated with aging.
Play should be moderate and never to the point that your cat is tired out.
An older cat, being less active than she once was, may require fewer calories. Your elderly cat may benefit from specially formulated senior cat foods.
Some older cats may benefit from extra roughage due to their bowels not working as effectively.
Your veterinarian will prove invaluable in helping to decide upon the correct diet for your maturing cat.
Regular health examinations by a vet are a good idea for a pet of any age. The older your cat is the more important veterinarian health check-ups are for finding early symptoms of problems.
In addition, you can make your routine grooming, or petting sessions, with your cat an opportunity to check for anything amiss.
Check for lumps, and other skin abnormalities, examine her ears and eyes. Particularly check her teeth and gums, dental problems are common in elderly cats and can cause serious pain and prevent your cat from feeding sufficiently. Examine her coat for any indication of fleas or other parasites.
Elderly cats should have their own place to rest away from children and other pets. As a cat ages it becomes less tolerant, and may not easily take to a playful kitten or younger cat introduced to the home.
Older cat's may find moving to a new home a very stressful experience, and may not cope very well with the loss of familiar surroundings. Give your elderly cat extra affection and attention to help her endure the experience.
Don't forget to check her nails. An older, less active, cat will be less inclined to use her scratching post.
Don't let your pet's nails grow too long and cause her problems.
You should be alert to any change in the behavior of your senior feline friend.
A cat that was timid as a kitten and younger cat, may become noticeably more aggressive with age due to pain.
Movement may have become difficult due to arthritis resulting from wear of the joints, which can be very agonizing during cold and damp weather.
Elderly cats may be more intolerant of changes in your home because the capability of dealing with new situations decreases with age.
Increased use of the litter tray may signal elderly cat health problems. Kidney failure, or diabetes mellitus often increases the amount of urine produced, and because of the odor your cat may find other places for her relief.
A cat with arthritis may have difficulty climbing into her litter tray, especially if it is high sided, stairs too may become a problem.
An older cat may take a little longer to urinate, but if she takes excessively long it may be wise to take her to the vet.
If your older cat is showing signs of irritability, or is unsociable and perhaps a little confused it could be that she is experiencing feline dementia. It has been found that changes can take place that can mean a senior cat develops a form of Alzheimer’s. Your veterinarian can advise.
Many cats are able to enjoy their senior years without encountering much in the way of health problems. There is every chance that your cat could be one of them especially if you have taken her to the veterinarian for regular checks.
Whether your elderly cat’s health deteriorates or not, she will still provide you with her companionship and her love.
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