Cats age much faster than humans, and are you familiar with the many changes in health that your cat will experience as he or she ages? Your cat can be considered a “senior” between 9 and 10 years of age depending on several factors, such as his or her lifestyle history, breed, medical history, etc. You might find that it’s difficult to recognize these changes since the signs of aging develop slowly and are easy for pet owners to miss. Remember that cats are masters at hiding their illnesses, meaning diseases are not diagnosed until they have reached an advanced stage.
At West U Veterinary, we believe it is critical to intervene and catch health issues early by offering proactive, preventative senior cat care. The best time for you to begin your cat’s senior care program is before age-related conditions begin. Together we will manage your senior cat’s good health, vitality and increase his or her well-being.
We encourage you to bring in your senior cats for preventive care twice a year to keep them as healthy as possible. If you notice any signs of signs of vision or hearing loss, arthritis or obesity please bring these symptoms to the attention of one of our veterinarians.
Some common cat-age related issues include:
- Changes in your cat’s nutritional requirements.
- Dental disease resulting in pain, a decreased appetite, or possible infection.
- Changes in your cat’s weight.
- Noticeable orthopedic problems associated with osteoarthritis.
- Changes in or loss of hearing and/or eyesight.
- Behavioral changes.
- Fluctuating bowel or urinary habits.
- Evident development of lumps and bumps, and/or other skin/coat changes
Your Senior Cat’s Wellness Exam
As your cat ages, the type of medical care your cat needs changes too. Senior cat exams include an in-depth analysis of your cat’s overall health and senior cat diagnostic testing.
Your cat’s senior wellness exam will include:
- A comprehensive senior pet physical exam and extensive consultation.
- Diagnostic testing, such as blood work, urine and fecal analysis, X-rays, blood work or other testing as needed.
- Discussion with you of any observed changes in your cat’s behavior such as refusal to jump, changes in sleep patterns or lapses in litter box training.
- Nutrition and Weight Management Counseling. Knowing your cat’s ideal weight will help you keep him or her slim keeping your cat healthier.
- Recommendations for environmental enrichment and regular exercise. While you don’t want to overdo it, there is no reason older cats can’t exercise play times with new cat toys or, better yet, you. Talk to us about exercises that would suit your senior cat.
Allowing your pet to gain weight will compound and/or create health problems.
If your cat is exhibiting any of these common signs of geriatric disease, please call us for a senior wellness exam:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Weight Loss/gain
- Loss or decreased appetite
- Increased Thirst or urination
- Change in elimination behavior
- Failure to use the litter box
- Difficulty or inability to climb or jump
- New lumps or bumps
It is never too early to talk to us about senior care. Providing high quality preventive medicine throughout your cat’s lifetime is the best way to ensure happy and healthy golden years for you and your dog. Early medical detection and treatment of diseases in your senior cat can only be accomplished through regular examinations and screening tests. Please give us a call today to schedule an exam for your senior cat.