How Do I Know When My Cat Is a “Senior”?
Most cats enter their golden years between 12 and 14 years of age. Many cats, especially those who are black, experience a graying of their coat as they age—but there are other, more subtle signs that your cat is aging.
Her hearing may not be as sharp as it once was, her fur may be thinner, and she may take a little longer to get up and out of bed in the mornings. It is also perfectly normal for an older cat to sleep more than she used to and to tire more quickly when playing. In healthy cats, these changes occur slowly, over time, at a gradual pace that you probably won’t even notice.
How Often Should My Older Cat See the Vet?
It is important that cats have an annual checkup or “wellness” visit with their vet. This is even more important as they age, so talk to your vet about whether such visits should become more frequent. ASPCA experts recommend that healthy senior cats see the vet at least every six months. During the exam, your vet will listen to your cat’s heart and lungs, take her temperature and examine her skin, fur, ears, eyes, mouth, teeth and internal organs. He or she may also order routine screening tests for early detection of problems.
Please note, certain signs of aging may also indicate the onset of disease or nutritional deficiency, so any changes in your cat’s behavior or appearance should be reported to your veterinarian.
What Health Issues Are Common in Older Cats?
There are many health issues more common to aging cats, including:
What Diet Changes Will Help My Older Cat?
Cats, especially older ones, tend to love routine. But for the sake of her health, your vet may recommend the following diet changes:
What Can I Do to Make My Senior Cat More Comfortable?
What Symptoms Should I Be Concerned About in My Older Cat?
If you notice any unusual symptoms, please don’t wait for your regularly scheduled checkup to see your vet. Call right away. Symptoms to watch out for and promptly report include: