Your cat has offered you countless companionship over the years. Now, she is getting older and it is time for you to repay all the love she has given with extra attention and care. You have to make sure that her senior years are happy ones.
Cats, just like humans, are aging as well. Some cats begin to show their aging signs as early as age seven. As a general rule of thumb, a cat is considered as “senior” when she is over 11 years old.
As an owner, you must want to watch the changes in behavior that could signify some underlying problems. That’s why it is very important to know and understand the signs of aging cat. Here they are the 6 signs that your cat is aging.
1. Decreased Mobility
As your cat is aging and getting older, she may spend most of her time sleeping all the time or more deeply than normal. It might be an indicator of serious health problem, but it is also a sign that tells your cat is aging.
Cats cannot tell us when they are in pain, that’s why it is important to know the subtle signs of arthritis, one of the problems old cats tend to experience.
If you notice that your cat is reluctant to go up and down the stairs or she takes a lot of breaks while using stairs, then it is a good indicator of arthritis. If you see this symptom, it is better to contact your vet as soon as possible.
2. Weight Loss
Weight loss in older cats can also be a sign of some problems, from heart disease to kidney disease. If your cat appears to be thinner or bonier than usual, then she might lose some weight.
Many of her muscle mass might be lost because or arthritis. There are also some causes of sudden weight loss in cats you need to be aware of! Make sure you are also alert of these symptoms of kidney failure in cats.
If you notice that your cat is losing weight, then contact your vet for an examination and some tests, such as blood and urine tests.
3. Changes in Temperament
Older cats could be grumpier than usual. There’s a condition called hyperthyroidism which is caused by an overactive thyroid gland. This disease is commonly experienced by older cats. This condition causes a previously docile and calm cats to become more aggressive or agitated.
Ask you vet to conduct blood tests to diagnose hyperthyroidism. Don’t worry as medication is available to treat the disease.
4. Increased Vocalization and Disorientation
When your cat is getting older, she is likely to have increased vocalization by meowing, especially at night time, and acting confused as well. These common signs are the signs of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). CDS is also known as dementia in cats.
Until now, there is no specific treatment found for CDS, however, certain diets, supplements and prescription medications may help reduce the symptoms. You can contact your vet for some recommendations.
5. Cloudy Eyes
You may notice that your cat’s eyes are looking hazy and cloudy with age. Most of the time it is not caused by cataracts, but a condition which is called lenticular sclerosis. Unlike cataracts, lenticular sclerosis does not have any significant impact to a cat’s vision.
Most cats experience this when they are 9 years of age and as the years go on, it will become more and more noticeable. If you notice this sign, then contact your vet to conduct an eye examination.
6. Changes in Appetite
As your cat is getting older, there could be some time when your cat experience an increase in hunger together with weight loss. Again, this could be the symptom of hyperthyroidism or even cancer. In an overweight cats, this symptom could be concerning for diabetes.
A decrease in appetite may indicate chronic kidney disease. Dental disease or cancer could also be the causes of decreased food intake. Make a visit and consult this issue with your vet.
After looking at those symptoms of aging cat, then you might start wondering what to do. Here are some tips and suggestions you can do to take care of aging cats:
- Choose a high-quality cat food that is specialized for senior cats. Try these best food for aging cats.
- Give a warm place to rest. This is suggested for those senior cats which suffer from arthritis.
- Help her groom. When she is getting older, the might not be able to groom herself again. So, you can start brushing your cat to keep her coat healthy and create a bonding activity with her.
- Give her easy access. As your cat is aging, she might have trouble climbing into the litter box. Give her a litter box, water and food bowl on every floor of your house.
You can also try these tips on how to take care of senior cats.