Caring For Senior Cats

September 11, 2009

in Cats

Just like in people, a cat’s body changes as the cat ages. Normal aging involves gradual changes, but some senior cats develop age-related illness. Caring for senior cats involves identifying normal age-related changes, caring for the aging cats special needs, and consult the veterinarian about any drastic changes or questions about the aging cat.

Aging causes normal, gradual physical changes. Dehydration is a concern for senior cats because they become less sensitive to the first drive as they age. Cats may become more sensitive to heat or cold because aging decreases their ability to regulate their body temperatures.

A slight loss of acuity of their senses is a normal aging process. The sight and hearing of aging cats is often not as good as younger cats. Any blindness or drastic changes should be reported to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Drastic changes in the senses can be a sign of disease.

Infection and certain cat diseases can be partially caused by the advanced age of the cats. Aging cats may develop inflammation of the joints which is known as arthritis. Arthritis can be a painful condition which may require veterinary treatment and may be treated with pain relief medication, diet, and exercise.

Many cat owners may not realize that aging cats often develop changes in their mouths. Dental disease, mouth ulcers, and tooth loss are problems that are common with senior cats. Aging cats may also have decreased saliva production which can cause difficulty in swallowing.

Many cat owners of senior cats are concerned about cancer. Sores that won’t heal and growths or bumps can be signs of cat cancer. A cat should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible if the cat owner notices any possible signs of cat cancer.

Advanced age calls for some changes in the cat care. As a cat becomes less active with age, the cat may require a diet that is lower in calories to prevent the cat from gaining weight.

Senior cats need to be taken to the veterinarian more frequently for regular checkups. This is important because it allows the veterinarian to screen for age-related cat diseases.

Active playing is important for senior cats even though they are often less interested in playing as they age. Active play can help maintain the cat’s muscle strength and provides exercise. Cat owners of senior cats should initiate play frequently to encourage the cat to get exercise.

Moses Wright has been a pet lover since young. He started this site to provide pet lovers with free pet advices and tips on homemade pet food.

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