Advances in medicine have decreased the mortality rate of humans. You can say that the same goes for animals and that just like humans cats can need constant care when they reach their senior years. These symptoms vary so you it is best to be prepared.
Cats reach their senior years or are classified as such when they have lived for 10 to 13 years. You might think that is nothing but one year for a cat is already 5 to 7 human years for them. So, if your cat is 10 years old, he or she is 70 years old!
Chances are, you have probably lost track of how long your cat has been there but a regular checkup with your local veterinarian can tell you if things are beginning to change.
Samples will then be taken from your cat and everyone will have to wait for the results. The samples could consist of a blood sample, urinalysis and feces. It is here that the doctor can tell if your cat is anemic, has leukemia, is a diabetic, have kidney problems or has worms in their digestive system.
Aside from the physical, the vet will ask if you have noticed any changes in their activities or behavior. Some of the things often associated with old age that you should be aware of is the loss of sensory perception. This means their senses do not respond as fast anymore even if you try your best to play and train them to keep them sharp.
Another indicator is when your cat gets into a fight with another cat and there are injuries, the healing time may not be that fast anymore.
Studies show that one of the first things to deteriorate in a cat is the kidneys as a result of hormone imbalances. If you notice that urine comes out while they sleep or they urinate more frequently, then there is something wrong. The good news is that this can be treated when detected early.
Senior cats can no longer eat the same high quality diet as they used to in the past. They require specially formulated food that keeps their weight under control and helps reduce the consumption of nutrients that are risk factors in the development of diseases.
Exercise is another way to keep your cat in shape. This slows down the deterioration that takes place inside their body. Cats don’t play catch like dogs so give them a ball of yarn or some other toy to play with. Kitty Kuddles has some great toys for our senior purrisans – https://kittykuddles.co.za/shop/
If your cat is in pain and something needs to be removed, you have no choice but to let it undergo surgery. You should check with the vet if they will be given anesthesia beforehand so they don’t feel anything during the operation.
Other symptoms you have to be aware of once your cat reaches a senior age includes a significant increase or decrease in appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, lameness lasting for more than 5 days in one leg, a decrease in vision, excessive panting, a seizure, blood in the stool or urine, hair loss, persistent coughing or gagging and breathing heavily or rapidly at rest.
The second any of the above symptoms occur, you should take your cat straight to the vet because just like humans who have reached the golden years, senior cats need more attention especially when any of the above symptoms are present.