Dr Christina Snow
Signs of ageing in cats
As with people, cats tend to slow down with age. Cats generally are considered to be senior citizens from 7 years of age.
As an owner of an ageing cat, you might notice some changes in your cat’s behaviour that can provide us with clues of declining health. Some changes you might see include:
1. Reluctance to jump or having trouble negotiating stairs
2. Altered sleep pattern – sleeping a lot more, or awake and restless more at night
3. Change in usual routine – is your cat drinking or urinating more frequently? Has there been a change in appetite or are they toileting in unusual places?
4. Reduced grooming – can you see matted fur, dandruff or hairloss?
5. Obvious change in demeanour – more vocal or lethargic, vomiting, diarrhoea, or is your cat avoiding you?
6. Change in body shape might indicate weightloss or weightgain
At Glenelg Vet we provide an annual senior check up for all our older feline patients, starting from 7 years of age. During this consult we will check your cat’s weight, provide a full physical exam and offer a senior blood & urine test. This will help us screen for any early changes in your pet such liver and kidney disease, check for diabetes and thyroid health, plus check for some cancers and anaemia. We examine and discuss important matters such as arthritis, dental health, check for lumps and bumps, listen to the heart, check eyes and ears and can discuss any behavioural concerns.
Our senior checks can give you the peace of mind that your beloved feline friend is fit and healthy, and provide an opportunity to make early interventions in the ageing process if needed. This way we can give them the special care they need to keep them well and happy for as long as possible.