With improvements in veterinary care and nutrition, more and more cats are living to a greater age. Cats are considered ‘senior’ when they reach 10 years of age and ‘geriatric’ over the age of 15 years, although many will live beyond this age.
Abnormal signs you might see as your cat gets older include:
• A reduction in activity levels
• A change in appetite – either a ravenous attitude towards food or a fussy appetite
• Impaired vision
• Weight loss
• Altered sleeping pattern – disturbed sleeping pattern or sleeping for the majority of the day
• Poor coat condition, normally due to a lack of grooming
• Increased thirst
• Bad breath
• Soiling inappropriately in the house
Over-active thyroid glands, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, dental problems and lymphoma (cancer of the white blood cells) are all examples of common diseases affecting the elderly cat, to which we, as vets, can make a big difference.
Regular health checks are, therefore, essential once your cat is over 10 years old. This will allow us to have a discussion with you about your cat’s behaviour and routine at home and answer any concerns or questions you might have.
The consulting vet will then perform a thorough clinical exam to check your cat’s heart, lungs, abdomen, eyes and weight.
If your cat is over 10 years old, or if you have any concerns regarding the changes mentioned above, please contact us to arrange a geriatric feline health check.