Common Senior Cat Problems
Aging cat issues are often similar to those faced by humans. Older cats are susceptible to such problems as arthritis, obesity, vision and hearing problems and dementia, as well as a host of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, kidney or liver disease and thyroid problems. Aging cats are susceptible to dental issues like gum disease and feline tooth resorption, a disease in which teeth dissolve at the roots. Here are some signs that your cat might be experiencing one of these common senior cat problems:
- Difficulty or reluctance to try jumping or climbing
- Changes in weight
- Strange lumps or bumps
- Failing to use the litter box
- Appetite loss
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Incontinence or lack of urination
- Lethargy or listlessness
- Excessive meowing, yowling, or other vocalizations
- Runny nose or eyes
- Cloudy eyes
- Bumping into objects
- Pawing at her eyes
- Excessive blinking
Caring for Your Senior Cat
While our older cats might not show any obvious visible signs of aging, providing them with proper care at this advanced stage of life can go a long way toward prolonging their life and making their senior years comfortable.
- Nutrition - Feed your cat a high-quality cat food that's specially formulated for senior cats. Talk to your vet about your cat's nutrition needs at this age and how much you should be feeding them! It's also important for aging cats to drink plenty of clean, fresh water to help improve kidney function and prevent dehydration. Be sure water is plentiful and easily accessible. Older cats may sometimes forget to drink, so consider either adding wet food to your cat's meals or switching to it altogether to help ensure they get plenty of fluids.
- Exercise - Despite their tendency to be less active, older cats still benefit from regular exercise. Encourage your cat to move and play as much as she's willing to. But don't push, especially if they show signs of joint pain or discomfort.
- Joint Care - You can help reduce the risk of arthritis and joint problems by feeding a cat food that contains omega-3 fatty acids as well as supplements that promote joint health, such as glucosamine and chondroitin. If your cat’s food doesn't already contain these supplements, you can give it to them separately. Regular exercise may also promote healthy joints!
- Health Checks -Our cats are good at hiding their pain, so any signs of problems might go unnoticed until they become too pronounced to ignore. This is why it's important to take your aging cat for regular health checks. Your vet might be able to spot problems that you miss and catch serious issues before they become life-threatening.
- Dental Care -As our cats get older, they should also be taken for regular dental checkups and cleanings. Dental diseases and infections can threaten your cat's overall health if they're not detected and treated. You can help prevent tooth problems and detect them early by regularly brushing your cat's teeth.
- Give Them Extra Love – More than anything, we should make sure our cats our comfortable and feel loved during the last years of their life. Give them those extras pets and cuddles when you can, I promise your cat will thank you for it!