Jaybles American Shorthair

Caring for Older Cats

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

 

Cats are ready to sign up for AARC (American Association of Retired Cats!) at about age 8 or 9, and the average lifespan of a neutered or spayed indoor cat is somewhere in the mid- to late-teens.

 

At age 8 cats should have a physical exam with a blood test and urinalysis every six to nine months to keep them in top shape. Pet owners can do their part by observing their senior cat more frequently to notice any changes in behavior, eating patterns, litter box habits or mobility issues.

 

Diseases

Be on the watch for indications of common problems in older cats, and bring your cat to the vet for a full exam if you see any signs of trouble. When caught early enough, many problems can be treated and your cat can live for many more years.

 

Kidney failure: Look for frequent drinking, urinating outside the litter box, excessive urinating, blood in the urine, weight loss, lethargy and breath that smells like ammonia. Kidney disease is very common in older cats.

Tumors: Feel for lumps or bumps on the body that could be tumors. Vomiting may also be a sign.

Diabetes: Indiscriminate urinating and frequent drinking are signs of diabetes.

Arthritis: Slow movements, difficulty walking, sitting or climbing could be signs of arthritis, rheumatic inflammation or degenerative joints.

Dental problems: A lack of appetite may be caused by pain from dental issues. Gingivitis (gum disease) and loose teeth are common problems and scaling of the gums or tooth extraction might be necessary. In addition, dental issues can potentially lead to other problems in cats.

 

Environment and behavior

Some cats are bad tempered enough, but senior cats can become downright curmudgeonly about their environment and exhibit uncharacteristic behavior. Be understanding and accommodating:

  • Stress – Avoid bringing home a new kitten, which will add stress to the senior.
  • Grooming – If he’s letting himself go, help your senior by brushing him to improve circulation and confidence.
  • Teeth – Offer soft canned food if he has missing teeth or gum disease.
  • Appetite – Stimulate her desire to eat by offering a sardine in oil or add some fishy broth to her food.
  • Diet – Offer extra roughage, like noodles or rice, to keep bowels regular. Buy food specially formulated for seniors.
  • Tired joints – Provide a stool or step to help him climb more easily onto the couch or bed.
  • Attention – Show extra love and attention. The more comfortable and relaxed she feels, the healthier she’ll be.
  • Warmth – Keep the house or his bed warm. Provide extra blankets and a soft place to sleep.
  • Patience – Be extra patient because older cats may have poor eye sight and hearing, and even may suffer memory loss.
  • Exercise – Play with him. He might not be the cat version of an aerobics instructor; instead he may just sleep all day. But he still needs exercise to keep joints and muscles flexible.
  • Outdoors – Restrict outdoor privileges if he’s an indoor-outdoor cat and particualarly if he's de-clawed. He may encounter dangerous situations he would have been able to avoid in his younger days.




Important Safety Information

Important Safety Information

CAUTION: 
Federal (U.S.A.) law restricts Advantage Multi® for Cats (imidacloprid + moxidectin) to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

WARNINGS: 
Do not use on sick or debilitated cats or ferrets.  Do not use on underweight cats. (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).  Do not use on cats less than 9 weeks of age or less than 2 lbs body weight.  Do not use on ferrets less than 2 lbs body weight.

PRECAUTIONS: 
Avoid oral ingestion.

HUMAN WARNINGS:

Children should not come in contact with the application site for 30 minutes after application.

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