Among the domestic pets, cats can live longer than the others. This is because cats are cared exclusively indoors; they are rendered with appropriate nutrition and veterinary care. The average life span of the cats can live up to 15 years; some may live longer than 20 years. Cats that are aged 10 years beyond can now be considered as ‘seniors’, and 15 years and above are called ‘geriatrics’. With this, elderly cat health problems become the huge concern for many pet cat owners.
Like human beings, elderly cats undergo a lot of changes on how their body works. Cats tend to be less active because of their decreasing muscle tone, which may result to inability to run, climb or jump. They also experience a reduced appetite since their sense of smell and taste also deteriorates, as they grow older, as well as their bowel functioning, leading to weight loss. The sense of sight and hearing will also age, resulting for your pet cat to be startled easily. Also, it may now have difficulty in adapting changes in its home environment. Older cats have a tendency to sleep more frequently but less heavily, and their coats become thinner that will make more vulnerable to diseases caused by the wet and cold.
Due to old age, geriatric cats develop
more than one problem at a time, which results to complicated diagnosis
and treatment. Thus, early recognition of disease as well as prompt
treatment is essential to older cats so that a good quality of life
will uphold for as long as possible. One of the most frequently
diagnosed conditions of the elderly cat is kidney disease. Indicators
that would tell that your cat’s kidneys start to reject is increased in
thirst and urination.
Arthritis is also common to elderly cats. Irritability or aggressiveness can also be seen in your pet cats. Other geriatric disorders that can bee seen in your elderly cats include diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperthyroidism and even serious condition as cancer.
Just like aging humans, elderly cats must be provided with special care and attention. With appropriate feline care, cats may even reach longer than 20 years. In order for the cats to achieve longer life, the caregiver should make changes in the elderly cat’s diet, lifestyle, as well as the frequency in vet trips, and among others to maintain the elderly cat healthy and happy.
Here are some of the tips that the caregiver would opt to render to their elderly pet cats:
Elderly cats should be given a healthy, organic cat food. To promote a healthy immune system and good health, the caregiver must offer natural and healthy cat foods that contain human quality ingredients. This will promote cat longevity and good health. Also, it is less expensive in the long run, as the cat also experiences fewer health problems and the cat would consume essential nutrients needed for its body.
Let your elderly cats stay indoors. Indoors could be the safest place for you pet cats, particularly for the elderly ones. This would prevent them from acquiring outdoor hazards and would prevent them from getting injured. Also, they will less likely acquire diseases from other cats and animals when kept indoors.
Plan daily exercises. Elderly cats are known to be slower than the younger cats. However, this does not prevent your cat from having exercises. Short walks could be very helpful in maintaining their muscle tones and for good blood circulation.
Schedule a visit to a veterinarian frequently. Your pet cat should be checked by a veterinarian every three to six months, depending on the elderly cat’s age and its health condition. Another thing to be considered in caring for an older cat is the monitoring of the cat’s signs of illness. A prompt visit to a veterinarian is the most effective way for your pet to maintain its optimum health.