A kitten is endearing to everyone but they quickly grow up and by a year of age will be a mature cat. Cats age at different rates but most 10 year old cats can be considered to be in old age. Please Contact Us if you need more information on elderly cats.
What will happen to my cat in old age?
Just like people older cats slow down, they often take less exercise and may start to put on weight. Your cat may not want to go out as often as before. Many cats become friendlier as they get older, spending more time in the house with their family and enjoying attention. Occasionally older cats become grumpier. If your cat’s behaviour changes you should ask your vet to check her over as this may be a sign of illness or pain.
What should I feed my cat?
If your cat is putting on weight you may need to cut down how much you feed her but older cats may also start to lose weight. As cats get older their sense of smell and taste may be reduced and if your cat’s appetite seems poor – tempt her to eat by feeding richer, strong smelling foods. Older cats digest their food less well and may need to eat relatively more food to absorb all the nutrients they need.
You should always have your cat examined by your vet if she starts to gain or lose weight as this may be a sign of a medical condition which may need treatment. Special diets, designed for older cats, are available from your vet. It is not necessary to give cats milk, but plenty of clean fresh water must always be available as older cats often need to drink more.
What diseases are common in older cats?
As our body gets older it starts to work less efficiently – the same is true for cats. Your cat’s heart or kidneys may not work as well as they once did or your cat may develop an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Your vet will be able to help you manage these conditions as long as they see your cat before the disease becomes too advanced. If you are concerned about the health of an older cat make an appointment to see your vet as soon as possible.
Is it fair to treat an old cat?
Domestic cats may live for 20 years or more if well cared for and early veterinary attention may be able to sort out problems before they become serious. Age is not a reason to accept ill health and by keeping your cat well you can ensure that she has a good quality of life. One of the joys of cats is their independence.
As she gets older your cat needs you more than ever. You are the person who knows her better than anyone and you will be able to detect small changes which may indicate that all is not well.