When It Comes to Senior Cat Care, Less Is Not More | Cat Care of Vinings

When It Comes to Senior Cat Care, Less Is Not More | Cat Care of Vinings

If you’ve been the proud owner of a cat for many years, it’s probably time to consider their aging process if you haven’t already. Cats age faster than we do, and as a result, they benefit from routine wellness checks every 6 months once they hit the age of 8. Increasing their annual exams from 1 to 2 times a year helps to prevent age-related issues and detect health conditions before they become serious. 

Senior cat care doesn’t have to be stressful, and once you know what to expect, you and your cat can move toward the golden years together. 

First, a Glance at Feline Behavior

Feline behavior can range from distinctly direct to bafflingly subtle. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to closely watch your cat for even the slightest departure from their routines or behavioral patterns. They may otherwise be acting “normally”, but an owner’s intuition and observations can truly lead a cat to getting the help they need.

Remember, your notes, no matter how minor they might seem, can shine a light on developing illness or injury that require immediate attention. Take stock of your senior cat’s hearing, vision, appetite, mobility, interaction levels, litter box habits, sleeping, and cognition for clues about their well being.

Covering the Bases

Each time we have the pleasure of visiting with your cat, getting their weight is one of the first things we do. Feline obesity is becoming a common diagnosis among senior cats, but weight loss can also signal a problem. Maintaining an ideal weight throughout all the life stages is an important key to a cat’s longevity and quality of life. Because nutritional needs change as cats age, we may make diet recommendations to ensure ideal body condition. 

Senior Cat Care Visits

Owners are sometimes caught unaware when it comes to the intensity of senior cat wellness exams. Because age-related illness is more likely, we do our best to ensure that the following common issues remain on the periphery:

DiabetesArthritisCancerHigh blood pressureOrgan failureThyroid problemsKidney diseaseGI problemsCognition

To that end, we run diagnostic tests occasionally to be sure that your senior cat’s health is where it should be for their age. Complete blood panels (including screenings for kidney and liver function), urinalysis, thyroid hormone levels, and more can help us understand the bigger picture of senior cat care.

Healthy Teeth and Gums

The importance of dental care cannot be overstated. Responsible for so much more than just a clean mouth, routine professional cleanings and daily brushing at home may add years to a cat’s life. Left alone, plaque and tartar can lead to oral infections, tooth loss, and erosion of gum tissue. What’s more, oral bacteria can seep into the bloodstream and infect the major organs. 

Periodontal (gum) disease may be a slow-moving degenerative disease, but it is 100% preventable. Known to cause significant pain for older cats, it makes sense to try and get in front of any issues in the mouth.

Senior Cat Care at Home

Owners might have to make certain changes at home to accommodate the needs of an aging cat. Despite their interest in sleeping as much as possible, senior cats thrive in engaging environments and should always have opportunities to play, hunt, and learn new things.

Also, making their litter box, food/water bowls, and bed more accessible is important as mobility decreases.

Here For You

Senior cat care isn’t without certain challenges, but we can assure that providing for all your aging cat’s needs is extremely rewarding. 

As always, please let us know how we can help you. We’re always here for you and your cat at Cat Care of Vinings.

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