One major blessing of owning a cat is that old age seems to come along gently. Cats tend to age gracefully and slowly. However, this can sometimes make age related issues difficult to notice or diagnose. Even though some conditions are going to be inevitable with old age, there are still ways that you can ensure your cat remains comfortable and content for as long as possible. Here, we will take a look at some feline age related issues you may encounter as your furbaby ages over the years.
Hearing or Vision Issues
As with many aging creatures, elderly cats may experience a loss of vision or hearing. With the eyes, it can be a result of glaucoma, cataracts or retinal detachment. Look for signs of whiteness or cloudiness of the lens, dilated pupils or the sure tell sign of bumping into things. Depending on the severity of these issues, surgery or medicine may help. Luckily with cats, they have very keen senses of smell and hearing. Therefore, eye surgery may not be necessary.
As the age progresses, you may also notice your feline having difficulty hearing. Unfortunately, they don’t make kitty hearing aids just yet. However, you can find alternate modes of communication. You can stomp your feet to generate vibrations or you can gently alert him by hand if you need his attention.
Older cats are very prone to arthritis. This can be a result of the constant running, jumping and climbing in their early years. If you notice your elderly cat no longer wants to climb up and down the stairs or avoids jumping onto furniture, be sure to move their food, water and litter box into more easily accessible areas. Be sure to ask you veterinarian about possible pain relief techniques or remedies to ensure your feline is content as possible.
Unfortunately, elderly cats are also very prone to cancer as well. The most common type of cancer seen in felines is lymphosarcoma. Be sure to always pay attention to your aging friend and seek out a veterinarian if you notice any warning signs such as: decreased appetite; weight loss; bumps or lumps that continue to increase in size; wounds that don’t heal; discharge from the nose, mouth or anus; lack of energy; difficulty breathing, eating, swallowing, urinating or defecating. Basically, if you notice anything abnormal at all, get your old kitty to a vet as soon as possible to rule out any negative issues.
Kidney issues are one of the most common issues among aging felines. Early detection of such issues and proper management can greatly decrease the risks and pain later on in life. Even though kidney failure isn’t reversible, there are many cases where therapeutic management can be performed to provide your kitty with a more comfortable life. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about diagnosing or recognizing the signs of kidney disease or kidney related illnesses.
If you notice your ol’ cat is having issues chewing or swallowing food- he may have some painful dental problems taking place. Periodontal disease is a common problem for elderly felines. Tartar and plaque tend to build up over time, especially if the teeth are not cared for in their younger years. Consider scheduling a cleaning or a dental consultation to ensure your aging pal doesn’t have any major dental issues taking place. Proper management and diagnoses can guarantee your pet’s ability to eat and drink comfortably which will make their older years much more enjoyable.
Be sure to take your cat to the vet for their yearly exam and check-up. This will guarantee continued health and well-being for extra years to come!