Senior Cat Care

At seven your cat is considered a senior

Cats over seven years of age are senior citizens in human years. Everyone gets older, and our best friends age faster than we do.

 

How old is your cat in human terms?

 

Time flies when you’re having fun. But at seven years young, your cat is nearing its 50th year, in human terms.

  • At 11 years old cats have reached retirement age.
  • At 14 years old cats are well into their seventies.
  • Cats who live primarily out of doors age faster than indoor cats.

Your cat’s age in human years (age varies based on weight and care)

As with humans, the need for healthcare increases with age in cats. Like us, animals suffer from aches and pains related to ageing – see signs to look out for – but veterinarians at Sydney Animal Hospitals can help you ensure that ageing isn’t difficult for your best friend.

 

What they can’t tell you

Common age related conditions in cats:

  • reduced metabolism and changing nutritional needs
  • kidney disease
  • thyroid disease
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • dental disease
  • lumps and bumps
  • loss of hearing and/or visual impairment
  • heart disease.

Your cat may not be able to tell you when something is wrong. In fact, animals have evolved to hide signs of illness until it is advanced, and cats are very private creatures. See signs to look out for.

 

A word on your cat’s kidneys

Kidney disease is one of the most prevalent conditions in senior cats. Like us, cats are born with a finite number of kidney cells. The cells are not replaced when they die. Humans are born with about 1,000,000 kidney cells in each kidney.

Cats start life with just half of that, at about 500,000 per kidney, so it’s easy to see why they are so vulnerable to kidney disease. There is no cure, but if diagnosed early kidney disease can be managed very effectively.

 

Sydney Animal Hospitals can help.

Veterinarians at Sydney Animal Hospitals are trained to identify and address age-related problems in cats early, so that they can be managed – ensuring that senior pets enjoy excellent quality of life.

 

Signs to look out for

If your cat exhibits any of the signs below, it’s time to visit your veterinarian:

  • increased thirst or urination
  • changes in behaviour, including agitation, aggression or increased vocalisation
  • bad breath or difficulty eating
  • reluctance to walk, jump up or exercise
  • coughing or breathing difficulties
  • lumps
  • diarrhoea or change in litter tray habits
  • changes in the skin or hair coat
  • a noticeable increase or decrease in body weight.

 

Our approach Senior Cats

Sydney Animal Hospital’s approach to pet care in senior cats

We recommend six-monthly check-ups

Age-related conditions can be managed successfully with early diagnosis. A year in your senior cat’s life is five years in the life of a senior citizen, so we schedule six-monthly wellness checks to give your senior cat the best possible care.

Our aim is to identify any existing conditions and establish a baseline for your cat’s health, acting as a reference point for any future changes.

An initial consultation includes:

  • body condition score and weight check
  • heart and general cardiovascular check-up
  • musculoskeletal/arthritis check
  • dental health check
  • ophthalmology assessment
  • examination of skin and ears
  • assessment of lymph nodes
  • assessment of lumps and bumps
  • assessment of core body temperature
  • blood and urine screen (complete blood count, biochemistry including kidney and liver indicators, thyroid levels and urinalysis)
  • blood pressure check
  • complimentary all day stay (if required)

 

Tailored treatment plan for your cat

We also provide a personalised plan to ensure you’re in the best position to help your pet maintain optimum health. Our team will address any problems identified and consult with you on:

  • a lifestyle plan tailored to your senior cat
  • dental staging and recommended treatment
  • dietary recommendations
  • a schedule for any further tests or treatment.

 

Veterinarians at Sydney Animal Hospitals love cats. We know how much your cat means to you, and we’re happy to develop a lifestyle plan that ensures your pet remains healthy and pain-free.

Contact a Sydney Animal Hospitals near you for more information on Senior pet Wellness Plans for your pet.