Common Senior Cat Health Problems
Every animal gets a problem or two as they start to reach their twilight years.
Age creeps up on cats rather gently. At first, it may even be difficult for you to tell your kitty’s age as her behavior may be the same as ever. However, as a cat grows old, some common health issues start plaguing your kitty.
In this blog post, we will go through some common health problems that older kitties face.
We’re going to go through the symptoms and causes of some common health issues so that you can stay vigilant and take your cat to the vet so that she gets treated on time and bounces back like the champ she is.
Let’s get started.
Common Health Issues of Senior Cats
In this section of the blog, I would like to jump right into the topic at hand and list some of the most common health issues that senior cats face.
Did you know that studies have shown that 90 percent of cats over 12 years of age are likely to have radiographic signs of arthritis?
That’s a huge number, right!?
If your kitty doesn’t like going up or down stairs, jumping on and off the furniture, etc. and has difficulty in grooming herself, seems stiff after standing up, and is facing problems getting inside the litter box, chances are that it’s arthritis.
If you’ve noticed your cat behaving oddly, it is time to see the vet alleviate your feline friend’s pain.
Has your cat stopped eating dry food?
In some cases, cats pick the food up to chew but, then, drop it because the pain is just too much. In this case, your kitty may have painful periodontal disease, a common problem in aging cats.
Over the years, plaque and tartar can build up heavily, especially if teeth aren’t brushed or professionally cleaned on a regular basis.
To avoid this you should ensure your cat undergoes a thorough cleaning on a regular basis and follow that up by brushing her teeth every day to help keep them clean.
Keeping teeth and gums clean is a crucial part of maintaining your cat’s health.
Loss of Vision
There are several eye problems that plague older kitties which includes retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataracts.
You should check for signs such as cloudiness or whiteness of the lens, general cloudiness of the eye, dilated pupils, etc. If your kitty has been bumping into things a lot lately, this isn’t a good sign either.
Medication helps a lot with these conditions. However, it also depends on the type as well as severity of the problem.
Cataracts can be removed surgically, but cats get around rather well by using their sense of smell which makes the surgery somewhat necessary.
Loss of Hearing
This is another big one.
This happens to humans as well as kitties. As they age, the sense of hearing begins to go. It’s a fact of life—something you need to understand. While you can’t buy hearing aids for your kitty, you can still communicate with her by teaching her some new signals.
Did you know that 30% of cats over the age of 10 are diagnosed with some form of cancer?
Cancer doesn’t just plague humans—it affects our furry companions as well. One of the most common types of cancer seen in cats is lymphosarcoma.
Take your cat to the vet immediately if you notice any of these warning signs:
- appetite loss or unintentional weight loss
- lumps or bumps that increase in size
- sores that don’t heal
- bleeding or other discharge from the mouth, nose or anus
- unusual body odor
- lack of energy
- difficulty eating or swallowing
- unexplained lameness that doesn’t improve
- difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating
The treatment depends on the kind of cancer a cat has and the stage that it is at. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis.
Do you have a senior kitty? Let us know about the health problems that she’s been facing.
Getting older is a fact of life and, as we age, our immune system gets weaker while developing some health issues that we never thought we would— the same is the case with our feline friends.
Take your senior cat to the vet on a regular basis to ensure her health.
Have questions? Let us know in the comments.
My seventeen year old feral kitty has a bald spot on the back of her neck the size of a quarter.mItnwas red, but I put antiseptic on it and it looks better now. Not sure if this is a bite mark, but all the hair is gone. She seems to feel o.k., but I am concerned because her right eye appears to have issues which is directly near this bald spot. Her eye looks as if she is blind, but she definitely is not. I suspect cancer.
I’m surprised you folks didn’t mention kidney issues! All my senior cats have had some kidney issues which had to be dealt with thru changes in food and/or fluid treatments by the vet. Based on what you have listed here, seems the older kitties have similar issues as do older humans!!!