After about 10 years of age, most cats start to slow down, sleeping more and often eating less.
Their digestion becomes less efficient so feeding a senior diet will help them to maintain body-weight.
They can get badly affected by worms and fleas as their immune system gets weaker so it is important to keep up to date with treatment for parasites as well as routine vaccinations.
Common conditions of the older cat include:-
Kidney Disease: You may notice an increased thirst, weight loss and decreased appetite.
Hyperthyroidism: Cats affected by this tend to have a very good appetite but lose a lot of weight. They may drink more than usual and their behaviour can change, becoming hyperactive or grumpy.
Arthritis: Not uncommon in cats, causing stiffness, reluctance to jump and can cause grumpiness or discomfort particularly around the hind legs.
Heart Disease: There is usually a gradual reduction in activity levels, often a decreased appetite, weight loss and coughing. You may notice the breathing rate is elevated.
If you notice any changes in your cat as it gets older it is important to get things checked out. Often a blood test or x-ray may be needed to diagnose a problem, but with lots of new medications now available, the sooner treatment is started, the better chance we have of maintaining your cat’s quality of life.