Just like humans, cats experience a lot of changes as they age. Over 50% of cats at the age of 10 have some degree of arthritis, making it crucial to look out for symptoms. Cats can also develop organ dysfunction diseases like kidney disease, liver disease, pancreatitis, diabetes, and more. Regular check-ups, at least once a year, can help detect these diseases early and provide treatment, thereby extending the life of your senior cat.
Cats are obligate carnivores and need a high protein, low carb diet. As they age, they may experience loss of muscle mass. Senior cat food is beneficial as it contains higher value protein. It's also recommended to add in wet food as cats age. Wet food not only provides water content but can also improve protein absorption.
Some signs include sleeping more than normal, reduced playtime, hesitance to jump on and off furniture or go downstairs, which are indicative of arthritis. Other signs include any change in urination or water intake, or urinating or defecating outside the litter box. If it hurts to hurt their posture when they're moving their bowels, they may start going outside of the box.
Preventative medicine is vital. Any cat over the age of seven should get lab work done once a year. This allows for the early detection of diseases before they become symptomatic. Early detection of kidney disease, for example, allows for diet modification and medication that can help extend the cat's life.
Quality of life is the most important factor. Ensuring that they're comfortable, eating and drinking is vital. Monitoring changes in their food intake is also important. Are they losing weight or muscle mass? Being observant of your cat's body composition is important because if we see them every day, we don't always notice it, so pay attention to other people's comments about your cat's body composition. Regular check-ups, at least once or twice a year, can help keep an eye on things and assist in extending the cat's life.
If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (281) 801-1444, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram