If your cat is over the age of 8 you may be surprised to know that they are regarded as “senior”. Crossbreed cats in the UK have an average life expectancy of 14 years this represents at least six years of caring for an elderly pet! If your beloved pet is slowing down, losing weight or acting strangely, it may not be just because they are getting older.
Our older companions are special and we rely on them as much as they rely on us. As they age it becomes even more important for you to keep an eye on your older friend and watch out for any changes that may indicate a developing health problem.
Our top ten health tips have been prepared by Dane Walker MA VetMB GPCert(SAS). Dane is one our most senior vets who has over 16 years’ experience caring for pets.
Know your cat’s habits and pay attention to changes
Cats are genius at hiding illness. Signs are often subtle and easily missed so if you notice a difference in behaviour, such as sleeping more or hiding, don’t ignore it. Don’t be afraid to tell us about any changes in your cat’s behaviour because you know your cat and their routines better than anyone.
- Consider keeping track of their appetite, vomiting, and bowel movements this will help you spot any changes.
- Degenerating sight or hearing loss may also be affect the behaviour of your cat. Sudden eyesight loss is quite common in older cats – if this happens please come in as soon as possible as this is usually caused by high blood pressure which can be treated, often returning the eyesight.
- As they get older cats often cry more for attention and can become more ‘clingy’. Sometimes this is a sign of underlying disease (e.g. thyroid, urinary problem or constipation) but it can also be normal and may just need some changes to their routine.