While your cat will always be your baby, there comes a time when, medically, he or she is referred to as a senior. Usually, cats that are over 7-10 years of age (depending on the breed) are classified as senior cats. Once your cat reaches this classification, its medical, nutritional, and physical needs change, as does how you care for him or her.
By the time your cat reaches “senior” status, arthritis has likely begun to develop. Additionally, dental disease poses a greater concern and the risks of other health problems like kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, thyroid disease, and various cancers increase. Because of the health problems associated with old age, seeing your veterinarian regularly is incredibly important.
You should be bringing your senior cat to our clinic twice a year for a comprehensive exam. Additionally we recommend blood work and a urinalysis once a year for our senior cat population. Many of our senior cats also need to have their blood pressure checked every 6-12 months. Our veterinarians are well-versed in providing full evaluations on your senior cat’s overall health, including its diet and exercise routine. As your cat ages, protein and fatty acids become increasingly important and our veterinarians will provide recommendations for your cat’s diet based on the results of your cat’s comprehensive examination and diagnostic testing.
Further, it is important to remember that just because your cat is a senior, that does not mean that he or she should remain sedentary. In order to ensure that your cat is living a joint-and-heart-healthy lifestyle, interactive toys, and scheduled play time should still occur daily.