DogTime Blogs

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Caring for a Senior Cat

The American Association of Feline Practitioners recently published their senior care guidelines. Cats were classified into the following categories:

• middle-aged 7-10 years
• senior 11-14 years
• geriatric 15+ years

With the improvement of cat care, the percentage of older cats has increased with many cats living into their 20s. It’s with regular visits to the vet – twice a year – that we can ensure that cats live a healthy long life.

Cats are very good at disguising pain or illness until it is severe. Early health changes occur at the middle-age range and full vet examinations with blood tests can often pick up these early problems.

One thing that you can do at home is to monitor your cat for early behavioral problems. Studies have found that behavior problems increase with age – nearly 30% of cats between 11-14 years develop at least one behavioral problem and increases to 50% for cats 15+ years.

Examples of behaviors that may change:
• Interaction with people or other pets
• Grooming
• Sleep habits
• Exercise
• Vocalization
• Toileting

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