Caring For Mature, Senior And Geriatric Cats

Caring for Mature, Senior, and Geriatric Cats

Have you been with your feline companion for long? If so, you understand your cat's ordinary daily habits and behavior. Noticeable changes in a cat’s patterns or behavior can indicate a health problem. Hence, caring for cats means understanding their changing health needs.

However, it can be difficult to spot symptoms of illness in cats since they tend to be very subtle. Even if you are an astute cat owner, you may still miss particular symptoms or changes. That is especially so when their onset is gradual. Therefore, you should bring your furry pal to our veterinary practice for regular wellness exams.

How to Care for an Aging Cat

As cats age, they tend to slow down a bit. They might want to run around less; arthritis may develop, and their nutritional needs tend to change. Like humans, cats can also develop hearing and vision problems as they age. At La Jolla Veterinary Hospital, we believe proper cat care becomes more necessary as your furry companion ages.

Age-related Issues for Cats

As cats age, various changes happen in their body. Some of the changes to watch out for include:

  • Circulatory or heart problems.

  • Changes in the sleep-wake cycle.

  • Ingrown or brittle nails.

  • Decreased kidney function.

  • Digestion difficulties and a reduced ability to absorb nutrients.

  • Altered thyroid function.

  • A less powerful sense of smell.

  • Vision changes.

  • Arthritis and changes in mobility.

  • Behavioral changes.

  • Reduced ability to handle stress.

Your Role as a Caretaker for a Mature, Senior, or Geriatric Cat

If you have an aging cat, you should be aware of its habits and behavior. Changes tend to be noticeable as a kitten matures into adulthood. However, spotting modifications can be complex as your cat transitions from an adult to a senior or geriatric cat. If you are a caretaker for an aging cat, we recommend doing the following:

  • Pay closer attention to your cat’s oral health. It is easy for senior cats to develop painful lesions in their mouth. Hence, you need to stay on top of that.

  • Pay extra attention to your cat’s diet. Senior and geriatric cats have unique behavioral and dietary needs. You should ensure your aging cat has a healthy weight to maintain optimal health. Talk to your veterinarian about the best foods to give your senior cat.

  • Watch out for subtle signs of pain in your furry friend. Remember that cats are experts when hiding discomfort and pain. If your cat is in pain, long-term pain management is a solution. The plan may include supplements, medications, and alternative treatments like laser, physical therapy, and acupuncture.

Other care methods for mature, senior, and geriatric cats include daily exercises, mental stimulation, and regular veterinary checkups.

We believe cats can live well into their late teens or even their twenties with proper care. Caring for an aging cat can be a rewarding experience. Remember that aging cats crave as much attention as they did when they were energetic kittens. So when you spend more time with your mature, senior, or geriatric cat, you will get the most out of your relationship.

For more on cat care, visit La Jolla Veterinary Hospital at our office in La Jolla, California. Call (858) 454-6155 today to schedule an appointment.

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