We consider cats to be "Senior Kittizens" once they've reached the age of 9 (which is approximately 53 in human years). At this age they also start to age 2 human years for every six months that passes. Due to this rapid aging, we encourage our clients to bring their Senior Kittizens to the clinic twice a year.
Senior Bi-Annual Exams
As stated above, senior cats age two years for every six months that passes and thus we encourage bi-annual exams to catch any signs of aging early. Yearly bloodwork is also recommended as cats are exceptional at hiding illnesses and can develop serious complications if not caught in the early stages.
Just like their annual exam the doctor will look at their eyes and ears, listen to their heart and lungs and check their mouth. As seniors though, special attention will be paid to joints to catch any signs of arthritis.
Much like humans, as feline's age they can develop arthritis which can prevent them from enjoying many past-times and sleeping perches that they grew accustomed to in their youth. Signs of arthritis can include but is not limited to: change in normal behaviour, change in facial expression, lack of jumping, decreased appetite, sudden aggression, reaction from touching, lack of grooming or over grooming, vocalization, limping, avoiding stairs, changes in posture and weight loss.
To combat arthritis the Guildcrest Cat Hospital offers a variety of treatments including, medication that you may put in the food, a chew that can be given as a treat, and our successful laser therapy that decreases inflammation in the joints.
As the senior cat ages their dietary needs also change and they should be placed on an appropriate diet. We are more than happy to discuss with you what diet is best for your cat and how much he or she needs to maintain their ideal weight.