Senior Cat Wellness

Caring For Your Senior Cat

Statistics show that cats, like people, are living longer. This is great news! We all treasure the companionship we share with our pets. We also hope to provide them the longest, happiest and healthiest lives possible.

It may seem like only yesterday when you brought home that bright bouncy kitten or rescued that adult kitty. However, by 7 years, your cat has entered middle age. At 12 years old, we consider cats to be “elderly,” and at 15 or above, the term “old age” could even apply. In reality, old age is never just a number but rather a measure of the effects of aging on the body. Many variables affect aging, including genetics, nutrition and environment. Although good genes remain a matter of luck, there are a growing number of ways we can “slow the clock” and promote a healthful, long life for our pets.

Comparative Ages of Cats and Humans



1 year

15 years

2 years

24 years

5 years

36 years

7 years

45 years

12 years

64 years

15 years

76 years

18 years

88 years

21 years

100 years

"The good news is that many of these conditions can be controlled or prevented with early detection and treatment. This is where you can make a big difference by bringing in your pet for Sr. Wellness Exams"

As your cat ages, changes in behavior and physical condition inevitably occur. Body systems begin to slow down. The coat and skin change, joints stiffen, the senses are less keen. Just as in people, several diseases increase in likelihood as cats age. Kidney diseases, heart disease, thyroid problems, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer are a few common ones. The good news is that many of these conditions can be controlled or prevented with early detection and treatment. This is where you can make such a difference by bringing in your pet for Sr. Wellness Exams.

How Our Senior Wellness Program Can Help

Routine Physical Exam

The most important way to help your senior feline stay well is for us to do a thorough physical exam on a routine basis.

While an annual exam suffices for younger pets, your older cat should be seen at least every six months (realize six months for a cat equals 2 to 3 yeas in the life of a human). Special attention will be paid to your cat’s teeth and gums, skin and coat, heart, lungs, kidneys, digestive system, eyes and joints.

Routine Non-Invasive Testing

We may also perform several non-invasive tests and procedures on a regular basis.

Along with a detailed medical history and a thorough physical examination, we may order a diagnostic blood panel. This may include blood tests, urinalysis, x-rays, EKG and blood pressure measurement (just as is done in routine health examinations in people).

The 25 Diagnostic Tests Check For:

  • Anemia
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Infection
  • Inflamation
  • Diseases of the heart, intestines, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and thyroid

These tests help us in two ways. First, we can identify early-stage disease when control or even prevention is possible. Second, the tests will provide a yardstick with which we can measure changes should your cat become ill in the future.

Proper Diet and Environment

A proper diet and environment are critical for your cat’s health and comfort. We are experts on the special needs of senior felines and will always be happy to help advise you. Some senior friendly modifications our hospital team might help you with are:

  • Recommendations on a palatable, highly digestible diet with the proper balance of calories and nutrients (based on your cat’s specific needs)
  • Easier-access litter pans
  • A comfortable, heated bed
  • Extra assistance with routine grooming

To keep your adult pets healthy, we recommend our senior cats and senior dogs come in for regular check ups every six months.

Remember: Six months to your pet is like 2 to 3 human years.

Benefits »

  • Early Detection
  • Early Treatment

The goal of senior care is simple.
We want to help you maintain the highest quality of life for your pet. Together, we can help make the senior years the most rewarding for you and your pet to share.

What signs should we look for in our senior feline?

Cats, as you know, are secretive, creatures. It takes a watchful companion to notice the first signs of illness. Any unusual symptoms should be brought to our attention as soon as possible. These may include:

  • Change in water consumption (watch carefully for ran increase in volume)
  • Change in appetite
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Lethargy or depression (listless behavior)
  • Change in urine production (watch carefully for increased amount of urine in the litter box)
  • Constipation
  • Change in attitude (irritability)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth & Gum Disease
  • Lumps and bumps on the skin
  • Lapse in grooming habits
  • Stiffness, trouble jumping

Observe Your Pets For Any Changes

Finally, your careful observations will assist our hospital greatly in giving your older cat the care they need. As always, if you are concerned about any symptom your cat is showing, please do not hesitate to call our office.

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