Cats that have reached the age of 10 or above are considered senior or geriatric. Those of us who have been blessed with having a cat reach their golden years may have noticed some subtle or even not-so-subtle changes in their appearances or behavior:
- Decreased or increased activity
- Difficulty jumping or using stairs
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in weight
- Increased thirst
- Failure to use the litter box
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Increased vocalization
- Decreased grooming
- Increased urination
Any of these changes may indicate a medical concern that needs to be evaluated. Addressing problems early can help improve your cat's senior years. We recommend semi-annual examinations to ensure that your cat spends his/her senior years as happy and healthy as possible. In addition, routine diagnostic blood work and urinalysis can help identify potentially treatable illnesses that may not be readily apparent with examination alone.
For more information on senior care guidelines, visit American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) report on senior care.