Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cat Illnesses - Caring for the Older Cat

Cat illnesses are not always easy to spot. Animals cannot tell you where it hurts or what their symptoms are. As owners it is our responsibility to keep a careful eye on our pets and spot the signs that indicate they have a problem.

It is even more important to monitor your cat as they get older. Cats like humans are living longer these days and many reach their late teens or early twenties. With older cats it is well worth taking them to you vet for a check-up at least every year.

Older Cat
Just like us as they age they begin to show signs of wear and tear. You will often find that they do not eat as much as in the past. It can often be worth changing their eating pattern and give them 3 or 4 small meals a day rather than the two larger meals they ate as younger cats.

As your cat gets older it is natural that they will slow down and they will not be as athletic. This in itself is just a natural result of the aging process. However, there are signs that you should look for in your older cat. The first signs of cat illnesses are bad breath, which could indicate dental problems or the onset of kidney problems. Cats are very prone to kidney failure and it is one of the most common causes of cat mortality. A cat can lose about 70% of its kidney function before any symptoms appear.

It is also important with older cats to monitor how much they are eating and drinking. A loss of appetite can indicate dental problems or progressive kidney failure. Another sign of kidney problems could be if your cat appears to have an increased thirst and drinks much more water than they did before. There are now cat foods especially developed for older cats and you might consider changing over to one of these.

With older cats you should also physically check them from time to time for signs of swellings or weight loss. Either of these could indicate a problem such as a tumour and in this case you should consult your vet.

No one knows your cat better than you and by checking and observation you should be able to spot any sign of cat illnesses. It is also important to keep your cats vaccinations and inoculations up to date as older cats can be more vulnerable to infection.

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