The average lifespan of a domesticated cat is 12 to 18 years, but this age is dependent on how much time a cat spends outside and how well you keep up with veterinary checkups. Cats are considered to be seniors once they reach the age of 11. Senior cats often require extra care and love as they reach their final years.
Here is an overview of the health issues that affect senior cats and how to keep your older cat happy and healthy.
Health Concerns for Senior Cats
One major concern with senior cats is heart disease, especially cardiomyopathy, which is a heart muscle disease. Degenerative valvular disease and congestive heart failure are also common among senior cats.
Older kitties may also develop chronic renal disease, diabetes, arthritis, and hyperthyroidism. Cancer and dental disease affect older cats. Over time, cats’ hearing and vision can deteriorate too.
Elderly Cat Health Tips
The food that you feed your senior cat makes a big difference in the feline’s overall health and longevity. There are special foods that are formulated just for seniors. It is also best to portion out food for senior cats so that they get small, frequent meals during the day. Make sure that your senior cat always has access to fresh water because this can help with constipation and the onset of kidney disease.
Be mindful about the signs of pain in your senior cat because many cats develop joint problems as they get older. Seagate Pet Joint Care is an all-natural supplement made especially for animals with freeze-dried shark cartilage. For most cats, we recommend one to two capsules per day for natural joint support.
Since senior cats are prone to gum disease, broken teeth, and oral tumors, pay close attention to your cat’s dental health. Infections in a cat’s mouth can move through the bloodstream and affect other organs too. Even if your senior cat is visibly slowing down, it is still important for the cat to get exercise and mental stimulation every day. This can be as simple as giving a senior cat places to hide, things to scratch, and toys to play with. Carpeted cat ramps may be better than stairs for older cats with joint problems.
Many veterinarians recommend that cats over the age of 11 come in for health checkups twice per year. These checkups can reveal emerging medical issues and address them early-on so that they don’t become larger issues. You may also be able to notice the early onset of health problems by observing changes in your cat’s bathroom habits and the consistency and color of its stools.
Curious to learn more? Here are other natural health articles about cats to read about on the Seagate blog: