Cat Aging Signs

There are many signs of cat aging, however, identifying them can be difficult. When an owner is educated on the symptoms of feline aging, they are better equipped to recognize and treat in the early stages.

With advancements in veterinary science and increase in pet care, cats now have greater life expectancies than ever before. The average indoor cat lives approximately ten years, although some cats have been recorded as living to the age of thirty. Cats who have been spayed or neutered live longer than those who have not.

Signs of Feline Aging

  • Tooth Loss
  • Ulcers of the mouth
  • Difficulty digesting food and frequent stomach upset (frequent vomiting or diarrhea)
  • Intolerance to hot or cold environments
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dullness of coat
  • Brittle claws
  • Decreased water intake due to lack on thirst sensitivity
  • Swallowing difficulties

Symptoms Diagnosed by Vet

  • Anemia
  • Decrease in brain cells
  • Cancer
  • Periodontal disease
  • Arthritis
  • Decreased liver function
  • Decreased kidney function
  • High blood pressure

Increase Your Cat's Longevity

There are many things you can do to keep your aging cat healthy. Diet and exercise are key to a cat's longevity. If your cat is showing signs of aging, making changes to his diet can improve his quality of life. As he becomes less active, provide him with a food that has less calories. As cats age, they become less active and burn fewer calories.

Many older cats become overweight because they are intaking more calories than they are physically able to burn off. If your cat is still gaining weight, it may become necessary to cut back on his portions. It is extremely important that aging cats, especially those with arthritis, get plenty of exercise and playtime. Cat furniture and toys are not only fun, they provide mental stimulation increasing the amount of brain cells. Exercise also encourages bowel function resulting in less stomach upset and easier digestion. If your cat lives indoors, be sure he has appropriate toys and be sure to spend quality time with him (1 to 3 hours) each day. Beginning at age eight, make changes to your cat's diet and exercise routine.

Moist or wet cat foods can help your cat digest his food more easily without stomach upset.  As cat's age, they are less able to digest foods which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.  Moist foods are easier on the stomach and intestinal system. Avoid foods with high levels of protein and supplement with vitamins such as A, B1, B6, B12, and E. Zinc and fatty acids are also healthy for aging cats.

Regular veterinary exams are the best way to provide your cat with a healthy life. As cats age, it becomes more necessary to make visits to the vet a priority. Veterinarians can diagnose illness and disease in its earliest stages preventing high cost treatments and extending the life expectancy of your cat. Keep up to date on all vaccinations since older cats are more prone to infections as their immune systems weaken.