Common Senior Cat Health Questions

Senior cats are susceptible to different medical conditions. If you have an elderly cat you probably have cat health questions about what to expect and how to deal with the most frequent aging problems.

How Old Is My Cat in Human Years?

Knowing your cat’s age in human years may help you correlate possible cat aging conditions with similar problems in senior people.

The easiest way to calculate your cat’s age in human years is to multiply his age by 7.

What Are the Most Common Senior Cat Diseases?

Senior cats can present a number of diseases that are more frequent than in younger felines:

  • Arthritis is the inflammation of joints; this condition will make it difficult for your pet to move around and will be very painful. Overweight cats are more exposed to arthritis, due to the extra weight that adds extra stress on the joints.
  • Inappropriate elimination is common in elderly cats; this may be due either to poor vision or diminished sense of smell. The cat simply cannot find the litter box and will urinate or defecate in different places. Inappropriate elimination may also signal that your cat has a disease such as colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or stress.
  • More frequent urination
  • Dental and gum problems, which may be avoided by regular teeth brushing and professional cleaning.
  • The cat lacks appetite, which may be a symptom of a disease, but may simply be a sign that he is older
  • Heart condition, especially if the cat is overweight
  • Poor vision, diminished sense of smell
  • Obesity, due to lack of activity
  • Atrophied muscles

What Behavioral Changes Should I Expect?

If your cat suffers from any disease, he might be in pain, which will clearly change his mood. He will be more irritable, less active and even aggressive. An elderly cat is also more fearful. Your cat may respond negatively to noise, light or people.

Typically, by controlling the pain with medication, you can also eliminate the aggressiveness.

Your cat may also change his sleeping patterns and keep you awake at night. This change is due to the need to urinate or because of pain.

What Should I Feed My Cat?

Senior cats have special dietary requirements, especially if they suffer from a medical condition. Your vet may prescribe a special kind of food if your cat is ill.

If your cat is healthy, you could gradually switch to wet food, which is easier to metabolize and is lower in calories.

You should also reduce the amounts of food you feed your cat, to prevent obesity.

What Types of Exercise Are Recommended for Senior Cats?

A senior cat should exercise to maintain his health. A low impact workout is recommended. Play games with your cat, but make sure not to exhaust him.

What Supplements Should I Choose?

Supplements are recommended for senior cats. Choose omega 3 fatty acids to reduce swelling and pain, probiotics for a healthy digestion, antioxidants to prevent cancer and some immunity boosters.

For arthritis you can choose some joint health supplements, such as glucosamine.