Health problems in older Cats

 In Blog, Cat Health

Does your cat sleeping all day and feeling bored? It’s my kitten, I love my cat the same, but now I care of him a little bit more. Nobody is pleased to see his cat grow up, adopt different habits, and struggle with the problems that arise, but you need to be aware of the potential health problems in older cats and of the ways that they can be prevented.

1. Obesity

It may occur throughout the cat’s life, especially after sterilization or when the animal is elderly. Then the cat becomes more lazy and play less, and if combined with increased food intake, it will surely lead to obesity. That is why you should give less food to the neutered and elderly cat to prevent the unpleasant consequences of obesity (diabetes, arthritis, heart disease).

2. Urine-defecation disorders

As cats grow older, they begin to forget their “good habits” and urinate or defecate outside their litter box. This may be due to a number of reasons, such as:

Disturbance due to stress or environmental changes
Urinary incontinence due to age or over-drinking of water due to diabetes, renal insufficiency, etc.

It is necessary to visit a veterinarian and address the primary cause through examinations. In any case, if the problem continues, you can put some extra litter boxes in different parts of the house to make it easier for your cat.

3. Blindness

Usually when it is perceived by the owner it is almost total in both eyes. The cat is easily used to moving around if blindness occurs gradually and the objects in the home do not change position. Primary appears in cats by:

Hypertension due to renal insufficiency or hyperthyroidism
Atrophy-detachment of the retina, mainly due to hypertension
Cataracts due to age or diabetes
Neoplasms of the eye or brain
Glaucoma (more common in dogs)

Protect your animal in the house and make no changes to the place so that it always knows where food, water and litter box are. In some cases the cat’s eyes get a gray-blue color, as in the cataract, which is due to aging and is called nuclear sclerosis (corresponding to the blue color of the eyes of older people). The animal looks blurred, but it does not cause trouble and will not lead to blindness. It must be differentiated from the cataract, since it is not considered a pathological condition and does not require treatment.

Understand cat language

4. Loss of hearing and Smell

It usually happens gradually due to age. The cat no longer hears its name and can become difficult with food because of the lack of smell. It becomes sensitive to touch and becomes scared easily, while many owners notice the problem when their cat does not run to the door with the bell ring. In any case, the animal should be examined for parasitic or chronic otitis associated with hearing loss.

5. Arthritis

A similar problem with older people, with obese animals being predisposed. The cat has difficulty jumping and seems to hurt even with the simple moves of the joints. Frequently there is atrophy of the animal’s muscles, which, although normal for the elderly animal, makes it worse for cat condition. Pain can be controlled with painkillers, often for the rest of cat’s life.

6.Stress and Aggression

Elderly animals do not easily accept changes in their environment, they are more scary and aggressive. This is getting worse if there is a disease that causes them pain and anxiety. Thus, when cats grow older, it is good not to move unnecessarily and not travel if it is not necessary. Help your animal maintain a calm home environment and address its health problems.

7. Change of habits

The cat no longer looks for the owner’s companionship and becomes more deserted. She may meowing more frequent, not cared enough for her hair, sleep longer and no longer like her food. He does not have much appetite for playing and becomes more lazy. It is normal for the cat to change some of its habits by growing up, but if you suspect that, contact your vet.

8. Heart problems

They appear more often in obese old cats and when there is pre-existing hyperthyroidism or hypertension. The animal experiences difficulty in breathing, easy fatigue, coughing and weight loss. The prognosis depends on the severity of the heart problem and the treatment should be done for life.

9. Chronic renal failure

The only thing the owner will notice is the increased thirst and diuresis of his cat, because the kidneys have a reduced ability to concentrate the urine. Unfortunately, is one of the main causes of death for cats and a condition irreversible, as there is still no possibility of dialysis or kidney transplantation as in humans. However, the life of each animal depends on many factors and the cat may live several years after the diagnosis of the disease, since it eats specific food and addresses the secondary problems.

10. Hyperthyroidism

Common disease of elderly cats, which in most cases is due to benign thyroid neoplasm. The cat loses weight despite its increased appetite for food and may show vomiting and diarrhea. The diagnosis is easily performed by blood tests, which are necessary for animals of advanced age.

11. Diabetes

Mainly occurs in obese old cats and the initial symptoms resemble those of renal insufficiency and hyperthyroidism. These include increased thirst and diuresis, anorexia or polyphagia, weight loss and depression. The diagnosis is made easily by taking blood and measuring the glucose, which will be much elevated even if the animal is fasting. Early diagnosis of the disease and proper regulation of diabetes plays an important role.

12. Gingivitis-Problems of the teeth

A very common problem for cats of all ages, but it gets worse as the animal grows, especially if it feeds on soft foods (homemade food or canned food). You complain that your cat’s mouth smells very badly, while she may seem to hurt when she chews the food. Usually her gums are red and inflamed. The cat should be examined by a veterinarian and to remove teeth that are shaken or damaged in order to decongest the oral cavity and be adequately cleaned by germs. Prevent the problems of teeth by regularly brushing your kitten’s teeth, from an early age and with dry food and toys that make it hard to form the stone. Caution should be exercised in cases of intense odor of the cat’s mouth because it may be due to advanced renal insufficiency (due to uremia).

Cats, like dogs, must visit their vet every year for a clinical examination that may reveal any of the above problems. It is also advisable to perform blood testing of the animal to exclude problems in its vital organs and to weigh it regularly to prevent its weight gain.

No one can reverse the aging process, no matter how hard he tried. The point is for us and our cats to become elder in a decent way.

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