As your cat gets older there are a number of ailments that she can get. If you know a little of what to expect, you can manage to keep her as happy and as healthy as possible. Use the following guide to tell you how.
Be sure your cat's fur is healthy and stays that way. The quality of your cat’s coat will depend on her diet. As your cat gets older the quality of her digestive system becomes less efficient and the nutrients are not absorbed so easily. When hair coat becomes ragged and thin it’s a sign that your cat is unwell and needs to see the vet. She’ll be tested for hyperthyroidism which is the most common hormone abnormality in cats, and sometimes only responds to a prescription diet. Older cats can also put on a lot of weight as they start to be less active, so it’s important to give a high quality diet with protein that is easy to digest alongside a balance of key nutrients
Help them take care of their teeth. Dental disease is also common in older cats and can cause distress as well as hinder eating. Diets today lead to tartar and the formation of plaque, and can cause lesions and cavities to form. Take your cat to the vets regularly to have their teeth inspected. A general anaesthetic will allow the vet to do a full examination and take x-rays. Treatment will take the form of antibiotics or surgery.
Be sure that their ears are clean.. Good routine ear care is very safe for you to do at home. Make cleaning the ears a part of your routine and keep the restraint as minimal as possible. Hold the tip of the ear between your thumb and forefinger and gently roll it so that you can see the inner part of the ear. Examine the ear for redness or any discharge, and gently wipe with a cat ear cleansing pad. If the ear is sore you should visit the vet as this could be an indication of ear mites, a bacterial or yeast infection, or an allergy.
Watch for behaviour changes. Loss of memory and senility issues are often very apparent as your cat reaches old age. She’ll be prone to wandering and excessive meowing, all pointing to signs of dementia. Every cat has a certain level of communication. Some are quiet and purring, whilst others constantly meow. The change with senior dementia is the increased and the excessive vocalizations. She may be totally confused and unsure of her surroundings and this behaviour is more common at night. If howling becomes a problem, you should ask your vet about medication.
Be sure that they are using the litter box properly. Again this is a common problem and can be due to a behavioural or a health issue. When urinating starts happening indoors it can become quite a problem. This could be due to irritation of the bladder, kidney failure or diabetes. Aged cats also develop arthritis and neurological issues that all need a vet’s advice. Most diseases can be managed successfully when detected early.