As cats become older they may start to become less flexible, their hearing and smelling abilities may decline, they can become fussy eaters, will sleep more, may need dental work and after the age of seven, are at a higher risk of developing conditions such as Renal disease, Hyperthyroidism and diabetes.
There are some natural changes which are perfectly normal signs of ageing, however it is important you look out for signs which could be linked to a health issue.
From the age of seven, we recommend you take your cat to The Vet for regular health checks. We run senior cat clinics which specifically look out for the signs of age related health problems.
In a senior cat clinic, we complete a full health check from your cat’s head to their tail. We check their blood pressure, their weight, their mouth and eyes, and do a blood test and urinalysis. We also talk to you to get an idea of your cat’s normal behaviour, because often signs of illness appear as a change in eating, drinking or toileting habits.
With regular health checks, we can record whether your cat has changed in any way since their last visit, and by doing this, are much more likely to catch any illness in its early stages. This is important as some diseases can be reversed if caught quickly, such as diabetes mellitus. Other illnesses with treatment, can be slowed down, preventing further complications. Being proactive about your older pet’s health can make a big difference to their quality of life.
Stacey is a nurse at The Vet Nottingham. After qualifying in 2013, she enrolled with the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) to achieve a certificate in Feline Nursing. Her studies for this included learning about cat’s unique personalities, learning about feline specific medication and how to provide a gold standard of care throughout all their different life stages. Stacey discovered a particular interest in senior cat care through her studies and now runs the senior cat clinics at The Vet Nottingham. She feels it is important she passes on her knowledge to owners to help their cats achieve the best possible quality of life in their later years.