Aging Cats

Aging cats are becoming more common.

As medicine advances, cat life expectancy is increasing It's not uncommon now for a cat to live for 15 years, and some even live in excess of 20 years.

Knowing the main changes that occur in your cat as he ages, and knowing how to adapt his surroundings and lifestyle so that he can cope with those changes gives him the best possible chance of living a happy and contented old age.

Also, knowing the main health problems that older cats are likely to face makes you more aware of them (and so more likely to spot them early).

If you want to know your what your cat's age would be in human years, click here for a simple cat years to human years converter.

What Happens to Cats As They Age?

As cats age, the way their bodies function changes. They generally slow down and become less active.

The reduction in exercise can lead to reduced muscle tone, so climbing and jumping may become more difficult. In addition, joints can stiffen, further reducing jumping and climbing ability. The reduction in exercise will reduce the need for food.

Many older cats have a degree of kidney failure (often asymptomatic, but feeding them a diet that doesn't make this any worse is a good idea). Most cat food manufacturers do diets specifically for older cats.

The general slow down in the cat's body affects the way he absorbs and processes medications.

Older cats, like young kittens, have weakened immune systems, and they are therefore more susceptible to infection. They will also find it harder to shake off infections than younger cats.

Older cats are more at risk of developing problems such as diabetes, over-active thyroid, chronic kidney failure, cancer, dental health problems, incontinence and arthritis.

Click on these links for advice on how to cope with death of your pet and the Rainbow Bridge poem.

Caring for old cats needn't be difficult as long as you recognize the changing needs of aging cats and adjust their lifestyle accordingly.

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