Elderly Cat Health Problems

Elderly cat health problems are much easier to deal with if you can spot and treat them early.

Aging cats, not surprisingly, are more prone to illnesses and general health problems than their younger counterparts.

Cats have amazing bodies. A cat's anatomy is basically designed much better than a human's anatomy (!) and as a result cats with health problems can go on for a very long time showing no symptoms.

It's only when the problem gets quite advanced that they'll start to show any signs of illness.

Here's a list of some of the more common old cat health problems you should be aware of. The links take you to pages with further information.


Health Problems and Illnesses in Old Cats

  • Dental health problems, which can cause a loss of appetite, weight loss, drooling, mouth ulcers and loss of teeth
  • Deterioration in hearing, smell and taste
  • Various eye problems, causing a deterioration in eyesight or in extreme cases cat blindness
  • Dehydration caused by a decrease in thirst
  • Joint stiffness, arthritis, muscle weakness
  • Incontinence
  • Skin problems including dryness, itching, poor coat condition and hair loss
  • Reduced ability to fight infections
  • picture of elderly cat sleeping


  • Anemia, which can cause breathing problems and lack of energy
  • Digestive system problems, which may result in constipation or diarrhea
  • Cancer
  • Kidney and liver problems
  • Brain problems, caused by narrowing of blood vessels and death of brain cells. This can result in disorientation, irritability and behavioral changes


This is a long, scary and complex list, but the way to deal with it is straightforward; as soon as you spot anything wrong with your aging cat, you should get him checked out by your vet. Early treatment can help to greatly slow down illness progression, and may stop it altogether.

Also, the other vital aspect of elderly cat care is to get your cat regularly checked up, vaccinated, wormed etc. and to feed him a good diet. This, together with prompt treatment of any elderly cat health problems will give your older cat the best chance of a happy, healthy dotage.


Here are some other pages that may interest you:

Cat Life Expectancy
Cat years to Human Years Converter




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