4 Signs Your Feline Friend Is Getting Older And How To Care For Them

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We all get older, and the same is true for our cats. They, of course, have a much shorter lifespan and therefore age more quickly. The first couple of years of a cat’s life are the equivalent of the first twenty-six years of our life. After this, each year is equal to around four human years. So if your cat is five, he or she is around thirty-eight in our years.

Like us, cats’ needs change as they age, and we need to make certain provisions for them.

1. Age

When cats reach the age of seven to ten they are considered ‘seniors.’ At this point, you need to be more vigilant and notice any subtle changes in their behaviour. Visits to the vet should also increase so their health can be monitored.

Being attuned to your pet’s needs is probably the kindest thing you can do for them. You may notice that they want to sleep more. Let them do this and find them a warm and comfortable spot. They may not want to play as much as they used to in their earlier years. Take the cue from them and let them dictate the terms. Be mindful of their needs, especially if you’re undergoing changes like moving house. Cats like routine and so ease them into any transitions carefully.



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2. Slowing Down

Just like us, cats begin to slow down a little as they age. This is a gradual process, and the extent to which it occurs will vary. You may notice that they appear a little stiffer as they move around, and they may avoid jumping and running. This could indicate a muscular problem or arthritis. It may just be natural ageing.

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What you can do:

  • Make it as easy as possible for him or her to move around the house.
  • If you have an outdoor cat, make their outside space as safe and secure as possible.
  • Place their bed in a spot that is easy to reach.
  • If your cat likes to look out of the window, make it easy for them to climb there. Add items to climb onto to decrease the jump.

3. Weight Loss

Your cat’s weight will fluctuate over the years. But if you notice a significant weight loss this could be a sign of Hyperthyroidism. There are other symptoms associated with this. Hyperthyroidism affects the thyroid gland, and it becomes overactive. Your cat may show signs of an increased appetite, even though they are losing weight. They may also drink a lot more and may seem restless. Their coat may appear unkempt.

What you can do:

If you notice any of these signs, take your cat to see the vet immediately. Hyperthyroidism can be managed with a drug called Vidalta for cats. This will help restore their thyroid function.

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4. Hearing Loss

Like humans, functions such as hearing decline as they age. In some cats, they may even become completely deaf.

What you can do:

  • Take your cat along to the vet to rule out any underlying causes
  • Don’t startle your cat when they are sleeping. They may not hear you approach. Wake them gently.
  • Be patient and understand that it may take them longer to hear and respond to you.

All cats age. Ensure they have regular visits to the vet to keep on top of their health. If problems do occur, they can be dealt with swiftly. Otherwise, give your cats the same consideration as you would an aging relative. Make their senior years as happy and comfortable as possible.

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