Senior Pet Care

Thanks in part to better medical care, cats are living longer and it is not unusual for them to live to be 15 years old and beyond. How long an individual cat will live depends on many factors such as genetics, whether or not they are kept indoors, nutrition, and of course the appropriate veterinary care he/she receives. 

With this increased lifespan comes an increase in the variety of conditions and diseases that cats are susceptible to including osteoarthritis, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, and cancer.  And because cats age faster than we do, health problems can progress much more rapidly.  At Memorial Cat Hospital we believe a cat's needs change as they get older and we stress the importance of preventive care.  We pay special attention to your senior cat's care and comfort level, evaluating each cat individually and making optimal recommendations.  

When is your cat considered “older”?  A 7-year old cat is equivalent to a human in their forties, and while some cats start showing aging changes at this point, many do so by 10 years of age.

CAT'S AGE              HUMAN AGE EQUIVALENT

6 months....................................... 10 years

1 year .......................................... 15 years

4 years ..........................................32 years

6 years ..........................................40 years

10 years ........................................56 years

12 years.........................................62 years

16 years ........................................80 years

20 years ........................................96 years

Scheduling regular veterinary examinations is one of the most important steps cat owners can take to keep their cats healthy.  We follow the guidelines of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, recommending comprehensive examinations every six months for older cats.  Remember, 6 months in the life of your cat is comparable to 2 years for you!  A lot can change in that short time.  As cats become even more advanced in age, we may recommend checkups more frequently, depending on overall health and body condition.

Our recommended Senior Wellness includes: 

  • Health consultation to address any concerns you may have
  • Nutritional counseling to asses body condition and accommodate changes in your cat's needs
  • Thorough physical examination, paying attention to changes that may have occurred since the prior visit
  • Measurement of blood pressure, as hypertension is an important concern in this age group
  • Laboratory testing to include:
    • CBC (Complete Blood Count):  check red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets
    • Serum chemistry profile: analyze liver, kidney, blood sugar, electrolytes, and more
    • Thyroid hormone: screen for hyperthyroidism
    • Complete urine analysis to evaluate kidney function, urinary tract infection, and more

With preventative screening, many health problems which are not readily detected in other ways can be caught early and appropriate steps taken to ensure continued well-being and a longer life for your cat.

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