4 Health Conditions for Senior Cat Care
If your feline pal is 10 – in human years, that’s about 56 – or older, he or she is considered a senior animal. And just as in humans, being “geriatric” can bring with it a host of health-related issues.
1. Chronic kidney disease
If Kitty is consuming a lot of water and urinating frequently, he or she may be showing signs of kidney disease. No cure exists for this condition. However, a low-protein, low-phosphorus diet can give the kidneys less work to do.
2. Dental problems
Regular brushing is the best way to prevent abscessed teeth and gingivitis. Chances are, however, that Kitty won’t tolerate having his or her teeth subjected to this kind of oral regimen. Enzymatic chews and a diet that includes large kibbles can break off tartar. In the most severe cases, a vet will need to clean your cat’s teeth under anesthesia.
Cats can get arthritis just like dogs. The problem with felines, however, is that because their bodies metabolize medications at a much slower rate, fewer prescription drugs exist to help them. Fish oil and omega-3 fatty acid supplements as well as laser treatments can help decrease inflammation and increase blood flow.
Recent studies have shown that half – about 55% – of American cats are obese. Because activity rates decrease with age, obesity is more prevalent in older cats than in younger ones. The answer lies in weight loss. But if it’s too sudden, a feline can suffer liver failure.
The way to get Kitty to a healthy weight is to feed him or her canned food, which contains primarily protein (dry kibble contains mostly carbohydrates). Giving your senior cat toys to keep them active will also help with weight loss.
The vets at Wells Branch Pet and Bird Clinic recommend that you take your senior cat to get a checkup at least once a year. We recommend “senior” blood testing at 8 years of age. The sooner a problem gets diagnosed, the better the chances your mature feline will live a longer, healthier life. Senior pets deserve special care, so give them the best. Make your appointment with Austin Pet and Bird today!
Wells Branch Pet and Bird Clinic at 512-339-8472.
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