Senior felines are more prone to certain cat problems. They may also present behavioral changes. Dealing with an older cat is more difficult, but you need to take time and patience to ensure his well-being.
Arthritis is more frequent in elderly cats, and is the inflammation of joints. The cat will be in a lot of pain, will have difficulty jumping and even walking due to stiff joints. The cat may also present irritability and even aggressiveness.
The cat will need pain medication and the weight of the cat should be monitored, so that the stress on the joints is reduced.
Senior cats, especially neutered felines are prone to obesity. Neutering alone does not cause obesity but is a contributor factor. Older cats and neutered cats eat more and are less active and this results in weight gain.
To prevent obesity, reduce your cat’s food portions and make sure he works out on a daily basis.
3. Heart Condition
Elderly cats may display a heart condition, especially if they are overweight.
4. Inappropriate Elimination
Older cats tend to defecate and urinate in other places, different from the litter box. This behavior may point to a medical condition (such as lower urinary tract infection), so take your cat to a vet.
Elderly cats may also urinate more frequently. Some possible medical conditions for this are:
Inflammatory bowel disease
Kidney or liver disease
Anal sac disease
Anxiety and stress
5. Loss of Vision
Senior cats may suffer from loss of vision. Cats with diabetes may be more exposed to this condition. The loss of vision may also cause the cat to urinate and defecate in inappropriate places. You may add some litter boxes in your house, so that the cat uses these instead of the furniture or walls.
6. Hear Loss
Cats may also suffer from hear loss at an older age. Cats that have had a lot of problems with ear mites may be particularly exposed to deafness.
Older cats are not as able as young cats to deal with stress. Environmental changes, changes in routine or any small alteration will cause great stress for a senior cat. A stressed cat may need stress medication.
Senior cats may have certain behavioral problems. Aggressiveness is frequent in older cats. This behavior may be caused by a medical condition, which makes the cat less tolerant and more irritable.
Detect any medical conditions and apply proper treatment.
Try desensitizing your cat to different stimuli that may cause the aggressive behavior.
Stress or neurological diseases may make the cat very fearful. Also, senior cats tend to be afraid of new situations.
10. Changing Activity Patterns
Even if your cat was trained to sleep at night, when he gets older, he might keep you awake with meowing and night activity. The cat may wake up during the night due to pain or the need to urinate.
Hope this info helps
Till next week,
Dr Ruan Bester
Ask the Vet:
Royal Veterinary Centre
Tel: +853 28501099, +853 28523678
Emergency: +853 62662268