How to deal with cat health issues in older cats

Posted by Nurse Whiskers. September 27th 2014.

There are an estimated 8.5 million cats in the UK; this means that 19% of households own one of these cuddly animals and nearly half of all households have a pet of some kind.

As these animals grow older they will start to need more care and attention but what do you need to know about caring for an older cat?

woman with cat

The ageing cat

Along with humans, animals grow older and start to have different needs. This can be the time when pets will start to slow down and older cats will need more care and attention.

Getting a pet insurance plan is always a good idea as vet bills can be expensive. Older cats may also need to visit the vets on a more regular basis than when they were younger and you may be surprised to find they may need more sleep or experience a personality change that leaves them either friendlier or grumpier.

Making sure that you keep a close eye on them and scheduling regular health checks is a good idea.

The basics of caring for your feline friend

Many cats will go through life with no problems at all, but you should always be prepared for the eventuality that age may take its toll. If your cat starts to show signs that it’s not as agile as it once was then always make sure there’s is a litter tray available, just in case of an emergency.

You should also make sure your cat is eating properly; there are specially formulated foods for older cats and it’s important that their teeth are cleaned by your vet at least once a year.

A sleeping cat

Vets and treatments

There are many illnesses that can affect your cat as it grows older, but that doesn’t mean it can’t live a perfectly normal life. Medicine in the veterinary world has kept pace with human medical procedures, so don’t despair.

When your cat is younger it’s recommended that you take it to visit the vet twice a year, but as the cat ages it’s best to take it to the vet up to four times a year or whenever you feel it is needed.

Common problems

If your cat drinks large quantities of water for more than a few days then this maybe a sign of kidney or liver disease and you should get him or her checked out as soon as possible.

Grooming and cleaning your cats fur will also help you keep an eye out for any fleas or ticks – if any are found then treat them straight away. Long term flea repellents are important if your cat spends lots of time outside and can either be obtained from your vets or over the counter at most pet shops.

Cat friendly home

As your cat gets older and movement becomes harder, it is helpful if you can make your house as easy as possible for the cat to move around in. Some people place ramps outside the back door so that the cat does not have to climb steps and this could be something you want to look into.

Back to blog