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Taking Your Aging Kitty To The Veterinary Clinic

May 15, 2024

Kitties usually reach their senior years at roughly eleven years old. Nowadays, many of our feline pals live long and healthy lives, often purring and pouncing into their late teens or early twenties. Cats often age gracefully, so you’re more likely to notice subtle, progressive changes in Fluffy’s look and behavior rather than rapid, stunning shifts. However, older cats, like elderly people, may require more medical attention than younger animals. In this article, a Carol Stream, IL veterinarian offers tips on taking an elderly cat to the clinic.

What Are Some Common Health Problems in Senior Kittens?

Like people, cats become susceptible to a variety of different health problems as they get older. Kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cancer, heart disease, liver disease, osteoarthritis, and IBD are a few of the common ones. Cognitive decline is also not unusual in older cats, even if they are otherwise healthy.

While any feline can get certain diseases, certain breeds are more prone to developing specific health issues. It could be worthwhile to get a kitty DNA test.

What Happens When Fluffy Goes to the Vet?

If your furball comes in for an emergency, it will depend on her condition.

If Fluffy is only coming in for an exam and wellness care, her appointment probably won’t be drastically different than her previous ones. Your cat’s veterinarian will assess your furry pal’s overall health and monitor vital signs such as her pulse and breathing. They will also offer you information on any required immunizations or boosters. Depending on your cat’s age and any signs she shows, she may need more tests or panels.

How Often Should My Senior Cat Visit Her Veterinarian?

This will vary, depending on Fluffy’s age, health, and lifestyle. Annual check-ups are recommended for all feline companions, but seniors may benefit from more regular checkups, particularly if they have health problems. If your kitty companion is permitted outside, she will require more regular checkups. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations.

Of course, if you notice any signs of disease, you should immediately make an appointment with your veterinarian.

What Is The Best Way To Transport An Older Cat To Her Carol Stream, Il Vet?

Fluffy is probably not going to instantly fall in love with visiting the veterinary office. The majority of our feline patients would prefer to stay at home so that their normal sleeping patterns are not disrupted. Man’s Second Best Friend is also not particularly fond of car rides.

Here are a few things you can do to make the trip a bit easier on your furball:

  • Schedule Carefully: Timing is everything. Try to make an appointment when the clinic is less busy. You can never be 100 percent guaranteed a quiet day, because accidents can happen at any time. However, some days and times are generally busier than others. Of course, if your furry buddy is showing signs of illness, you will want the first available opening.
  • Drive carefully: Avoid quick turns, bumpy roads, and sudden acceleration or deceleration.
  • Get A Comfortable Carrier: make sure Fluffy is safely contained in a crate or carrier. This ensures her safety and gives you peace of mind because you won’t have to worry about your furry friend jumping into your lap while you’re driving. To make the carrier more comfortable, add some soft bedding, and perhaps a new toy.
  • Be Very Gentle: Our feline pals sometimes become stiff and uncomfortable in their golden years, particularly if they have arthritis or other health conditions. Fluffy might not like being held. Be extremely cautious when handling your furry buddy!

What Kinds Of Changes Can I Expect As My Cat Gets Older?

As previously said, our feline companions often reach their golden years at around 11 years old. An 11-year-old kitty can still be active and vibrant, with many more years of purring and pouncing ahead of her. When your four-legged friend reaches the age of 15, she will be termed geriatric.

In terms of changes, well, Fluffy may somehow manage to sleep even more than she used to. Your cute little buddy may also appear untidy. Older cats may struggle with grooming. This is because they get stiff and sore, and have trouble reaching their whole bodies. In addition, their fur tends to become oily. Brushing your furry friend on a regular basis will help her look and feel better. (This is also a purrfect chance to quietly inspect your cat’s body condition, and look for things like lumps, bumps, lesions, or swelling.)

Please keep in mind that our feline buddies age differently. Some cats might seem like they are in good health and enjoying their life, but all of a sudden, they start deteriorating rapidly. Others may only gradually experience the consequences of illness, disease, or the passage of time.

Pay close attention to your feline buddy and look for any signs of pain or illness. These might be subtle! If you notice anything unusual, reach out to your pet clinic right away.

How Can You Tell If Your Senior Cat Is Sick?

Kitties can be very covert in expressing their discomfort. Watch out for symptoms including weight loss, increased urination, stiffness, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, litterbox issues, and respiratory problems. It’s also vital to watch for any behavioral changes. When our feline buddies are feeling sick or distressed, they may vocalize loudly.

Another red flag to be wary of is lethargy. We know, Fluffy has a rather remarkable talent for napping, and may snooze for up to 20 hours every day. However, if she is constantly sleeping, and/or just seems weak and listless, she may have an underlying condition.

How Do You Keep Your Senior Cat Safe and Happy At Home?

There are several things you can do at home to keep your furry little friend healthy, happy, and purring in her golden years.

First and foremost, ensuring that your furball has a nutritious diet, a comfortable living environment, and a clean litterbox will significantly improve their general health and happiness. Toys and playtime will help keep that small motor running.

You can also make modest changes to your home to make it more pet-friendly. Consider purchasing pet ramps or steps to help your cat easily access her favorite resting spots. Fluffy might also welcome a senior-friendly litterbox, which will be a bit easier for her to climb in and out of. Night lights can assist her explore the house in the late hours. Beds are also very significant to our feline pals. Provide plenty of comfortable places for your sleepy pet to take those 37 daily naps. (That includes lap space as well.)

Finally, make sure Fluffy feels loved and safe. Senior cats have different personalities, and their purrs are extremely adorable! Spend time with your furry retiree, and pay lots of attention to her. Enjoy each and every meowment with your feline pal! Senior cat purrs are very special in our book.

Schedule An Appointment At Our Carol Stream, IL Animal Hospital

Are you interested in learning more about how to care for an aging cat, or would you want to arrange an appointment for your feline companion? Don’t hesitate to contact us at your Carol Stream, IL animal clinic if you need assistance. We are always happy to help!