Senior Cats. Some Common Questions

Observe your senior pets frequently.

Kittens truly are very adorable, energetic, lively and so full of fun. But, before you know it time has passed us by so quickly, you look at your beloved cat and notice that they have become older and far from energetic.  You notice that time has moved on and they, like us, have matured. You start to ask very common questions, so here is a few of the most frequently asked ones and I have done my best to answer them for you.

Q: My cat does not seem to groom as much as they used to. Is this normal?

A: It may be that your cat has developed Arthritis or is suffering with joint pain, so it is always advisable to have them checked over by your Vet.  It is a good idea to help your cat by grooming them yourself.  There are some very good brushes and combs that you are able to purchase for the pet shop or Veterinary Surgery.  If you’re your cats coat is not groomed, this may lead to fur balls that will make your cat vomit and feel uncomfortable. If however you cat is not one that takes kindly to being groomed and your worried that they will become agitated and scratch you, then a grooming glove is excellent. You can just smooth your cat whilst wearing it and the glove will remove any loose fur.  Also, senior cats may not use the scratch post as often as they did. It would be wise for you to clip their claws for them.

Q: My cat now scratches, yet they used to be so sweet.

A: Senior cats can show aggression for many different reasons. They may have become a little hard of hearing or lost some of their vision, so you may find that they did not no you were there and you surprised them. They will then switch on their defense mechanisms.  They may be annoyed that you will not leave them alone, and now they are older they do not have the strength to get up and walk away as they used to s they did when they were younger. Maybe they have a joint problem, and it is tender when you touch them sometimes.  They cannot tell you, so this is how they protect themselves.

Q: Why has my cat forgotten her house-training?

A: They may have problems reaching a litter tray due to having to climb stairs, push open a door or go through a cat flap, especially if their joints are painful.  You could move the litter tray somewhere more convenient for your cat; also try using one with lower sides so they do not have to climb over the top.  If you find your cat is urinating more frequently than they used to, it may be signs of Diabetes or a kidney problem.  Always take tour pet to the Vets if you notice these changes.

Q: Why is my cat constipated?

A: Senior cats commonly get constipation. This may be down to the large intestine having poor muscle tone now or even dehydration. To help spot if dehydration is a factor, check the stools and if they are small, dry, hard and crumbly you could add fiber in the cats diet to assist the movement of food through the intestines.

Q: Why does my cat like being with me?

A: You may find that you cat follows you about or feels the need to be with you constantly. Your cat may have lost some vision or sense of hearing.  So to be with you is very reassuring for them. Let them know you are there by talking to them, especially if you are approaching them. Then they are less inclined to feel scared.

Q:  My cat is not eating as much and drools a lot.

A: This is likely to be a dental problem. A lot of pet owners do not realize the advantages of cleaning their pet’s teeth, or feeding them a complete dry food to help keep their teeth clean.  So, after a few years your pet’s teeth may have become rotten and painful.  They will not eat if it hurts to do so. If you notice the loss of appetite or the drooling, it is advisable to get the to the Vet for a check.

Cats are very good at hiding an illness or pain. So if you are worried about any changes at all, please take your feline friend to the Vets for a senior check up.

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User Comments
  1. lauralu

    On March 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Excellent article!

  2. Kharla Jolly

    On March 22, 2012 at 8:18 am

    We had our tiger striped cat for 18years. She was a wonderful family pet! Nice article, thanks.

  3. Martin Kloess

    On March 22, 2012 at 6:07 pm

  4. Lynn Hollis

    On March 22, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Some of the behaviors almost sound human – but people do say that their pet is like one of the family. Good article to help cat owner care for their senior cats, and also very interesting to read for those of us who don’t have cats.

  5. Lynn Proctor

    On March 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I enjoyed your article. The picture of the kitty is an “Aw-w-w-w”.I have many cats, all of them rescues. They cannot get out of the large yard, as I have a system around the top of the wooden fence that keeps them inside. They are all (but one) fixed. I have had several elderly kitties, and there have been problems with the dry crumbly stools you mentioned, at points in the past. One thing I do is mix wet with dry food thoroughly twice a day. The second thing I do is put Willard Water in their water dish to enhance their absorption of water into their systems. Kidney failure is common in old cats. Here is an article of mine, on a product you might find very handy:

  6. yana

    On March 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Very nice!

  7. jennyreeve

    On May 6, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Thank you all for reading. Many cat owners forget that as a cat ages, the change…as we do.

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