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My Old Cat and Me

There has never been a time in my life when I did not have a cat at home. It is very rewarding being a cat owner, because the friendship you can develop with your cat is much more than most pets. A cat can live anywhere between 15-30 years with good care and lots of love. However, it is the later years when you need to be extra vigilant and observant of your cat's health. 

Some signs to watch for are decreased capacities in hearing, seeing, tasting, and smelling. If you notice that your cat does not respond to your voice as it used to, this could be a sign of hearing loss. If your cat seems to run into things or is disinterested in its food, these could be signs of loss of sight, taste, or smell. Often times, cats lose their ability to differentiate being hungry or thirsty, which can lead to dehydration and weight loss.  Teeth can fall out, vomiting and difficulty swallowing, arthritis, and labored breathing are all symptoms that can occur in a geriatrics cat.

Although it can be difficult watching your cat age, just like any member of your family, there are steps that a pet owner can take to make that last years of their cat's life more enjoyable and comfortable for their pet.  For example:

·         Maintaining a health diet-although eating enough is important, you should cut back on the amount of calories so that your cat does not become over weight. Also, instead of staying on a dry cat food diet, give your elderly cat the good stuff, moist and warm cat food is what will help your cat regain some of its smelling and tasting senses

·         Regular health check-ups-have your vet check your pet at least twice a year, this way increasing the chance that a disease or ailment can be caught early and perhaps be prevented

·         Examining daily habits of pet-check your pet's drinking, eating, and bathroom habits to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary, and that nothing is changing.

·         Good preventative medicine-make sure to keep giving your cat worming medicine, tooth brushings, and skin treatments

·         Plenty of exercise-although your cat may not want to get up from his warm bed, you should make your pet get and about each and every day to keep their muscles strong, their digestive track moving, and their minds working. 

Keeping in mind the difference between people and cat years, it is important to start these new life style habits by the age of ten. This will make their older years happier, healthier, and longer. 

If you would like more information about cat health or, contact the Philadelphia veterinarians by clicking here.

Joseph Devine

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