5 Signs of Old Age in Cats

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. March 8, 2017
5 Signs of Old Age in Cats

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Cats are amazing creatures: even if the years go by, they seem to have drunk from the fountain of eternal youth. However, though they always look young and glowing, cats age just like any other living being.

Although we do not realize it, cats actually age faster than other animals. In fact, a cat is already considered senior when it reaches the age of 7. As with humans, once a cat reaches this age its health begins to show signs of decay and ageing. As human companions to our pets, it is important to know when this phase begins so as to take appropriate measures and provide the best lifestyle for your pet.

Read this new AnimalWised article and find out 5 signs of old age in cats.

You may also be interested in: My Old Cat Has Tremors - Causes and Treatment

Going gray

Do not expect your cat to transform from black to white, but know that cats also go gray. This sign of old age marks the ageing of the skin.

Although your cat's fur will not necessarily change completely, you will notice gray hairs in the cat's mouth area and near its eyebrows and nose. Gray or white hairs will also begin to appear on the legs and back.

5 Signs of Old Age in Cats - Going gray

Sense loss

Hearing loss does not happen in all cats during old age, but it is very common. If you call your cat several times and it does not some with its usual speed, it may be that its hearing is not as good as it used to be. There are different degrees of deafness: in some cats, only a slight degree is noticed. Other senior cats may become completely deaf.

If you notice any major changes in your cat's senses and behavior, it will be necessary to go to the vet to rule out the presence of some other, more serious health problem.

The same happens with loss of vision and smell. The decay of your pet's senses will bring an attention deficit, and it may begin to present some clumsiness in its movements and manifest changes in its mood, so it might be somewhat irritable.

5 Signs of Old Age in Cats - Sense loss

Changes in eating habits and weight

As your cat gets older, you will see that it eats slower than before or that it eats less than it used to: its previous voracious eating will fade. This happens because over time the digestive system works more slowly, which can also bring constipation problems. As digestion becomes slower and more difficult, your cat may also lose weight. If you notice this sign of old age in your cat, you should change its food portions and restructure its diet.

On the other hand, as senior cats are less active, they can easily gain weight and even become obese. Physical changes are very relative. The situation could become complicated if you do not attend to these signs, as it may also be a manifestation of diabetes. A common symptom of diabetes in cats is eating all day long and constantly drinking water: if you notice it, take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Here you can find tips and guidelines about physical exercise for obese cats.

5 Signs of Old Age in Cats - Changes in eating habits and weight

Slowness of movement

Your cat is not so jumpy and active as it used to be? That may be because it is ageing. When they grow old, cats become lazier: they prefer to sleep all day rather than chase a mouse. It will also be harder to move and carry out the contortionist's moves it did before.

It will continue playing, but with less intensity, and it will become bored faster. An older cat will walk more stiffly and less fluidly, which may indicate that it has a joint or muscle problem, especially in the area of the hips and hind legs. These are all typical signs of old age.

5 Signs of Old Age in Cats - Slowness of movement

Tooth problems

Older cats' teeth are weakened with age. They may be more sensitive, and if they have a tendency for tartar this could accelerate problems of gingivitis or herpetic gingivostomatitis, that is, general inflammation of the gums and stands.

Like humans, some cats may even lose teeth, which hinders the process of eating. To help your cat you should replace its usual dry feed with a more natural one and consider going to the vet for a thorough dental hygiene routine. You will notice signs that something is wrong with your cat's teeth as you clean them.

5 Signs of Old Age in Cats - Tooth problems

Remember that older cats need more care than adult cats and a special interest in their diet and health. Here you will learn all about caring for older cats.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to 5 Signs of Old Age in Cats, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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