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Your Aging Cat

Whether you’ve had your cat since she was a kitten or you’ve adopted an older feline, you may have some questions about her aging process. Here, a Smyrna veterinarian answers some of the most common aging-related questions.

When Is My Cat Considered a Senior?

The majority of cats are considered senior citizens when they’ve reached about 12 years of age. Some cats’ hair will even turn slightly gray as they age. Other common signs that your cat is getting up there in years are reduced hearing and vision, increased sleeping time, and a general slowing down with activities and movements.

How Can I Help My Older Cat be More Comfortable?

There are many ways to make your senior cat more comfortable. Always keep your cat dry and warm, since older cats are extra-sensitive to extreme temperatures. You may try helping your cat with grooming, since she may have trouble reaching certain areas of her body. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on a good brush for your cat’s coat type.

Provide your cat with extra warm blankets, build or purchase a set of pet stairs that will allow her to get to her favorite perches more easily, and always make sure the litter box is easily accessible.

What About Senior Diets?

Some senior cats may benefit from a specially-formulated senior diet. Since an older cat’s metabolic rate and body composition are changing, the food she eats may have to change with it. Most senior diets are lower in fat and higher in protein.

Don’t put your cat on a senior diet until you’ve had a discussion with your veterinarian. Also be sure to ask about properly switching your cat to a new food.

When Should My Older Cat See the Vet?

Most veterinarians recommend that an older cat see their veterinary professional at least twice a year, or every six months. Routing screenings and wellness check-ups are the best line of defense against the rigors of aging, and will help catch any problems early on. Make an appointment to see your Smyrna veterinarian today!

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