Seeing cat grow old is sad. But knowing the most common diseases in the elderly cat is important to know how to manage them.
Aging, unfortunately, we cannot avoid. And just like us, our beloved kittens also become elderly, and forced to face numerous pathologies, some manageable others less.
We cannot avoid this natural process, but with love and attention we can certainly help our cat to face with less pain the diseases that can affect them, and in some cases even prevent the most serious ones.
Knowing what are the signs of aging and what are the most common diseases in the elderly cat is the first step in being able to help our feline in this natural process. Let’s discover them together.
The signs of cat old age
Every cat, over 10 years old, is prey to numerous health problems (many chronic) that inevitably lead it to a decrease, if not even loss, of its bodily functions.
Understanding that cat is aging suffering is sometimes difficult for us. Not only because it is difficult for us to understand its precise age but also because the cat is an animal that instinctively hides every sign of pain and weakness.
And that’s why we have to be good at putting our attention on some signs, which inevitably indicate to us that our cat is getting older.
The most important signs related to the aging of the cat are attributable to some factors that can not go unnoticed, and are:
- Lowering of hearing: the cat will begin to hear badly and in severe cases will no longer be able to hear that we are calling it;
- dull and foggy eyes,
- tooth loss;
- the coat becomes less thick and more bristly
- their weight drops excessively;
- its movements are slower: the cat’s musculature will be weaker and its joints less elastic.
All his daily activities are slower. Its body weaker and prone to saving all strength. Our cat will no longer want to play and walk in the fresh air.
It will prefer long naps, perhaps in the sun, and even simple tranquility, observing what surrounds him no longer as a protagonist.
The most common diseases in the elderly cat
Having learned to understand the first signs of aging of the cat is fundamental, but in order to “facilitate this path” it is essential to know the most common diseases that can afflict the elderly cat.
Arthritis in cats
One of the diseases that most commonly affects an older cat is arthritis: degenerative disease of the joints. Joint pain is inevitable and due to the wear and tear of the joints and cartilage of the feline.
This pathology inevitably leads to a sudden decrease in the mobility of our cat, forcing them to an unnatural laziness for its disposition.
The cat will not only no longer be able to jump, to play as it once was, to take the stairs, but it will also be difficult for them to take the long walks to which we were accustomed.
And even bathing them will become a not so easy routine. The many pains that afflict them will make every movement traumatic.
Unfortunately there is no specific cure for this disease, but with small precautions and with the support of a veterinarian, we will be able, at least, to soothe his pain.
- We can control its diet, making them take more omega 3 fatty acids, an excellent remedy to support the joints;
- we can introduce into its diet glucosamine, for example, useful for delaying the wear of cartilage;
- we can also facilitate its movements with the help, for example, of lower ramps positioned around the house, thanks to which it can reach, feeling less pain, its favorite places
Another pathology that affects the elderly cat is diabetes mellitus, a disorder that sees the cells of the body no longer able to respond to insulin, and in severe cases its production is completely canceled, causing the body to malfunction.
The main symptoms of this disease are excessive peeing and urination, and increased thirst and hunger. The latter can make our cat obese, a condition that we can limit, if not even avoid, trying to keep its weight healthy.
Therefore, if your cat has these symptoms, it is advisable to consult our veterinarian, who will give them insulin injections, accompanied by a targeted diet, low in carbohydrates but rich in protein.
Perhaps the most obvious of all is excessive weight loss. This “condition” can be attributed to a lack of appetite due to:
- difficulty chewing due to severe pain in the teeth and gums;
- lack of desire to eat due to loss of smell and taste;
- poor absorption of nutrients due to disorders of the digestive system.
But also attributable to other more serious diseases, such as: chronic kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, hyperthyroidism.
Weight loss is very common in the elderly cat, and as we have seen it embraces multiple pathologies. Precisely for this reason it is appropriate, where our cat shows excessive weight loss, to take him to the veterinarian.
Which, identifying the main cause, will be able to provide us with the right care for cat. In addition, we can help cat by making them eat, for example, softer foods to facilitate chewing, or stimulate his hunger by enriching his meals with aromas and warming them, so as to increase the scent.
Other diseases in the elderly cat
There are numerous pathologies that can afflict our beloved cat in a very painful way. In addition to those already described there are many others, let’s discover them together.
- Cataracts: Unfortunately very frequent in cats, it sees the disappearance of transparency of the lens in the eye, causing the cat not only to fog the eye, but in the most severe cases the complete loss of vision.
- Senile dementia: There is no cure for this pathology that affects the elderly cat. Strange behaviors, insistent meowing, upheaval in the sleep-wake phase, confusion and bewilderment, for example, are all symptoms destined only for worsening.
- Heart disease: although rare, it is possible that the onset of heart diseases, both organic and functional, occurs in the elderly cat.
- Hypertension: very, very common, it becomes very serious if left untreated. It affects the cat’s organs causing serious debilitating conditions, including blindness and seizures.
- Chronic renal failure: this pathology is also one of the most common in the elderly cat. The kidneys completely lose their function by no longer being able to purify the body and retain the necessary fluids. The cat’s body will inevitably be weakened, with the appearance of imbalances in its intestinal habits.
- Hyperthyroidism: the thyroid, after ten years of life of our cat, should always be checked. Its malfunction sees the metabolic functions of our cat precipitate negatively affecting its energy.
- Diseases of the mouth: inflammation of the gums, the formation of tartar, constant pain in the teeth, stomatitis, for example, are all conditions that invade the life of the elderly cat. Preventing them, favoring the intake of dry foods, is important, to prevent the cat from no longer eating, given the severe pain.
- Tumors: this is among the pathologies that inspire fear most of all. It can affect the lungs, skin, marrow. The most common type of cancer in older cats is that which affects its gastrointestinal tract. Vomiting, chronic diarrhea, are just some of the symptoms.
Prevention for the elderly cat
Unfortunately, there are many diseases that afflict the elderly cat. As we have already said, some more manageable, others less. But very carefully we can diagnose them in time.
Fundamental for the health of an elderly cat (but also for that of all cats) is certainly to pay close attention to its changes in daily life.
Accepting that it is getting older and respecting its need for tranquility will certainly make them live more serenely, and with small precautions, such as always warming its kennel, it will love us even more.
But when we notice variations in its habits and on its body, such as loss of appetite, severe weight loss, decreased pipi and a lot of coughing, apathy or too much hyperactivity, we must act quickly.
What? Leading them to the vet, to whom we will indicate all the things that we have observed and made us worry. It will then subject our cat to a complete check-up.
It is inevitable to notice slowdowns in an elderly cat but regular visits are essential for its health and to prevent or promptly diagnose serious diseases.