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Taking Your Senior Cat to the Vet Clinic

May 15, 2024

Did you know that kitties are living longer than ever these days? Many of our feline pals are purring and pouncing well into their late teens or even twenties. Senior cats, like elderly humans, frequently require more medical attention than their younger counterparts. If you have a furry, meowing senior on your hands (or in your lap), read on! In this article, a Cedar City, UT veterinarian provides useful advice on taking an elderly cat to see her doctor.

What Happens When an Older Cat Visits the Vet?

If Fluffy is only coming in for an exam and wellness care, the appointment will most likely be straightforward and routine, and probably won’t be too different than her previous checkups. Your cat’s veterinarian will assess your furball’s overall health and examine vital signs such as pulse and respiration. They will also provide you with information about any recommended immunizations or boosters. Additional tests or panels may be required, though this would depend on your cat’s age and any symptoms she exhibits.

How Often Should My Senior Cat See Her Veterinarian?

This will depend on Fluffy’s age, health, and lifestyle. All cats should get annual check-ups, but seniors may benefit from more regular sessions, particularly if they have health issues. If your feline companion is permitted outside, she will require more frequent checkups. Follow your vet’s advice when it comes to scheduling.

Of course, if you observe any signs of disease, you should contact your veterinarian right away.

What Changes Can I Expect As My Feline Companion Ages?

Our beloved feline companions often age gracefully, so you’re more likely to notice subtle, progressive changes in Fluffy’s appearance and behavior than abrupt, stunning mutations.

In terms of changes, Fluffy may be sleeping more and being less active than before. Your cute little companion may also appear a little unkempt. Older cats may have difficulty grooming. Furthermore, their fur becomes greasy with time. Brushing your furball on a regular basis will make her look and feel great. (This is also a wonderful opportunity to quietly inspect your cat’s bodily condition.)

Remember that our feline pals age differently. Some cats may seem to be in good condition and appear purrfectly content, only to suddenly decline. Others may just begin to feel the consequences of illness, disease, or the passage of time very slowly.

Many of the changes may be quite gradual. As previously said, our feline friends reach their golden years around the age of eleven. An 11-year-old kitty can still be quite energetic and vivacious, with many enjoyable years of purring and pouncing ahead of her. When your furry bestie reaches the age of 15, she will be considered elderly.

Keep a close eye on your feline buddy and look for any signs of pain. These can be extremely subtle! If you come across anything unusual, please inform us right away.

Which Approaches Are The Best For Transporting An Older Cat?

Fluffy is unlikely to suddenly develop a fondness for visiting the veterinarian. The majority of our feline patients would like to remain at home so that their normal sleeping patterns are not disrupted. Man’s Second Best Friend generally dislikes car rides. (That is a bit of an understatement, but we’ll save that for another topic.)

Comfortable Carrier: Everyone prefers a comfortable ride! When traveling, make sure Fluffy is safely contained in a crate or carrier. She’ll be protected, and you won’t have to worry about her jumping into your lap while driving. Add soft bedding and a favorite toy or catnip to the carrier to make it more comfortable for her.

Schedule: Timing is crucial. Try to make an appointment when the clinic is less crowded. Quiet days are never assured, because emergencies could happen at any time. However, certain days and times seem to be busier than others. Of course, if your furball is exhibiting any signs of illness, you’ll want the first available opening.

Drive Cautiously: Avoid sharp turns, bumpy roads, and sudden acceleration or deceleration.

Remember to be very gentle when handling Fluffy. As cats age, they may become stiff and sore, especially if they have arthritis or other health problems.

What Are Some Common Health Problems for Senior Kitties?

Cats, like humans, can have a range of health issues as they age. Kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cancer, heart disease, liver disease, osteoarthritis, and IBD are common disorders among our elderly patients. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is another common disease among older cats, which can cause urine blockage, bladder stones, and renal problems.

Cognitive decline is not uncommon in elderly cats, even if they are otherwise healthy.

While any feline can get certain ailments, certain breeds are more prone to developing specific health issues. It may not be a bad idea to get your cat a DNA test. This may reveal if she is at risk of any certain issues. However, this can be more informative for dogs than for kitties. Ask your vet for more information.

What Are Signs Of Sickness In Senior Cats?

Kitties can be very secretive about expressing their discomfort. Watch out for weight loss, increased urination, stiffness, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, litterbox issues, and respiratory problems. Behavioral changes can also be a clue. When our feline buddies are ill or in distress, they may meow excessively. Your feline companion may also just not act like herself.

Lethargy is another warning sign. Then again, it’s also something of a life goal for many of our feline pals. Fluffy has the amazing ability to sleep for up to 20 hours per day. What you want to watch for are things like listlessness, weakness, and withdrawal.

If you see any unusual signs, contact your Cedar City, UT veterinarian right away.

How Do You Keep A Senior Cat Safe and Happy at Home?

There are a few things you can do at home to keep your beloved pet healthy, happy, and smiling.

First and foremost, making sure your furball has a healthy diet, a comfortable living environment, and a clean litterbox will significantly improve their general health and happiness. Toys and playtime will keep that little motor running.

You can also make your home more pet-friendly. Consider purchasing pet ramps or steps to make it easier for your feline to access her favorite resting locations. Fluffy may also benefit from a senior-friendly litterbox. Night lights can help her navigate the house in the late hours. Beds are also extremely vital to our feline buddies. Make sure your tired little pet has plenty of comfortable places to take his or her 37 daily naps. Consult your Cedar City, UT veterinarian for more information on your adorable pet’s evolving care needs.

Finally, make Fluffy feel loved and safe. Senior cats have different personalities, and their purrs are simply adorable! Enjoy every one of these special meowments with your furry pal!

Schedule An Appointment With Our Cedar City, UT Animal Hospital.

Do you want to learn more about how to care for an aging cat or arrange an appointment for your feline companion? Do not hesitate to contact us at your Cedar City, UT animal clinic if you require assistance. We are always glad to help!

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533 North Airport Road
Cedar City, UT 84720
t: (435) 586-3400
Also serving Southern Utah, UT and surrounding areas. 

Opening Hours:
Mon – Thur: 9AM – 5PM
Friday: 9AM – 1PM
Saturday & Sunday: Closed