10 Signs Your Cat Is Getting Older

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As your beloved cat ages, you may notice subtle changes in their behavior, appearance, and overall health. While aging is a natural part of life, it’s essential to be aware of the signs that indicate your cat is getting older.

Decreased Activity

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Senior felines may experience a decrease in activity levels. Whereas they may have once been playful and active, they may now prefer longer periods of sleep and rest. A decrease in agility and overall physical ability may also accompany these behavior changes. It’s important to adjust their exercise and play routines accordingly, keeping things more relaxed and low-impact to avoid overtaxing them.

Weight Changes

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Weight changes in cats can occur due to several factors as they age, such as decreasing metabolism, reduced activity levels, or medical issues such as hyperthyroidism. Weight gain may lead to health problems such as diabetes, while weight loss can indicate potential health issues like cancer or kidney disease.

Dental Issues

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Dental problems are common in older cats, leading to discomfort while eating and difficulty grooming. Signs of dental issues include bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, and drooling. Regular dental care, including at-home brushing, can help maintain dental health and prevent gum disease. Softening dry food with warm water can also help cats with dental problems eat comfortably.

Litter Box Changes

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Changes in litter box habits in older cats can indicate conditions such as arthritis, kidney or bladder infections, or incontinence. Signs to observe include frequent urination, straining, or accidents outside the litter box. To cater to your cat’s changing requirements, get a convenient litter box that is easy to get in and out and keep it clean regularly.

Behavioral Changes

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Senior cats may exhibit behavioral changes such as increased vocalization, irritability, or clinginess. These changes may stem from anxiety, discomfort, or a desire for more attention. Providing comfortable and familiar surroundings and a regular routine setup can help alleviate these anxieties.

Decreased Grooming

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With age, cats may self-groom less often due to mobility issues or cognitive decline. They may develop matted hair, knots, or a dry, flaky coat that requires more attention from you. Brushing your furry friend regularly, especially if they have long hair, can help prevent mats and tangles.

Joint Stiffness

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Arthritis is a common issue experienced by senior cats, leading to joint stiffness, reduced mobility, and, at times, pain. Adjusting their environment, such as providing a ramp for their preferred locations, can help alleviate their discomfort. Supported bedding with comfortable blankets can also help support their joints and ease the pressure placed upon them.

Vision and Hearing Loss

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Older cats frequently experience a decline in their vision and hearing abilities. They may bump into furniture or be startled by sudden movements or noises. Keeping their environment familiar and avoiding sudden changes can help ease any potential discomfort.

Increased Vocalization

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Senior cats may vocalize more frequently, particularly at night or when alone. Providing your furry friend with a comfortable and safe environment with stimulating toys and an area for play can divert their focus from their anxieties and reduce the need for attention.

Medical Conditions

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Health conditions such as kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and dental issues become more common with age. Regular check-ups with your vet allow you to identify possible health issues and address them early through appropriate treatment and care. By monitoring your cat’s health regularly, you can help manage their conditions effectively and provide your pet with a happy, healthy life.