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Caring For An Older Cat

You may have had your cat since it was a kitten, and have enjoyed many years of watching it run and play. However, kittens cannot stay young forever and when you’re cat reaches the age of seven, he or she may begin to show signs of aging. There are a number of health problems that can develop in felines once they mature. It is extremely important that you stay alert and look for signs of potential issues. All cats should be taken to a veterinarian for an annual checkup, this is especially true for mature cats.

A cat can live upwards of 20 years, but there are a numerous health conditions that are typical for felines between the ages of 10 and 20. Since cats become less active with age, they are more vulnerable to obesity, which can be responsible for a variety of other health problems. About 90% of cats over the age of 12 suffer from feline arthritis. This ailment can cause pain and mobility problems, just as it does in humans. You should also be on the lookout for dental problems in older cats and lookout for problems with the kidneys, thyroid and bladder. Feline cancer is unfortunate, but survival rates for cats with cancer are much higher than they have ever been. The proper amount of food and water intake is essential for a feline of any age, but especially when they get older. You should also try to find ways to keep your cat active.

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Since cat obesity is prominent among older cats it is important to pay attention to feeding patterns with a mature cat. Many younger cats are allowed to graze from the food bowl whenever they feel hungry. However, this may not be appropriate for mature felines. They should be fed specific portions at regular times. Make sure you utilize portion control and provide an optimum balance between wet and dry food. Ask your veterinarian about how many calories you should be giving your cat every day. Ask for recommendations of low-calorie food specifically designed for older cats. You can encourage your feline to get some exercise with toys, such as balls, play mice, or climbing towers.

Pay attention to behavioral irregularities in your pet. If your cat is eating huge amounts of food but losing weight, he or she might have hyperthyroidism, which is a disturbance in the metabolism. If you find that your cat is urinating frequently or has diarrhea, consult your veterinarian. Feline arthritis is characterized by a reluctance to move, an unkempt appearance and a tendency to urinate outside of the litter box. Your cat may do this because the arthritis makes it too difficult to enter and leave the box. You should also look for skin problems in older cats by examining the skin underneath the fur. Fungus and parasites can be uncomfortable for your cat. You should seek treatment immediately for any of these conditions. Taking care of an older cat requires a certain amount of vigilance. If problems are spotted early enough, there is a significantly higher chance of these problems being treated successfully.

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