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Older cat health

Health Problems in Older Cats:

Medicines and advances in technology have led to an increased life span of pets.

Proper diet and health management has led to cats as well as other pets living longer and healthier lives. It is advisable to be aware of older cat health problems, so that you can get your pet treated accordingly.
  • Older cat problems: If your cat is eight to ten years of age or more, then you need to pay more attention to its health and be aware of any symptoms that might seem abnormal.

    You also need to take the cat for annual examinations at your veterinarian’s place. If your cat is older, then take it for check-ups every six months. It is believed that a year is equal to four cat years.

    There are several health issues with older cats, and here are some diseases that can affect cats. Dental diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, renal disease, renal failure, and hyperthyroidism are some of the health problems that affect cats. All the diseases can be managed with medicines.
  • Renal disease: Kidney failure and disease is quite common in cats and can even be a cause of death. A combination of factors like diet, age, and injury can cause the cause the kidneys to stop working. If the kidneys do not function properly, then waste products aren’t flushed out of the body, which decreases appetite, causes weight loss, and leads to dehydration. A vet can prescribe special diets to decrease the workload on the kidney. Fluids can be administered daily too to keep the cat alive.
  • Diabetes: Several cats suffer from diabetes. Such cats cannot produce enough insulin or their bodies do not respond to insulin, and thus, the cells cannot absorb enough food. The body does not get enough energy. Generally, the fist sign of diabetes is a ravenous appetite. The kidneys then work overtime to flush out the extra glucose, and this leads to increased thirst and urination. A combination of supplemental insulin injections and diet can manage diabetes.
  • Hyperthyroidism: Several older cats suffer from this. This is a condition, in which the thyroid gland becomes over-active. Cats with hyperthyroidism loose a lot of weight in a short time, and suffer from behavior changes, high blood pressure, a rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, vomiting, and increased thirst and urination.
Some of the other health problems that older cats suffer from include dental disease and inflammatory bowel disease. We suggest that you pay attention to your cat’s behavior, habits and physical appearance to detect any signs of disease.
  Submitted on May 7, 2010  

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