Tips For Taking Your Senior Cat To The Veterinarian

Felines typically enter their senior years at around eleven years old. Cats tend to age gracefully, with changes in their appearance and behavior occurring gradually rather than suddenly. As cats get older, it becomes increasingly important for them to have regular check-ups, just like older humans do. Read on to discover valuable insights from a Southeast Denver, CO vet on how to effectively bring your aging feline to the doctor.

How To Safely Transport An Older Cat

For the safety of both you and your beloved furry friend, we highly recommend keeping your cat securely confined in a crate or carrier during transport. It’s quite common for older cats to experience stiffness and discomfort, particularly if they have arthritis or other chronic medical conditions. Being picked up and held can be quite uncomfortable for Fluffy.

We suggest using a hardshell carrier to ensure your pet’s safety while you travel with her. This will protect her from any bumps or jostling that may occur when you’re moving her between the house, car, and clinic. Enhance the carrier’s appeal by adding cozy bedding. Additionally, you can include a favorite toy or spoil your pet with some catnip. 

It is important to exercise caution when handling your pet. Ensure that you provide proper support when holding her. When it’s time to set her down, do so carefully and gently, making sure all of her paws are safely on the floor before letting go.

How Can I Tell If My Senior Cat Is Experiencing Any Discomfort?

As previously stated, cats typically enter their golden years at around 11 years old. Nowadays, it is quite common for cats to live well into their teens or even their twenties. An 11-year-old cat can still be full of energy and playfulness, with many more years of joyous purrs and playful pounces ahead.

Once your furry companion reaches the age of 15 or so, she enters what’s considered the geriatric stage of life. By this stage, your furry companion may start experiencing some health concerns. It’s important to note that felines age differently from one another. Some cats may appear content, only to experience a sudden decline. Others may slowly develop an illness or disease. Consult with your Southeast Denver, CO vet, as they are the ultimate authority on this matter.

Nevertheless, it is crucial for you to be attentive to your feline companion and be on the lookout for any indications that she may be experiencing something unusual. Pay close attention to these red flags, as they may be easy to miss.

How Can I Tell If My Senior Cat Is Not Feeling Well?

Here are some important things to keep an eye out for: 

  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Stiffness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Increased thirst
  • Litterbox issues
  • Respiratory problems

It is important to mention that certain symptoms that can sometimes indicate illness may not always be cause for concern in older cats. Keep an eye out for any changes in behavior. For example, some cats will meow excessively when they are not feeling well, whereas others may become unusually quiet. Fluffy’s behavior may also vary in terms of affection. 

Excessive sleep may raise concerns in some animals, but it is actually a common behavior in older cats. Believe it or not, Fluffy has the incredible ability to sleep for up to 20 hours a day. It’s not uncommon for your pet to appear a bit disheveled from time to time, either. That’s because it can be challenging for senior cats to properly groom their entire bodies.

Recommended Vet Visit Frequency For Senior Cats

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for this. The best course of action will vary depending on Fluffy’s age, health, and lifestyle. It is generally advisable to bring older cats in for a comprehensive check-up at least once a year. If your pet is dealing with medical issues, she may require more frequent appointments. It is important to adhere to the advice provided by your Southeast Denver, CO veterinarian.

Common Health Issues Affecting Senior Cats 

Cats in their golden years are prone to many of the same age-related health issues as elderly humans. Kidney disease, for example, is a prevalent condition, and is the leading cause of death in cats. Other conditions we frequently encounter in our elderly patients include diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cancer, heart disease, liver disease, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Another common medical problem in older cats is feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), which can lead to urinary obstruction, bladder stones, and kidney issues. It is also not uncommon to observe cognitive decline in aging felines.

It’s important to note that although any cat can develop these issues, certain breeds are more susceptible to certain problems. If you’re curious about your feline companion’s breed, do a little research. Alternatively, you might want to consider having a cat DNA test performed.

How To Simplify And Streamline The Vet Visit Experience

Fluffy is quite the homebody, and she may not be too thrilled about the interruption to her precious napping routine. (She also dislikes car rides in general.) Cats can become quite scared when they are removed from their familiar surroundings. There are a couple of simple steps you can take to improve the experience.

Aside from investing in a comfortable carrier, you might consider scheduling your appointment during a less busy time at the clinic. While there’s no guarantee of a quiet day, some days and times tend to be less hectic than the rest. When scheduling, be sure to inquire at the front desk about this.

Of course, in the event of an emergency, bring your cat in right away.

Are Vet Visits Necessary For Older Cats?

Taking an older cat to the doctor can be quite intimidating, especially when you’re uncertain about the outcome. It is important to prioritize the happiness and comfort of Fluffy for as long as possible. If you notice any indications that something might be amiss, don’t put off seeking veterinary care. Procrastinating on a visit to your Southeast Denver, CO vet will only complicate matters for both you and your feline companion.

Additionally, it is important to consider that many medical conditions can be treated, or at the very least, effectively managed with medication. Diagnosing an issue early greatly increases the chances of a positive outcome.

What Occurs During A Veterinary Visit For Senior Cats?

If Fluffy is coming in for an exam and wellness care, the appointment will probably follow a similar pattern to her usual visits. The doctor will assess her physical condition and examine important indicators like her pulse and respiration. In addition, they will provide guidance on any necessary vaccines or boosters that may be beneficial.

It may be necessary to conduct certain diagnostic tests, taking into consideration your kitty’s age and any symptoms she may be exhibiting.

For urgent care visits, the course of action will depend on the specific situation at hand.

Ensuring The Comfort Of A Senior Cat 

As cats age, they may require some extra attention and care to keep them comfortable and content. Here are a few tips to help you provide the best possible environment for your senior feline companion: 

First, create a cozy and warm space. Senior cats appreciate a warm and comfortable spot to rest. Consider providing a soft bed or blanket in a quiet area of your home where she can relax undisturbed. 

Next, provide easy access to essentials. There are a few things you can do at home to ensure your furry friend remains content, in good health, and emitting those delightful purrs. Nutritious food, a cozy atmosphere, and impeccable litterbox hygiene will greatly enhance your senior cat’s life.

You may also want to consider making some adjustments to create a more accessible environment for your aging kitty. For instance, investing in pet ramps or steps can help your cat continue to access her preferred spots. Likewise, night lights might help her navigation during the dark evening hours.

Regularly playing with Fluffy not only helps keep her physically fit, but also provides her with vital mental stimulation. Consult with your veterinarian for personalized guidance in this area.

And finally, ensure that Fluffy feels loved and secure. As the time draws closer for you to bid farewell, it becomes increasingly crucial to emphasize this point. It’s a poignant and melancholic moment, but the sorrow we feel is the price we pay for the unconditional love we receive from them. 

Get In Touch With Your Southeast Denver, CO Vet

Are you seeking guidance on how to properly care for your senior cat? Would you like to schedule an appointment for your elderly feline friend? Feel free to reach out to us, your trusted Southeast Denver, CO animal clinic, at any time.

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