Old Cat Problems
It’s not uncommon for new health issues to appear in cats as they age. Around the office, we refer to them as old cat problems. With good nutrition, the lifespan of a cat has been greatly extended. Leading to things such as senior cat incontinence, more hairballs, or poor digestion. This article will talk about some of these old cat problems and what you can do to help your aging cat.
Cats may not speak the same language, but they have their own ways of telling their human something is off. Often, they will display new behavior. Pet owners who are in tune with their kitties know from their cat’s communication that they need help.
Older cats – kitties are considered geriatric after they reach 15 years old - are especially at risk for certain health problems, and require our attention to ensure their good health throughout their lives.
Aging cats: What you need to know
As cats grow older, they are at risk of physiological changes – they are less able to smell and taste food, their digestive system may change, they often have a harder time hearing and they are more easily stressed – as well as behavioral changes, a direct response to the new difficulties they have navigating their daily life.
With increasing age cats are also more vulnerable to particular illnesses and diseases including kidney disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, thyroid problems, and dementia.
Older cats also are at risk of developing heart disease and dental problems, which can be as dangerous for cats as for humans, elevating the risk factors for stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.
Kidney failure. Symptoms of renal failure – common in senior cats – include excessive thirst, either frequent or no urination, cloudy or bloody urine, vomiting, lethargy, bad breath, weight loss, increased sleeping, changes in bowel movements, and depression. Monitoring your cat’s health with regular checkups and modifying her diet if kidney issues are detected can slow the progression of the disease.
Cardiomyopathy. While diseases of the heart muscle are rarer in cats than dogs and humans, cardiomyopathy can cause the heart muscle to thicken, making it more difficult for the organ to pump blood, or to become thinner, which leads to an enlarged heart that also fails to function properly. Symptoms include cold paws caused by poor blood circulation, heart murmurs or other forms of irregular heartbeat. Serious, long-term cases of cardiomyopathy can lead to congestive heart failure, marked by rare fainting spells. But most often more time spent resting or sleeping is the most prominent symptom.
Obesity. Cats usually don’t get the same amount of exercise as dogs, so it is tricky to prevent obesity as cats get older and less mobile, even if you are on a fairly strict feeding schedule. Obesity in cats can lead to diabetes, mobility issues and lung problems.
Dementia. Feline senile dementia usually occurs in cats at about 15 years old, and reveals itself through forgetfulness of learned behavior, anxiety, irritability, changes in activity, increased meowing and/or excessive licking, lack of self-care, failing to use his or her litter box, and changes in social interaction. Treatments can include a nutrient-dense diet and
Diabetes. While feline diabetes is rare and more common in obese cats, it can cause a loss of appetite, dehydration, depression, motor function issues and potentially death. If you notice your cat drinking more water than usual, it may be time to visit the vet, who can help you establish a low-carb diet for your cat.
Fidobiotics supplements for a healthier cat
While a healthy diet is an important way to keep even an aging cat stay youthful, supplements can help, and Fidobiotics offers several delicious options to improve digestion, boost the immune system and protect against kidney issues.
If you have a senior cat, check out these health supplements:
- Good Guts for Cats™ is a daily probiotic + digestive enzyme supplement that promotes healthy digestion while boosting the immune system
- Hairball Buster™ is packed with fibers, Omega 3s, and probiotics to help to eliminate hairballs before they start
- Kitty P. Freely™ prevents harmful bacteria from taking up residence in the urinary tract
- Calm Down Kitty™ is a probiotic + calming herbs for emotional wellbeing