Cats are experts at masking signs of illness. In the early stages, some of your senior cat’s problems may not be obvious; gradual onset of health problems in an apparently healthy cat often goes unnoticed. Subtle signs of senior-related health problems in cats may include:
- gradual weight loss
- changes in appetite
- sleeping habits
- activity level
As the caretaker for your cat, you are the one who interacts with your cat day in and day out – and therefore you may notice subtle changes in your cat’s behavior or physical abilities. Learn to observe any significant changes in your cat’s energy level or regular habits. Take a few moments to review the signs of possible problems, then discuss them with our doctors. What may look like normal signs of aging could actually be early signs of a manageable health condition.
Diagnosing & Treating Your Senior Cat
When your senior cat visits Especially Cats, extra time and attention are taken to discuss any changes you’re noticing at home. Examination findings such as weight loss over time, changes in body condition, vision, joint function, heart sounds, and how organs feel on palpation are just a few of the things that are carefully noted at time of senior pet exams.
Diagnostic testing complements observations and physical examination findings. Annual lab-work inclusive of a complete blood panel, complete blood count, thyroid levels, and urinalysis helps your veterinarian monitor for trends and diagnose early stages of disease such as kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes. Diagnostic imaging such as chest and abdominal x-rays, and abdominal ultrasound, help in assessing for problems which cannot be detected with laboratory testing such as heart or lung disorders, tumors, and bone/joint problems.
Many diseases which affect senior cats are quite treatable when diagnosed in early stages. Diet change, medications, and supplements may be recommended to help manage your cat’s condition. Working together, we can help keep your senior pet as well as possible for many years to come.
Contact us today to see how your senior cat may benefit from a visit with our veterinarian.