Timberline Animal Hospital
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3309 N. Carson Street,
Carson City, NV 89706

(775) 882-1686

Timberline Animal Hospital Hours Meet our Veterinarian: Michael Pulver, DVM
Senior cat veterinarian near Carson City NV, Dayton NV, Washoe Lake, Johnson Lane and surrounding towns

Senior Cat Care

It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact age that your pet can be considered a senior, but there are general guidelines available to help determine if your cat is ready for senior wellness care. At Timberline Animal Hospital, we are here to help you and your companion through every life stage and to support you when your cat reaches their senior years.

Is My Cat a Senior?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats are considered to be seniors at the age of 7. Although it’s not an exact science, knowing at least the approximate age of your cat is extremely helpful in determining if it’s time to talk to us about senior wellness care for your feline friend.

Health Issues in Senior Cats

Early diagnosis and treatment of age-related illness and disease are important for your cat’s long-term health and quality of life. It’s important to recognize any changes in your cat’s behavior or regular routine.

  • Significant weight loss and/or decreased appetite
  • Decreased activity or hiding
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination or accidents in the house
  • Decreased urination or no urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Bleeding or abnormal discharge
  • Excessive vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Coughing/difficulty breathing
  • Decreased tolerance to exercise
  • Difficulty sitting or standing
  • Decrease in vision
  • Hair loss
  • Sores that do not heal

These symptoms may indicate conditions such as arthritis, kidney and heart disease, urinary tract disease, cancer, or other serious medical problems. Please contact us if your cat is experiencing any signs of age-related disease or illness.

Wellness Exams

During your cat’s senior wellness exam, we will obtain a complete medical history for your cat and to determine if there have been any changes in health or behavior since the last visit. During the comprehensive physical exam we check for signs of arthritis or muscle weakness and perform a visual dental examination. In addition, we will check for signs of internal/external parasites. We also recommend yearly screening lab work for your senior cat, including a complete blood cell count, chemistry panel, T4 (thyroid hormone), and urinalysis.  Cats are notorious for hiding signs of chronic disease until the condition is very advanced.  Screening wellness labwork allows us to catch these problems early when we have the best chance to help your cat.

Obesity is also a concern for older pets, and should be taken seriously. It can lead to a number of health problems and increase the risk of diseases your senior cat is susceptible to including heart, liver, kidney or joint disease. During your senior cat’s wellness exam, we will discuss weight management and proper nutrition to keep your cat at a healthy weight.

Senior Wellness Care Tips

  • Do wellness blood screening while your cat is still young – the results provide excellent baselines for future comparison and will help us recognize any trends early on.
  • Check them over regularly from the tip of their head to the tip of their tail for any lumps or bumps. It's a great idea to keep a journal of your findings and note the location, size, color, and texture of any lumps.
  • Keep a journal of any changes in behavior such as difficulty getting up, changes in sleep patterns or lapses in litter box use. This will help determine whether these are intermittent or ongoing problems, as well as their duration.
  • Remember that “slowing down” isn't always just a symptom of age, and it may mean your pet is experiencing pain. Talk to us about this – while we can't turn back the clock, there are many options for managing pain.
  • Know your pet's ideal weight, and work hard to keep him or her slim. Allowing your pet to gain weight will compound and/or create health problems. If your pet is overweight, talk to your veterinarian about dietary management.
  • Regular exercise and mental stimulation is very important - don't let your senior cat become a couch potato!

 

Dr. Pulver and his staff are here to help you and your cat through every life stage. Please contact us to schedule your cat’s senior wellness exam and with any questions you have about your cat’s healthcare.

Timberline Animal Hospital • 3309 N. Carson St. Carson City, NV 89706
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Carson City NV, Dayton NV, Washoe Lake, Johnson Lane and surrounding towns
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