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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.