How old is old? Age is often a state of mind in people — and pets — but you can’t ignore the wear and tear that a well-lived life has on a body.
The definition of a senior cat varies. Most experts agree age 7 and up qualify as a the mature years. Over age 10 is considered geriatric.
When you raise a cat from kittenhood it is easy to miss the early signs of aging because you are around them every day. That can be dangerous because the slightest change in an older cat could be a sign of a serious condition. Sometimes, they are simply a reminder of the years.
When I first saw the flecks of white in Bubba’s black fur, his age really hit home. In fairness, let me say that the changes can be so gradual even the most vigilant cat owner can miss them or attribute it to their pet having an off day.
Some early signs of aging include:
- Decreased vision (cat’s eyes can sometimes become cloudy)
- Decreased hearing (Hearing and vision problems can be tough to detect until they are severe)
- Problems using the litterbox
- Difficulty moving and sleeping even more than usual
- Appetite changes
- Less frequent grooming.
Not every change is an instant indicator that your cat is ill but every sign merits careful attention and regular visits to the vets to be sure they are healthy.
Read more about cats and aging at the following sites: