June 2012 Issue

Understanding the Elderly Cat

Happily, our pets are living longer. But that means we need to be prepared for some behavioral changes, too.

Thanks to advances in all fields of veterinary medicine, it is not uncommon these days for a cat to live to the very ripe old age of 20 — roughly the physiologic equivalent of age 93 in a human. That’s the good news. The bad news is that cats, like humans, become increasingly susceptible to age-related disease conditions as they grow old, and most of these disorders are bound to have an effect on an animal’s behavior. Arthritis, for example, is likely to cause a formerly rambunctious cat to slow down dramatically as it transitions through its so-called golden years; kidney and urinary tract disease may severely affect its litter box behavior; progressive periodontal disease and tooth loss may alter its eating habits; and progressive hearing problems may make a cat decreasingly responsive to its environment.

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to CatWatch Newsletter

Which foods are really safe for your cat? How can you painlessly end furniture scratching---for good? What is your cat telling you when she refuses to eat? Get the answers to these questions- and many more- when you subscribe now to CatWatch!

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.