Senior care for cats is an integral component of the comprehensive veterinary care that Grant Animal Clinic provides. As a cat approaches his senior years, the aging process can begin to take its toll on the body and its organ systems. With early health screening, the doctors and technicians of Grant Animal Clinic strive to maintain your cat’s quality of life and extend the life of your cat as he transitions into the senior years.
Since most companion cats are of domestic mixed cats and pure breed cats are not as common, we can generally class cats that are 8 years of age or older as senior aged cats. Due to extensive selective breeding that comes with pure bred cats, they often do not age as gracefully as domestic mixed cats. Below are some of the common pure breed cats that we would consider senior by 7 years of age:
The cat senior care visit begins just like the adult wellness visit where one of our doctors performs a comprehensive nose to tail examination of the feline patient. Stool analysis is performed in order to screen for common intestinal parasites, and all pertinent immunizations are administered. (Please see our Cat Wellness & Vaccinations page for details of our vaccine schedule for cats).
Physical examination alone provides your Grant Animal Clinic attending veterinarian with a strong basis of overall health assessment, which commonly leads to discovery of:
- High blood pressure
- Dental disease
- Abdominal tumors
- Skin cancer
- Any systemic disease that causes weight loss
A cat senior care vist would also include the drawing of a small amount of blood so that a wellness blood profile may be sent out to assess the feline patient’s systemic health. Bundled with the stool test, our reference lab offers special discounts for general blood work that assesses the cat’s organ function and complete blood count. If the feline patient is cooperative for it, a techncian will also measure blood pressure as a standard part of the cat senior care examination.
Common diseases found on routine blood work include:
- Endocrine disease (diabetes, hyperthyroidism)
- Inflammatory liver disease
- Early stage degenerative kidney disease
- Certain cancers
Early intervention for all of the above listed ailments before the senior patient is showing clinical signs of illness provides our doctors the best opportunity to intervene medically and nutritionally to provide the best possible outcomes.