Cats are adept at hiding their illness. It is an inherent trait that helps them to protect themselves from unwanted predators. So, do not be under the impression that you will know when your cat falls sick. A vet will probably be able to help you figure out your pet’s health problems. So, regular health checkups twice a year will help you to figure out your furry friend’s physical condition and treatment.
The following are the 7 most common illness found in senior cats:
1) Chronic kidney disease – Kidneys help to remove waste and toxins from the body and act as purifiers. Once the kidneys stop functioning either due to advanced years or due to hypertension the waste products remain in the body unfiltered and enter your pet’s bloodstream. This accumulation of waste products in the blood stream is known as azotemia.
The symptoms of chronic kidney disease include: frequent thirst, increase in urine volume, lack of appetite, vomiting and weight loss.
- Heart disease – Heart problems are common in elderly cats. One of the common heart disease seen in cats is cadiomyopathy, which is the disease of the heart muscle. They can also be affected with degenerative valvular disease and other serious heart diseases. The result of heart disease in cats always leads to congestive heart failure in which the heart loses its ability to pump blood efficiently.
- Diabetes mellitus – Diabetes is caused due to an increase in blood sugar. Cats that are obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle are at a higher risk in developing this condition. Cats diagnosed with diabetes need to be on insulin injections. A low fat and high fibre diet along with regular exercises will help your diabetic pet maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
- Arthritis – Arthritis is a common condition in senior cats. Obese cats are more prone to develop this condition. A cat afflicted with arthritis may not be as active as before, will prefer to sleep a lot and will not be able to climb perches and stairs. You need to take your pet to the vet for quicker medical intervention as arthritis will alter their quality of life.
- Hyperthyroidism – Hyperthyroidism is a condition where there is a production of excessive amount of thyroid hormones. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, increased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, frequent thirst and urination.
- Dental disease – Dental disease can affect cats of all age groups. If left untreated it can cause major health complications in senior cats. If dental diseases in senior cats are left unchecked then it can lead to problems such as loss of appetite and weight loss and other serious physical conditions such as a heart or kidney disease.
- Cancer – Cancer is also a common disease found in older cats. There are various types of cancer that can affect senior cats. Its symptoms depend on the type and location of the cancer.
Senior cats at times can be afflicted with more than one disease which makes the treatment slightly challenging. You must keep in mind that senior cats require regular examination by the vet, as it is the best way to detect illness and to begin a swifter treatment. An earlier diagnosis of a grave disease can reduce its severity and lead to its successful treatment. In the long run, your cat will have a longer life span and a much improved quality of life!