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Cat Tips

Assemble a feline first-aid kit. Be sure to include hydrogen peroxide, hydrocortisone ointment, absorbent cotton, a pair of tweezers, sterile eyewash solution, and a syringe for giving oral medications.

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Expert Q&A

What behavioral changes should I expect to see in my cat as he gets older?

What behavioral changes should I expect to see in my cat as he gets older?

BY: Jennifer Viegas

When given the benefits of modern veterinary medicine and high-quality prepared pet foods, cats can gracefully enter their senior years with few, if any, detectable signs of aging.

While some cats can reach their mid-20s and still be active and healthy, not all age so well. That can be because of genetics, environmental conditions, prior illnesses or other factors. Many senior cats will display the following changes:

  • Loss of hearing and eyesight acuity
  • Constipation and “bathroom” problems, such as urinating just outside of the litter box
  • Reduced liver and kidney function
  • Some activity and muscle loss
  • Increased tendency to sleep
  • Less playful

Feeding your cat a high-quality food that targets your pet’s particular needs can lessen the impact of some of these changes. Speak with your veterinarian to determine what your kitty requires. Don’t ignore these behavioral changes and assume they’re just brought on by aging. Litter box issues, for example, are often tied to treatable health problems.

Jennifer Viegas is the managing editor of The Daily Cat. She is a journalist for Discovery News, the news service for the Discovery Channel, and has written more than 20 books on animals, health and other science-related topics.


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