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elderly cat

Senior Cat Care

Senior pets add so much joy to our lives, whether they are new additions or have lived long lives with us. Here at Harbour Cities, we understand the incredible bond people have with their senior pets and want to ensure we provide them with the best possible care to make the golden years as pain-free, fun, and happy as the early years. We offer wellness exams and diets that are targeted to our “mature” pets and their specific needs.

What are the stages of a senior cat’s life? How to spot signs of ageing?

Cats have four life stages, kitten, adult, senior and geriatric and each of these life stages requires different levels of care. By the time your feline companion is age 8-10 human years old, they are considered a senior cat. This typically entails general ageing issues such as subtle mobility changes, changes in organ function, an increase in napping time, and changes in appetite. Once your pet enters the senior zone, it’s a good time to begin monitoring and tracking these changes and report back to your veterinarian at your annual exam. They want to know year over year how they might be slowing down, and what changes are being seen. Typically, by age 14-16 cats are considered geriatric, and we begin to see issues such as dementia, worsened mobility, renal disease, and other advanced disease processes. The senior pet benefits greatly from twice-annual examinations to assess the advancement of change and provide an opportunity for early intervention – potentially adding quality years to their lives.

My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?

Weight loss in senior cats is a common concern and can be caused by different types of diseases or sometimes lack of appetite due to arthritis or dental related pain. If your cat is exhibiting signs of weight loss, please contact us to set up a senior wellness exam with a veterinarian.

How can I care for my senior cat?

Senior cats, just like senior people, need extra medical attention as they age. More regular exams with your veterinarian, senior blood work, specialized diets, and supplements are some of the medically based considerations. Added comforts at home can help as well. Firm but comfortable pet beds to support arthritic joints in cats, food dishes that are raised to allow less strain on the neck, ramps or stairs to allow your senior kitty to get to their favourite hiding places and lower edges on litter boxes to allow easy access. Having all of their necessities on one level of your home can help as well, the less they need to do stairs the easier it is for them. It is still important for our senior pets to be active with low-impact, regular activities being the most beneficial. Discuss your cat’s senior needs with a member of our team today for more helpful tips!

What are some common health issues?

All cats age differently, just like humans, and can be affected by different health issues. Some of the more common concerns are renal health issues, dental issues, weight loss, dementia or behavioural changes, and arthritis. If you notice symptoms like weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, odd behaviour, signs of pain or lethargy, please contact our hospital to book a senior wellness exam. We like to keep on top of ageing concerns to ensure your cat lives a long, healthy and happy life.

Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?

Dementia in animals is similar to that in humans. When a cat has dementia, they can show some of the following symptoms: Lack of grooming, an increase in restlessness or anxiety, especially at night, sleeping more often, eating less, a sense of being lost in their home, vocalization, often at weird times, and urinating or defecating outside of the litterbox. If you are noticing more than one of these symptoms in your cat, you should contact the clinic to set up an appointment with your veterinarian.

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Last updated: April 18, 2022

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we can continue providing our full range of services, under certain restrictions. Masks are mandatory for everyone coming inside our hospital. Maximum of 2 clients allowed into our exams rooms per appointment (there's not much room in there!)

Please note that it will take at least 24 hours for all prescription and food items to be ready for pick up (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".

Unfortunately, our bathroom is still closed to the public as it is in our radiology room.

ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday & Tuesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

We are committed to providing a safe and respectful workplace. Abusive conduct or communications will not be tolerated and may result in denial of services.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Harbour Cities Veterinary Hospital