Senior Cat Wellness Myths
Myth: “I would know if there was something wrong with my cat.”
Truth: Cats are excellent at hiding their Disease/Illness and early signs of often very subtle and easily missed by Owners. Regular physical exams and Wellness testing (including bloodwork and Urine tests) will allow the veterinarian to detect health changes and illness in the senior cat. Early changes to health often begin before the cat will exhibit symptoms
Myth “My cat is not old he/she is only 8.”
Truth: Cats are considered to be mature between 8-13 years old (that’s 48-68 in human years), they are classified as seniors by 13yrs. There has been an increase in cats aged 15year and older from 5%-14% in recent year, this is due to advances in detection and management of age related health changes and illness. Senior Wellness testing and physical exams are recommended annually on all cats over 7 yrs. Remember every year of a cat’s life is equivalent to approximately 4 human years and early detection is key in extending the quality and length of your cat’s life.
Myth: “Don’t do bloodwork on older pets because if you find something wrong you can’t do anything about it.”
Truth: Early Senior Wellness screening (which includes blood and urine tests)is great at detecting changes and can be great at preventing or slowing the progression of illness. Some of the more common illness detected on wellness testing are changes in liver or kidney function, early diabetes and changes to the thyroid. These can often be managed by a change in their food, or adding a supplement/medication to their diet.
Myth: “I only need to bring my cat to the vet if there is a problem.”
Truth: Immune system function can deteriorate in older cats, which means the ability to fight infection is less effective. Your veterinarian can advise you of the most appropriate vaccination program. Veterinarians are able to assess things and catch changes that Owner often miss such as changes to the body condition, heart, eyes, ears and mouth.
Contact Guelph Animal Hospital at 519-836-2782 to book your senior cat for an annual physical exam and to discuss options for Wellness screening.
Written by: Stacey Strauss R.V.T Guelph Animal Hospital