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Cats are living longer lives thanks to dedicated care from their humans, and advances in veterinary medicine. Most experts consider a cat's "senior years" to begin on her 10th birthday. After this point, the aging process begins to slow in even the most playful feline. Yet, with a little extra attention from her owner, Miss Kitty might enjoy another 5-10 years of life and love.
Just as with humans, cats often lose the ability to hear as they age. This often goes unnoticed by owners, who might chalk their cat's lack of response to typical feline aloofness. Without keen hearing and vision, however, an older cat is more vulnerable to threats from cars and dogs on the street. It is best to keep an older cat indoors. If she loves the fresh air, make sure you supervise her in a protected area.
Even the most easygoing cat can become a finicky eater in her later years. As an older cat's senses of smell and taste begin to diminish, she becomes less interested in her food. Adding moist food and warming her meals will amplify the scent and make it more tantalizing. Moist food will increase the amount of water in your cat's diet.
It is important to keep fresh water available for your older cat, and to monitor her drinking habits. Her natural thirst drive can fade with age, causing her to become dangerously dehydrated rather quickly. Take note of about how much water your cat drinks each day. If the amount suddenly drops, and you know she is not getting water from any other source, contact your veterinarian.
Remember that there have been huge advances in medical care for cats in recent years. Online shopping for cat medication has become popular, but remember that there is no substitute for regular check-ups with your veterinarian.
Common problems owners see their geriatric cats develop include difficulties swallowing due to decreased saliva production, less tolerance to extreme heat and/or cold, gum disease and tooth loss, a change in litter habits, and not sleeping well.
Recent studies have uncovered a problem with potassium balance in many older cats. Poor coat condition, loss of appetite and lethargy have been linked to a mild form of hypokalemia, or low blood potassium. Low blood potassium damages the cat's kidneys, which, in an older cat, are already weakening. This leads to a vicious cycle because declining kidney function increases the loss of potassium in the blood, which in turn causes further deterioration of the kidneys.
Arthritis and stiffness is fairly common in older cats. Because it becomes more difficult to move, a geriatric cat spends more time sleeping. If her diet stays the same, she'll begin to pack on the pounds. The extra weight adds to her discomfort, making her more inclined not to move. Without exercise her muscles will weaken. It is important to encourage an older cat into some activity every day. Physical movement will help with digestion and bowel function, as well as keep her sharp mentally.
An older cat spends less time grooming herself than in her youth. As a result, her hair becomes dry and painfully matted. Regular grooming from her owner is required to keep her coat healthy and beautiful. Daily brushing removes loose hair that can form uncomfortable hairballs in her stomach.
As your cat gets older its important that she is comfortable. You should ensure that your cat has a comfortable, warm bed that she can stretch out on. Cushions and hammock bed on radiators are popular.
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Dear Christopher Cat: Years ago, my mother used to put a drop of pennyroyal oil on each of our barn cats to control fleas. Now that I have my own cat, I planned ...
A new bill in the Florida Senate seeks to criminally charge owners who leave their dogs tied up outside during manmade and natural disasters.
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As the Heartland recovers from historic flooding, the Nebraska Humane Society has its hands full helping pets and their owners who have been displaced.
A new bill proposed in Florida would punish pet owners who tie up their pets or leave them behind during a natural or manmade disaster.
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Cane toads could be harmful to pets, according to a report from Fox affiliate WOFL-Ch. 35.
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Under Forest City's new animal control ordinance, starting later this year, pet owners can be fined for tethering dogs outside for more than two hours at a time, ...
Companion animals are part of our families, but inevitably the time comes for us to say goodbye to them due to old age or disease.
A Tampa Bay area photographer is helping hundreds of pets get new homes.
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Adam Goldberg founded AGoldPhoto Pet Photography about three years ago. Since then, he's taken photos of more than 2000 homeless and rescued pets.
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If passed, New York would be the third state to institute such a ban.
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May Gillespie, with the Albany Humane Society, said she encourages everyone with pets to go get them microchipped.
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Most pets would be prohibited from University of Minnesota buildings under a proposed policy that school officials hope will help ensure the comfort of all ...
FOLSOM (CBS13) — A rare bacterial disease that every pet owner should know about has surfaced in a Citrus Heights pet. Leptospirosis is spread from wild ...
While living in the Sonoran Desert brings with it some proximity to howling coyotes, the Raffetys—and many of their neighbors—were subject to the barking of a ...
These 12 pet-friendly hotels do much more than tolerate your favorite traveling companions. They do their best to make your pets feels loved, welcomed and ...
Hotel guests, car renters and vacation home renters can face hefty charges for pet hair removal.
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ALBANY — Pet shop owner Sondra Whalen didn't wait for state legislation to decide it was time to stop selling puppies. The owner of Sondra's City Zoo said she ...
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Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation will spend $18.7 million on expansion. Here's what's going inside.
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Surprises and prizes at the National Aviary, a shower for baby wildlife, pet first-aid classes, Biscuits Bingo and more pet events.
Bringing a new cat into your home isn't as simple as letting it loose with your other furry friends — that's a good way to end up with furballs on your floors.
CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Say hello to Susanna, this 3-year-old hound mix puppy is ready to find a forever home this spring.
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(KMAland) -- A local pet retreat is coming to the aid of four-legged friends displaced by flooding in the region.
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