The Special Needs of an Older Cat

Cats are loving companions to millions and are often an important part of one’s family. That is why it is so important to care for an older cat, in order to maintain his health and his presence in your life. Older cats have special needs and it is very important that owners learn how to properly care for their geriatric pets. Certain conditions that go hand-in-hand with feline aging can be treated and prevented, prolonging the cat’s life.

When a cat dies of old age, it is by a slow process of selective organ failure. There are symptoms and treatments for the older cat that slow this process down quite a bit. Symptoms that your cat has reached geriatric status include: weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, increased voiding of urine, and an increase in inactivity. (Those are but a few symptoms. Consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about your cat’s condition.)

Preventative measures can be taken in order to prolong your cat’s life. The most important thing to do is make sure that he receives all of his scheduled shots and veterinary checkups. Also, feed your cat a balanced, low-protein diet, keep a fresh supply of water available, and keep track of his output. Regular weighing of your cat and proper grooming is also important.

Studies show that many age-related conditions in cats stems from a lack of potassium in their system. Low potassium can lead to to muscle and skeletal deterioration, as potassium makes up a lot of the skeletal and cardiovascular system. Another problem with low potassium is that it contributes to increased lethargy in the cat. Ask your veterinarian about potassium supplements for your cat, as it can greatly decrease the aging process.

Of course, no one can stop your cat from aging and eventually dying, but certain measures can keep your cat from dying prematurely. A healthy diet, current vaccinations, exercise, and potassium supplements seem to be the best preventions of premature aging in cats. If you notice any strange or troublesome symptoms in your cat, notify your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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