Geriatric/Senior Wellness Care - Cats

Older (geriatric) cats have different needs than younger cats.  Many of the problems that occur in older cats are not easily recognized by the owner, and may not even be apparent on examination by the veterinarian -- unlike people, our pets can't tell us when they don't feel well.  Therefore, lab testing will often reveal problems to us before the pet appears sick, allowing us to take a proactive or preventative approach to the pet's health.

Cats over the age of ten are considered senior pets. Because cats age much faster relative to humans, cats over this age should receive extra attention.  Older cats are also very good at “hiding” their problems, where they seem healthy but really have a serious underlying problem (common examples are diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney failure).

An exam every 6 months is an good way to watch for any developing health concerns. Your cat will be given a thorough, nose to tail physical examination. Exams include checking your cat’s ears, eyes, teeth, lymph nodes, thyroid gland, heart, lungs, abdomen, skin, and more. 

Senior Wellness Testing, a comprehensive blood and urine work-up, is recommended for older cats. This comprehensive chemistry profile and CBC is accompanied by a thyroid profile and urinalysis. The work-up gives a very in-depth view of your pet’s health. Catching problems early is critical in providing the best long-term outcome.

Your senior cat should still receive their rabies and feline distemper (FVCRP) on a regular basis; additional lifestyle vaccines include may include Feline Leukemia Virus.  A stool (feces) examination for worms and parasites is also recommended on an annual basis.  

A quality, senior diet is important for good health. Your cat’s diet can be discussed at your visit.

Cornell University’s Feline Health Center provides more information about the special needs of the senior cat.

We value our feline patients and do our utmost to create a positive, cat-friendly setting.
Is your cat overdue for a wellness exam? If so, call us to schedule an appointment.