Older cats are susceptible to quite a number of aged-related diseases, many of which are treatable if caught early enough. So how often should we be checking them over to make sure that everything is going OK?
Sometimes it's a difficult decision, particularly when they look so comfortable at home, they don't go out much any more and suddenly the whole idea starts to seem a bit stressful (for you if not for them)
International Cat Care - formerly the Feline Advisory Bureau, one of the UK's leading veterinary cat health resources - suggests that cats of all ages should be assessed at a veterinary practice at least once a year. They should have a general physical examination and discussion of appropriate preventive health care including diet, parasite control and any vaccine requirements, and their weight and body condition score should be recorded.
In addition to this:
• Mature cats – those aged seven years or older should come in once a year for a blood pressure and their urine concentration checked. Dilute urine can be a sign of underlying disease with the most common causes being chronic kidney disease, over-active thyroid glands and diabetes. Cats whose urine is too dilute should be further investigated by checking their urine chemistry and taking a blood sample for a blood cell count, chemistry check and measurement of their thyroid hormone levels.
• Senior cats – those aged 11 years or older should come in at least once a year for a full examination, blood pressure check and urine & blood tests as above to check the blood cell counts, chemistry and thyroid hormone levels. The less healthy ones should have these checkups more frequently, in some cases every six months.
• Geriatric cats – those aged 15 years or older should come in every six months for a full clinical examination, weight check, body condition score, blood pressure and urine test. Blood tests should continue to be done annually unless there is any clinical reason to take them more frequently.
If you manage to follow this protocol, you will pick up on signs of chronic disease much earlier and we'll be able to get them on the right diet and medication for them to be able to enjoy many more years of active, healthy and comfortable life. Call for your appointment on 0207 723 0453 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our nurses will call you back.
0-7 years: Physical examination every 12 months
7-11 years: Physical examination, blood pressure and urine test every 12 months
11-15 years: Physical examination, blood pressure, urine and blood tests every 6-12 months
Over 15 years: Physical examination, blood pressure, urine every 3-6 months, with blood tests every 6-12 months