With the advancement of modern veterinary medicine, house cat can live an average of 16 years. As Fluffy reaches her older years, her bodily function will begin to slow down and she may be at a higher risk of developing certain diseases and health conditions. But what changes are normal to senior cats, and which ones are cause for concern? Our team at East Valley Animal Hospital wants to help you identify symptoms that may signify a potential underlying health issue before it becomes detrimental.

Normal Behavioral Changes in Senior Cats

The aging process of your cat will commonly bring about a number of behavioral changes that are normal and do not necessarily indicate a more significant underlying issue.

  • Decrease in activity level
  • Diminished appetite
  • Reduced ability to handle stress
  • Inability to groom as well as she once did
  • Change in sleep cycles
  • Change in sociability
  • Increased attachment to the owner

Changes That May Signify Disease in Older Cats

Although you know your feline better than anyone, she is quite adept at hiding her pain or illness. And because even a subtle change in her behavior may indicate illness or disease, as your furry companion enters her elderly years, we recommend keeping a close eye on how she’s functioning each day. If you notice any concerning changes, even the slightest ones, consult your family veterinarian.

Here are some key factors to observe:

  • Stiffness, lameness, or difficulty jumping
  • Lethargy
  • Lumps or swellings
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Inappropriate elimination (outside the box), or problems with eliminating
  • Disorientation or distress
  • Weight loss
  • Refusal to eat
  • Increase in thirst or urination
  • Uncharacteristic behavior (e.g., hiding, aggression, excessive vocalization)

Your Local Vet in Gilbert

We know your pets are a part of the family. That’s one reason our veterinarians are committed to providing your four-legged friends with the highest quality care available and giving you warm and friendly service. If you’re looking for a local vet in Gilbert, schedule an appointment with us today!


Photo by Pietro Schellino on Unsplash (10/20/2020)