Is my cat a senior? If you’re reading this article, this might be your first question. Most of us have an idea of when people are considered to be “seniors,” but what about cats? A straight linear multiplier was once used to convert people years into cat years, but that is no longer the case. According to Pet Health Network’s feline age chart, younger cats age, or shall we say mature, at a much faster rate. A 4-year-old cat is considered to be equivalent to a 26-year-old human being. The process slows down after that. By the time a cat reaches senior status she is 9-years-old (the presumed equivalent of a 52 year old human) and at/beyond the age of 14, a cat is considered to be geriatric.
What is different about a senior cat’s checkup?
Certainly, most conditions can occur or manifest at any point throughout your cat’s life. There are simply some problems that are statistically more likely to occur as your cat gets older, like:
What can I expect during my senior cat’s checkup?
First of all, you may have specific concerns about your cat and questions you need to have answered. Be sure that those are all addressed to your satisfaction before the conclusion of your visit. Also be aware that your veterinarian likely has a process in order to minimize the odds that distractions cause something important to be missed. In general, your vet will likely cover the following:
All cats should have checkups every “people year” of their lives; depending on your cat’s individual health issues, your veterinarian may even recommend more frequent visits. It is up to you and your veterinarian to work together to decide what is best. That way you and your cat can enjoy her senior and geriatric golden years.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
(Information provided by Dr. Mike Paul, DVM of PetHealthNetwork.com)
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