As pet owners, we grow old with our animals, sharing the same aches and pains day after day. It can be such a chore!
Much like humans, ageing brings about a whole host of health issues for animals, and it’s our responsibility as their carers to spot the signs and make sure that they get the relevant treatment.
Dogs can be heavily reliant on their owners, meaning that signs of discomfort are often easy to spot. Cats, however, are far more independent, meaning that owners have to keep a closer eye out to spot the key signs…
Worried about your elderly cat? Here are some symptoms and signs of discomfort that you should look out for…
Loss Of Appetite
As independent as they are, cats have a big appetite, with even the most outdoorsy cats consistently returning home to be fed. Therefore, if they stop showing interest in food then there’s likely something wrong.
As a starting point, try changing up their diet and see if it has any effect. If they’re constantly rejecting meals and treats, however, there’s probably something underlying that’s causing this behaviour.
If they stop eating, take them to the vet as soon as possible. If there is something wrong, a lack of energy and nutrients will only make the situation worse.
Altered Sleeping Patterns
Another tell tale sign that there’s something wrong with your cat is that their sleeping pattern has changed. This can often be difficult to detect – particularly with outdoor cats – but it could have a serious cause.
If you have an indoor cat, watch out for any changes – they’ll usually be accompanied by other oddities – whilst if you suspect there’s something wrong with your outdoor cat it’s a good idea to invite them into the house for a while.
Remember, cats can be affected by their environment, so small changes may occur with the change in seasons etc. Give them a chance to adapt, otherwise book them in for a quick check up.
Lethargy & Lack Of Motivation
On average, cats sleep for around 15-18 hours per day – and the rest of the time they’re pretty lazy too.
They will, however, respond to you when you call them or offer them a favourite toy or tasty treat. If they don’t come, there’s probably something stopping them, which could prove sinister if it persists.
Of course, they could just be having a bad day, so don’t get overcome with worry if they ignore you once or twice. But, if this disinterested behaviour continues then veterinary help should be sought.
Change In Posture
In the same way that humans slow down and begin to slouch a little with age, the same can be true of cats, which can be particularly noticeable if they’re usually an active outdoor cat.
Yes, cats can contort themselves into all sorts of positions, which is completely normal. If they start to stiffen up or begin to appear hunched and in discomfort, however, it’s a sign that something’s wrong.
This could just be a symptom of age, but it’s always best to have it checked out, if only for the reassurance that there’s nothing to worry about.
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