Growing old is not a disease

 
By Connie Orcutt • Published: October 1st, 2016
Category: Animal Airwaves
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When you hear that a cat ‘died of old age’, there’s always more to the story. Age alone is not a disease. In fact, certain aging changes are normal in our feline friends—even though they can look a lot like signs of disease. But it’s crucial to be able to distinguish them so your cat can be treated when necessary.

For example, a cat’s muscle mass normally declines as he or she ages. But too much muscle loss can occur with certain diseases. Similarly, older cats normally slow down, but should still be agile while performing daily tasks. In contrast, cats with arthritis cannot use their joints smoothly and are often in pain.

By the time cats reach senior status at 11 to 14 years, they should have wellness checkups every 6 months. You can use that time as well—to ask your veterinarian what to expect as your cat ages.