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Suzy at the Vets on Saturday

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I adopted a Birman this February from the RSPCA. We were told she was approximately 10 years old, which I didn't think was old as I assumed a life expectancy of around 20 years.

However, since finding out she's a Birman (we'd been told she was a Burmese cross), I've discovered that her life expectancy is only 15 years. Seems very short to me.

But anyway, the reason for posting is that I'm taking her to the vets on Saturday morning for a health check. She seems rather stiff in her gait, not at all like my other cats. Her stance is very low to the ground which makes me wonder if she's a little arthritic? I also wanted the vet to check her teeth as she's reluctant to eat the dry biscuit left down during the day.

When we first got her, she was very skinny, and although she appears to have put on some weight, her ribs can still be felt under all that fur.

She also has a bald spot at the base of her tail that concerns me.

Sorry about the long post, but does anyone else have a Birman that can tell me a little about what to expect in a cat of this age? I've only ever had moggies before and they've all been frightfully healthy.

post #2 of 18
Hi there, first of all 10 really is fairly old, well, its not young anyway, I think the oldest cat in the world only lived to be about 22?? (I could be wrong, but it was definately still in the early twenties) so 15 year life span is pretty good.
I previously owned a Birman and she was a beautiful little thing, the actualy breed itself doesn't have any specific problems like some breeds, but if she came from a un-reputable breeder, you never know, she could be the result of interbreeding or whatever.
Its so good of you to take on an older cat from a rescue, they are often so difficult to home.
Seriously, Birmans are wonderful cats and want nothing more than a comfy lap and a good cuddle. If she seems to dislike or refuse dry food, you may want to change to a soft food for her, or try adding a little water or fish oil to the food to soften it for her.
As for the bald spot, I don't know, its best to get that checked by the vet like you are doing

Please don't expect too much of her, although she's not REALLY old, she's passed middle age!! Bless!

I'm going to move this thread to the health forum, you should hopefully get some more helpful responses there

All the best!! And seriously, Birmans are amazing cats..... I long for another one...
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bodlover! I got her from RSPCA Radcliffe on Trent, which I'm sure you're familiar with, nearly being my neighbour!

I've always loved oriental cats, and to find a long haired variety was just perfect! Suzy does love a cuddle, but not to be picked up, another reason why I thought she might be arthritic. She also follows me around the house, true to her breed type!

To think that I might lose her after just a few years makes me sad though. Perhaps I was being optimistic in my cat life expectancy. I lost my darling Grommitt when he was only 8 to a heart attack last year and I am still devastated by it. I want Suzy to live as long as possible!

Hopefully, now that you've moved this to the correct location(!), people will be able to let me know what living with an elderly Birman is all about!

post #4 of 18
Glad to be of some help I know there are alot more people here who will be able to help you with reagds elderly kitties.... my oldest is only 8 sooooo.... (although he is getting rather grumpy in his old age and his snoring is getting louder!!!!!!! :laughing: )
post #5 of 18
Bodlover, the Siamese cat that I had while growing up passed away at the age of 23! Her mother died at the age of 25! So there are some really old cats out there.

dlmckay, sorry to hear about your cat. It does sound like arthritis, my family cat developed that in her 20's and she didn't want to move or eat. Have you tried feeding your cat wet food? Does she eat more when that is available or about the same? Have you checked her mouth and gums for irritation and plaque? That could be the reason she doesn't eat the hard food.

The patch at the base of her tail could be a number of things. I have heard that the patch could be a sign of stress or could be a skin irritation.

Let us know how the vet appointment turns out.
post #6 of 18
Kassandra!! WOW!!! You're so lucky to have babies that live that long!! I hope all mine do!! Guess I was totally worng about the oldest cat then.. :laughing: But I'm sure it didn't get to 30!?!?!?!
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Kassandra, cheers for your reply.

I have six cats, so biscuit is the cheaper option for feeding as you can imagine. However, I also have boy cats and know that they can suffer with problems in their waterworks if fed purely on dry so every evening I split two 300g tins of wet food between the six of them.

I have been a real softy and have been saving some for Suzy to have as breakfast in the morning. She chases me downstairs and yowls to have her brekkie promptly!

She does try to eat the biscuit, but she only has a few bits and then stops. As I'm concerned about her weight, I've been making sure that she gets a little more of the wet food than the others.

She's been an indoor cat since we've had her, so if it is arthritis, I think we'll keep it up for her poor aching bones!

Anyone else got some useful info for me?

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
I found this on the Guiness Book of Records website - just for you Bodlover!

Oldest Living Cat
The oldest living cat in the world is 'Kataleena Lady', a Burmese born on March 11, 1977. Owned by Mrs V. Hayward of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the mature moggy was 25 years old in April 2002.

So I may have a few more years with Suzy after all....

post #9 of 18
:laughing: Thanks!! now I can rest easier!! :laughing2
See though!! I was right - it wasn't 30!! hahaha!! Lets hope ALL our babes live to that ripe old age!
post #10 of 18
I have 2 kitties that will be 10 years old in April. One is arthritic and has some trouble getting around. She is very clumsy and sometimes it takes her awhile to jump up on something. I try to have things by the furniture that will help her get up on stuff, but sometimes she choices not to use these and will fall. She has a strange gait when she walks. It is like her back legs go out to the side when she walks instead in front of one another. Hard to explain, you would just have to see it. When the seasons change, particuarly in the winter, for a few weeks you can tell she is sore, but it passes. They both have hyperthyroidism and are on medication and one has a food allergy. Other than that they are happy, healthy cats and loved dearly. These problems do not seem to keep them down in anyway.

I thought the oldest cat was 34 years old and died in 1957.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, the vet visit happened on Saturday and she had bad news.

Suzy has a tumour of some description in her abdomen and has to undergo an exploratory operation on Thursday to see if its just one lump or a group. We are keeping our fingers crossed that its just a lump on the lymph node rather than on a vital organ. However, the vet seemed confident that we may have caught it in time due to Suzy's otherwise good health.

The bald spot at the base of her tail was easily cured, she had blocked glands in her bottom which the vet cleared. She seems a little more comfortable now!

For the arthritis, we have been advised to give cod liver oil onto her food to see if it brings on an improvement.

Suzy's teeth were very brown, but more through stain than anything else. The vet suggested that she doesn't need a dental, but its something we will need to keep an eye on.

So that's what happened. Please can you keep Suzy in your thoughts. She's such a lovely cat, and we lost Grommitt this time last year, so its particularly painful for me to think that we might lose her too. Suzy was rescued from the RSPCA because of the gaping hole that Grommitt left in our family. I don't know what else to put, I'm just too sad at the moment.

post #12 of 18
Oh Diana, I'm so sorry to hear about the results of the vets visit
Although she may have a tumour, at least it's already being dealt with and that may just save her life!! I'm sure with all the wonderful things vets can do, helping your baby will be possible

Try to look on the positive side though, I mean the vet did say she was otherwise a healthy cat right?? Great! And the atheritis can be treated to give her the best life possible. The bald spot on the base of her tail was easily cured, so thats a good thing too - and she didn't even need a dental! I bet she was pleased

I know it must be hard for you, espeically with the loss of your other baby around the same time of year, but so far, theres nothing to say that Suzy won't enjoy a few more great years with you
post #13 of 18
I'm sorry to hear that all is not well, but at least the vet gave a preliminary positive prognosis. I know how Drs. are, and most times they try to prepare you for the worst. I'm hoping everything turns out OK, and Suzy will be in my thoughts this week.
post #14 of 18

So sorry to hear the news. All of us here will send only the most positive thoughts your way Thursday - for you and your furbaby.

Hang in there!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Suzy is at the vets and I've just been called to say that the bloods have come back normal and that the lump in her abdomen is constipation!

Poor Suzy will have an enema and will be home tonight with no operation!

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and words, I'm positive they'd made a difference!

post #16 of 18
Diana that is fantastic news!!!
post #17 of 18

post #18 of 18
Diana - that is SUCH great news. And what a relief for you (some kind of relief for little Suzy too, I'd imagine)!

Now that worry is off your mind, come back and visit for a chat often.

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