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My cat is getting 'long in the tooth'

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum and looking for some opinions, I guess.

My kitty is an eight year old neutered male, and I have had him since he was a kitten. It jusy occurred to me the other day while I was petting him, that he might be a senior now. He's getting a some white hairs on his chin, and a few more here and there on his head and back. I have read that it's not uncommon for cats to live to 18 or 20, so it never occurred to me that he might be getting up there. But my friend just had her cat put down at 14, and she said the vet told her it was uncommon for cats to live that long. I have never had an older cat before, the cats I grew up with were 'farm cats' () and usually met with some horrible fate long before this age.

Is 8 'old' for a cat? If so, is there anything I should be watching for now that he's older? (arthritis? kidney problems?) Any special care he might need?

Also, I noticed he's starting to take on a bit of a Count Dracula sort of look. His canine teeth seem to be growing longer, so that they are still visible when his mouth is closed. Is this normal when a cat gets older? Is there anything I can or should be doing about it?

Of course, I'll direct these questions to my vet at his next check-up, but I'm curious what other cat-owners have to say.

Thanks for reading .
post #2 of 12
8 is not old for a cat, IMO. I lost my Bo to old age (and related bladder cancer) when he was almost 18. I also have Abby, who is at least 14, and she still acts like a kitten around catnip and certain toys (Da Bird, Cat Dancer) and she also has had no health problems. My vet usually doesn't even do the "older cat" blood work annually until a cat is over 10 years old (just to catch the early signs of age-related diseases).

I don't know what to tell you about the teeth!
post #3 of 12
Yeah, you have a middle-aged cat, not old yet. Like, maybe in his early 50s, if he were human. If he's still healthy, active, and not losing weight, consider him to be healthy. Checkups at the vet's, of course, as usual...
post #4 of 12
Welcome! Yes, eight is really middle-age. Some start getting "senior" bloodwork at this time- you should ask your vet what he/she thinks. Some folks also adjust their cat's diet around this time- switching to a senior food, or adding more wet food, or feeding less if he's gaining weight, etc., but there are no hard and fast rules. My Wally is almost nine and he hasn't started acting older yet, so for the most part I don't consider him old.
post #5 of 12
I would get his teeth checked by the vet. Spunky had a tooth like that and it was pulled.
post #6 of 12
My vet has an interactive computer thing in all of the exam rooms to play with while you wait. It allows you to figure out what the human age is of your cat. I just punched my cat's age in at 10 years old and it said she was 56 in human years, so your cat is even younger than that.
post #7 of 12
I'd say eight isn't old - since my last cat lived to 22.

My family used to laugh at that "senior food starts at age 7" - because Tess was still acting like a kitten at 7.
post #8 of 12
It wouldn't hurt to have his teeth checked and a overall physical and senior panel done.

BTW - "long in the tooth" doesn't mean the teeth grow longer - it refers to the tooth looking longer because the gum recedes. This happens to us old people too.
post #9 of 12
I agree 8 isn't old, but now is a good time to start including tests for kidney function, thyroid function and diabetes in his annual checkup, these manageable conditions are common in older cats and the prognosis/quality of life is much better if they are detected and treated early

I would also advise getting his teeth checked, just to be on the safe side
post #10 of 12
8 isnt hold for a Cat. My Coco just turned 16 and my Aunts was 22. My Friends Cat was 18.5. My Meeko will be 8 in June and she had all her blood tests in Dec.
post #11 of 12
8 isn't too old for a cat - it's middle age. I have one 8 year old now and he is doing well - you wouldn't know it either - except he is getting a little more gray in his coat. I also had an 18 year old (who passed away from cancer) and a 15 year old who is slowing down (she just had her senior blood panel and has arthritis) but otherwise not acting old.

About the teeth - ask your vet.

Also kidneys, cancer, and arthritis are concerns - so please talk to your vet about this and have a blood panel done every year. It can save you plenty of concerns and catch some things early.
post #12 of 12
having two cats see nearly 19 and 19 .... one seeing about 14( he was a feral type)

8 is middle aged start with the senior panels .... discuss if diet should be changed
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