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Elderly cats

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

My name is Jenna and I have a black cat called Felix

Felix will be 16 years old in november, I was just wondering if there are any older cats like Felix and how they are coping being an older cat.

Felix still climbs fences and he keeps the boy cats out of his garden .He dose sleep more, but I think he has always
liked his bed

Jenna and Felix
post #2 of 22
Jenna...I grew up with a black long-haired cat named Connie who livd to be 22 years old and she was frisky right up till the end. So your lad is still a kid..enjoy him.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thankyou Kittyfoot,22 is a great age, my mum told me cats can sometimes live to be over 20 years,Iwill treasure every day with Felix and hopefully he will live to a great age, just like your Connie
post #4 of 22
Hi Jenna,

Sounds like you're new to the site, so WELCOME!

My oldest kitty is 4 years old so I haven't any comparisons for you but it sure is good to hear that a l6 yr old gets around so well. You must have tsken really good care of him.

You'll love this site and again...Welcome
post #5 of 22
Jenna, although I've never kept an elderly cat I know of one who lived to be 20. Her name was Jaws and she remained alert and active until just a few months before she passed away. It's sad when our companions leave us, but they must. I'm sure your Felix has plenty of adventure in front of him!


You might also post your concerns in this regard to the "Behavior" and "Health and Nutrition" forums. I'm sure you'd get good information there as well.

post #6 of 22
I have a 16 year old cat named Grey Cat. He's in pretty good health. His only health problem is that he only has one tooth, a front fang. He still insists on eating dry cat food, though. Grey no longer pees in the litterbox all the time, but we beleive this is a behavioral problem (medical tests showed nothing like urinary infections, etc.). He is easily stressed out by my younger cats, and I think his accidents are a result of that.

Has your cat's personality changed with advancing years? More mellow or are they more jumpy? More or less affectionate? I've only had Grey for a few months, so I don't know what his personality was like before.
post #7 of 22
Hello, my kitty Laura is 16 and in pretty good shape considering she spent most of her life outside. Like Grey Cat she only has a few teeth and those are stubs. Her only problem is hairballs. We brush her regularly and give her Hartz hairball remedy and that cuts down on the mess a lot. Good luck and best wishes for you and your kitty!
post #8 of 22
Wow I'd LOVE to have a cat for over 20 years! The longest I had with a feline companion was 16 years.

He will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart.

To answer ur questions regarding elderly cats,
Doonesbury (the cat I had for 16 years) became more mellow with age and more affectionate with me. He slept more as he grew older BUT he'd DEFEND his terrority anytime! If any other cats wandered near me or near our house, WATCH OUT for a black streak (doonesbury was all black with a white spot on chest) and he'd attack them even though he had no claws (That was a LONG TIME AGO before I knew what Declawing meant)

That's one advantage of having an elderly cat- they're easier to hold and be affectionate with. Most kittens/young cats will squirm to get out of our arms to go explore or play after a few minutes!

Another cat I have that is currently living with my parents is now about 11 years old and she has no teeth left and eats baby food (she REFUSES to eat wet cat food and the reason she's addicted to baby food is because our vet suggested it! She had a scratch in her throat due to swallowing a bird bone so the vet said she needed to eat baby food for a while to help in healing but since then, she refuses to eat anything except for baby food.

Hope I answered ur question! Enjoy every moment with FELIX! And take pictures. That's one of my biggest regrets- I don't have many pictures of Doonesbury (2-4 pictures).

post #9 of 22
Oh Jenna, welcome to our site, and you are so lucky to have your Felix for so long!!!
I was wondering....I would kill to have Merlin around for that long....(he will be a year old the first of September) but wasn't sure if most of the cats you all have mentioned who lived to be so old, have been kept indoors or out or both...buttercup, it did my heart good to see you had a cat live to be that old, who was mostly outdoors. Merlin is indoors and out, he comes and goes as he pleases....I hope I have a chance of having him with me, for many, many, many years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #10 of 22

Dearest Princess Kittylove :angel2:

Hi there! It's good to see you over here My computer's still sick, but it's better than it was, I have to replace a component...no big deal for now.

Back to the subject at hand. It sounds like your kitty is still acting pretty happy to me. When your kitty gets older he will start slowing down quite a bit. However, I do agree with Mr. Cat; in that we may not have our kitties forever, but it does sound like Felix will be here for quite some time.

We just make sure we give our babies the love that they deserve and do need. As kitties get older, their needs change, and just knowing that will help you. "Sandie"...(she knows just about everything there's to know about cats!) can help you with more questions you may have regarding Felix's health and behaviour. You can find her hanging out quite a bit in the Health & Behaviour Forums Hey, just what you need!

Well, I don't want to bore you to death over here Best wishes for many happy years with your Felix sweetie!!

Oh, and we can not forget about the Princess's attachment...hmmm??? I'll see what I have for you. Maybe you would like to tell me what you would like to see...I'd be happy to try to find it for you
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Patricia Mr Cat Michelle Buttercup Pamela Debby
and Catarina

I,m sorry I,ve taken a little time to reply, I have been horse riding and going to the cinema.Thankyou very much for your replies.My cat Felix has only 2 teeth left, he just eats soft food, I think he misses his go-cat.He dose also suffer from fur balls even though I groom him, he loves being groomed.My mum thinks that he dose seem to want even more extra attention , he is not as independant as he used to be.Felix has a cat flap, so he can come and go when he wants to.Its funny to know my cat is older than me .My mum and dad got Felix from a cat protection home.He was a poorly kitten,but he got better and now he is is a healthy 15 year old pussy cat.
Could I ask if I would be able to move this thread onto the health section, it might help other owners who have older cats.
Thankyou all again and thankyou Catarina for the cutie picture, I love the pictures, I like any pictures of animals Catarina, thanks very much, you are all very kind

love Jenna and Felix

:baloon: :jarswim:
post #12 of 22

Dearest Kittylove :angel2:

OOOOOOOOOOO...You are sooooooooo cute, I wish I could just give you a hug! It's so sweet that you adore your babies so much. Your Mommy has raised such a sweet little girl and tell her "thank you" for me!
Your kitty Felix is in great hands with you that's for sure.

I know if I was a kitty, I'd want you for my human :laughing2 :laughing2

Well, I'm sure Anne, will move this as soon as one of the moderaters see the post, I'll try to private message them, maybe they'll see your request a little sooner

Hmmmmmm.......???????? What do I have for the Princess today?? I love this part! :laughing2::LOL::laughing2
OOOOOO...I hope you like this one
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
O, thankyou so much Catarina,you are very kind

I love the picture of the cat and teddy my Felix has a cuddly mouse to cuddle when he is on his own. I hope your cats are ok.Felix has been out lying on the lawn, it has been abit windy, but as long as it dos,nt rain, He loves to lie in grass.
My mum will hopfully become a member soon, a lady called Dawn is trying to sort things out.We just have one computor, but I hope my mum can join,she says its a lovely forum

Thankyou again Catarina,I car,nt wait to get a scanner, so I can send you pictures

love from Jenna and Felix :daisy:
post #14 of 22
I can move this thread to health section for you....if that is what you want. I will move it there now!
And cat.....what an adorable attachment!!!
post #15 of 22
Okay... it is moved
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much Debby,I hope it helps other members.

Love from Jenna and Felix :angel4: :rainbow:
post #17 of 22

Grey Cat was my grandmother-in-law's barn cat. He lived outside in a big barn, summer and winter (MN winter at that), from the time he was born up until this May. He went to the vet once before we got him, to get neutered. Grandma said he had a cold a few winters ago, but got over it.

Must be great genetics or something...
post #18 of 22
Here's Grey adapting to civilization:
post #19 of 22
Welcome to the serious corner! Look in at the Behavior forum, as well. The Health and Nutrition and Behavior have both added tremendously to my understanding of my cats, and also to what is normal and not really normal -- a very important subject, since "normal" for cats varies every bit as much as it does for humans.

I have a reasonably steady 14-18 cat population and (at present) 5 dogs -- all rescued from the street and all spayed or neutered so we don't increase except by rescue. Most of my cats are young -- 1 to 3plus years old, but I have one cat (Gypsy) who is now 12 years old.

I assume your cat is neutered. If not, discuss the health benefits with your vet. Also discuss such things as increased urinary and digestive problems. A pity about the teeth. I have one cat (Little Black, now almost 4 years old and an enormous black panther of a male) who is prone to poor teeth, and at 3 and a half, I had to have his teeth cleaned (they must do this under light anesthesia) because they were so discolored I was afraid they were rotting. So far, he is the only one with this problem. If you ever have a young cat with dental problems, it is best to get on it as early as possible -- you might be able to keep her/his gums and teeth healthy into old age. I assume that, in conjunction with, perhaps, a genetic tendency, as in humans, the severe malnutrition Little Black survived until he managed to find me at about 2 months was the reason for his chronic teeth problems. He got his name because he remained almost 3 month-sized until he was more than a year old.

My cats are given the run of the house, and often sleep inside -- the day cats at night and the night cats during the day -- and during the winter ALL the cats almost around the clock. It is always a real gas to watch the spring and summer kittens reacting to the first winter rains (hopefully no later than November). We have a lot of thunder and lightening -- big desert storms, only rain instead of sand -- and that on top of getting pelted from the sky with water sends them hiding under bushes or running for the safety of their nesting places in the house. I always wash my cats once or twice a year, so none of them is particularly afraid of water or soap as such, which is useful if they get some kind of toxin on their feet or coat. Which is not to the point of your question.

The cats also have the outdoors. I have a relatively dog-proof fence around about a half to two-thirds of an acre of garden, but it is not cat-proof. I hope to build a cat-proof fence and gates this winter, since I always lose several cats a year to deliberate or inadvertant (agricultural pesticides and vermin control poisons) poisoning, cars, and cat-killing dogs. My vets estimate about 80 percent of all outdoor, stray or feral cats will die from one of these causes, so I am doing pretty well with less than one-third of the attached cats I consider "in-house" -- I can't speak for the ones who just drop in for food or for shelter in the store house, or the ones who stayed a year or two and then went feral again -- around 20 cats over the past 3 years. However, even in my yard, there is scope for hunting (particularly where the compost piles are maturing), tree-climbing (there are 8 very suitable trees (cedar, pine, olive, mulberry) of proper size and 3 smaller trees that don't offer any challenges yet), and grassy or bushy areas for sleeping or sunning in good weather. Being outdoors and able to exercise helps to keep their muscle tone and their hearts healthy. I also give them an old sofa off the side porch to sleep on, altho the dogs usually monopolize this spot, as they do my bed (the only one in the house) when I am not in it. In the house, however, it is mixed company, and cats and dogs of all ages sleep in big tangles -- up to all five dogs and 6 or 7 cats at a time in the winter, and it's a single bed!

So my cats are both indoor and outdoor, which makes it harder to keep them safe, but which I think enhances their overall mental and physical health while they are with me.

My vets tell me that soon I will have to switch Gypsy to "elder-cat" food. They say that the balance of calories, vitamins, and, particularly, minerals is different for the 4 life stages (neweborn to 2 months, kitten & growing, adult, elder) (not to mention special food when a cat is sick). Within the limits of my budget, I try to accomodate. I have one younger cat (almost 3 years old) whose bladder develops stones (this is usually an older cat problem), and he is on special low-magnesium food. Fortunately the crystal formations were dealt with chemically, and so far we haven't had the problem of an operation -- and also fortunately, there has been no further evidence of crystals for the past 6 months. I occasionally mix in elder food for my oldest cat, and I notice that the kibbles are smaller and more easily crushed than the regular cat foods.

As to temperament, Gypsy has a history of extreme jealousy and bad-tempered paranoia, but yes, she is beginning to mellow and return to her early behavior patterns of affection and desire to be loved. She is still capable of quite vicious and unexpected attack on the other hand (and it is usually on the other hand than the one I am trying to pet her with!), and does not permit any violation from cats or dogs of her "special" places or food dish. Every newcomer (and including myself and guests) learns very quickly to never bump up against her, even accidently.

I know there are all kinds of people on this site who will have much to say about their older cats. You are asking the right questions at an early age. I ignorantly mistreated my own occasional cats for the first 60 years of my life, and I wish beyond most things that there had been such a wonderful source of information from so many real cat-loving people. You are blessed to be born in the internet age, and your cats over the years will be twice-blessed -- that there are such forums and that you care enough about your furball friends to share your experience and ask questions.

Welcome again.
post #20 of 22

Dear Catherine :angel2:

Thank you for such an incredible condensed version of your cats lives. You're a wealth of information and I am extremely pleased to have read your post.

I don't believe I have welcomed you to this site, so, I give you my sincerest "Welcome" and I hope to see more of your postings in the future.

Love, Peace &
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello Catherine,

Thankyou very much for telling me about your cats I know what you mean about exercise being good for cats,Felix has a chubby belly,but he still climbs fences and likes to sit on the garage roof.

Yes my mum says felix is neutered, from about 6 months of age.I did,nt know you can buy cat food for an older cat, I will have a look at the shops tommorow.

Thankyou again and a big welcome to cats forumm.

Catarina the picture is lovely You always find lovely pictures to make everyones day happy

love from Jenna and Felix :kitty5: :flower: :daisy:
post #22 of 22

Dear KittyLove :angel2:

How sweet of you to say that If I can make one person smile in the day...my day has been a success

God Bless You Little One

Love, Peace &PS...Hello to MUM!!!! Warm hugs to all!! & Purrs & Hugs to Felix too
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