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signs of aging in older cat

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This is a behavior/health question. My oldest cat, Katie, whom I've had since she was kitten, will soon be 12 years old. She's had regular visits to the vet and no major medical problems. I've noticed that she has started to slow down a little, but that's about it. She still loves to play and has become even more active since Peter, now eight months, came home, in Jan. They chase each other all over the place! I'm thrilled she is so healthy and active and hope to have many more years with her. Just wondering if there are any behavioral/physical changes I should be aware of as she gets older. Thanks!
post #2 of 6
Well my Snoopy lived to be 20 years old. He really didn't start to show any signs of aging until about 18. I guess he sort of stopped playing as much when he was about 16, but at 18 he started losing his hearing, and he got to the point where he had little interest at all in playing. In the last year of his life, he had a couple of siezures, and he started losing weight, even though his appetite as still good. At 12 he was still a youngster.
post #3 of 6
I think it depends on the cat... the breed of the cat, size, sex, etc.

My 14 yr old, Snickers, who is my oldest... doesn't show any signs of aging or slowing down. He had a urinary crystal blockage which was pretty severe, but other than that? No signs of aging. He's just as nutty, curious, playful and quick on the draw as my 3 year old cat Hammie. Sometimes, moreso!

As far as physical signs of aging, I think their fur changes color, whiskers turn white, and they lose some muscle mass. Snicky isn't as chunky as he was in his youth and K.C.'s whiskers are turning white (she's 12).

As long as your kitty is playing & looks overall healthy, I think you don't have to worry. I've heard lifespans can range from 14 to 20 (20 if you're very lucky). 12 certainly isn't old!

post #4 of 6
My will be 17 in june girl is still fairly active toys have to be brought to her.... she chases the baby and eats like a pig ...
post #5 of 6
An aging pet craves quiet and tries to hide from general hustle and bustle (or becomes irritable when subjected to random noise).

An aging pet begins to get some white hairs in their fur coat (or the fur loses some quality compared to earlier years).

An aging pet starts stretching and arching its back more (not just when waking up from a nap or getting up after a long rest, but after already standing up for a few minutes or at random times).

An aging pet loses muscle tone and starts getting lumpy in certain areas (maybe their weight stays the same, but there is less muscle and more obvious fatty areas).

An aging pet starts having difficulties adjusting to the change in seasons (true of indoor and outdoor pets).

My post isn't very scientific but those are some early signs that a pet is slowing down before health problems or more irrefutable signs of aging become apparent.
post #6 of 6
I would say that you should keep a close eye on your kitty's weight, as weight loss can be a sign of serious but treatable problems. If you can afford it, you might want to have a senior panel (blood work) done on your kitty now. It can act as a baseline of what "normal" values are for your cat. That way, if you notice any changes as she gets older, you have something to compare future values to.
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