Countryside Veterinary Services and Wellness updates the blog frequently with pet health information and clinic news. Please check back often for Countryside Veterniary announcements and helpful pet information!

Signs of Common Health Problems in Senior Cats

Signs of Common Health Problems in Senior Cats

1) Arthritis

As your cat ages past twelve years old, watch for signs of arthritis. If he or she is experiencing difficulty going up or down the stairs, jumping up onto or off of furniture, grooming its fur, or even urinating outside of the litterbox because of the discomfort of getting into a litterbox, your feline friend may be developing arthritis.

Studies have shown that 90 percent of cats over 12 years of age are likely to have radiographic signs of arthritis, so arthritis is actually quite common in older cats. Should you see any of these signs, bring your cat in to see your veterinarian and we can help you decide what to do to help relieve your cat's pain.

2) Cancer

Approximately thirty percent of all cats over the age of ten years old may be diagnosed with some type of cancer. If you notice any of the following symptoms, take your cat to the vet immediately:

  • Appetite loss
  • Unintential weight loss
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Lumps or bumps increasing in size
  • Sores that won't heal
  • Bleeding or discharge from the mouth, nose, anus
  • Unusual body odor
  • Decreased energy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty using the litter box.

One of the most common forms of feline cancer is lymphosarcoma, or lymphoma, although dogs such as Boxers, Golden Retrievers, and Basset Hounds are prone to developing this disease as well. Some of the symptoms associated with lymphosarcoma include enlarged lymph nodes, loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, coughing, difficulty breathing, vomiting and diarrhea. Please take your senior cat in immediately if you see any of these symptoms.

3) Dental Disease

If you notice your feline friend having difficulties chewing, or just picking up his or her food and dropping it right away, it may be a sign of dental disease developing. Periodontal disease is a common health problem in senior cats, especially when your cat has not had its teeth brushed regularly and years of plaque and tartar are allowed to build up. Schedule regular dental cleanings with your vet, and be sure to maintain your cat's dental health on a regular basis to prevent your cat from developing dental diseases.

4) Vision Problems

Cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachment are common visual issues that senior cats can develop. Periodically check your cat for any signs of cloudiness of the lens, or even dilated pupils. Also pay attention if your cat seems to be bumping into things while walking. Should you suspect that your cat needs his or her eyes checked, please take them into the vet and we can provide recommendations or medications to help your feline friend.

5) Hearing Loss

Yes, even cats can lose their hearing over time. If you notice your cat can't hear as well as he used to, you can teach him hand signals, stomp your foot to create vibrations or use other forms of visual signals to communicate with your cat.

6) Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can be identified when your senior cat begins to show signs of excessive hunger and an abnormal increase in energy. This condition is characterized by the thyroid gland producing too much of the thyroid hormone. In addition, cats with hyperthyroidism may also develop hypertension. If you notice signs of an excessive appetite in your older feline, be sure to schedule an appointment with your vet to discuss treatment options.

7) Kidney Disease

To help treat kidney disease, schedule regular geriatric exams for your senior cat so that your vet can detect any bad signs early on. Although kidney failure is not reversible, a therapeutic diet, medication, etc., can help add months and even years to your beloved pet's life. Be sure to bring your feline friend in often so we can look into the best treatment options and recommendations.

Bringing Your New Kitten Home

kitten wellness

Bringing home a new kitten is a very exciting time for you and your family, but it also requires a lot of responsibility. There are several steps you should follow when bringing your new kitten home. This is a crucial time in your kitten’s life as it lays out the foundation for the health and behavior of your cat.

Verify Your Kitten's Age

The first thing you should do is verify your kitten’s age. It is vital to verify your kitten’s age, because they have many developmental needs the first ten weeks of their life. Kittens need the proper nourishment, warmth, and socialization during the first weeks of their life. If your kitten ends up being younger than ten weeks, then find a good vet immediately to learn how to properly take of your kitten.

Schedule First Vet Visit

After you verify your kitten’s age you should schedule a visit to the veterinary clinic. This visit is also very important for the owner too, because it allows you to ask questions. The first vet visit will entail testing for health issues such as birth defects, parasites or feline leukemia. The veterinarian will also schedule out future visits for vaccinations and to establish a wellness plan for your kitten. We recommend asking questions about food type, portion size, illness signs to watch for, and how to introduce your kitten to any other pet you may have.

Quality Food And Feeding Schedule

Once you have your kitten home, it is a good idea to establish a feeding schedule with quality food specifically designed for kittens. When purchasing food for your kitten look for Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) displayed on the packaging. This ensures the kitten food is full of nutrients. If you have questions about how often and how much to feed your kitten, contact your veterinarian. However, when your kitten reaches three months, they should be fed 3 times a day to keep up with how fast he or she is growing.

Designate A Quiet Area

If you want your kitten to feel comfortable and safe, you should designate a quiet area for the kitten to sleep. In this area, you should have a small bed that is easily accessible, a scratching toy, food and water, and litter box. However, do not put the litter box near the cat’s feeding area, because cats do not like when they are close together.

Now that you have your kitten home, you should have a better understanding of what your kitten will need the first few weeks. Remember to give your kitten a substantial amount of attention during this time. This will help your kitten adjust smoothly to its new home. If you have any other questions related to brining home your new kitten, then contact the veterinarians at CountrySide today.

The 5 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds Chosen By Veterinary Professionals

Number 5: Golden Retriever

The friendly Golden Retriever is not only a trusting family companion but also one of the smartest dog breeds today. Bred to be sporting dogs, these gentle companions need plenty of exercie that engages both the mind and body.

Adaptability: 5
Affection Level: 5
Apartment Friendly: 2
Barking Tendencies: 3
Cat Friendly: 4
Child Friendly: 5

Dog Friendly: 5
Exercise Needs:5
Grooming: 3
Health Issues: 4
Intelligence: 5
Playfulness: 5

Shedding Level: 3
Social Needs:5
Stranger Friendly:5
Territorial:3
Trainability:5
Watchdog Ability:3

Smart Breeds - Golden Retriever

Number 4: Australian Shepherd

Smart Breeds - Australian Shepherd

This sharp breed is devoted to its owner and displays affection by sitting on your foot or leaning against you. Highly intelligent, obedient and agile, the Australian Shepherd is excellent in herding, flying dics and other active sports.

Adaptability: 5
Affection Level: 4
Apartment Friendly: 3
Barking Tendencies: 5
Cat Friendly: 3
Child Friendly: 5

Dog Friendly: 3
Exercise Needs:5
Grooming: 3
Health Issues: 3
Intelligence: 5
Playfulness: 5

Shedding Level: 3
Social Needs:4
Stranger Friendly:2
Territorial:5
Trainability:5
Watchdog Ability:5


Number 3: Poodle

Despite the fluffy coat and prissy face, the poodle is one highly intelligent breed, sporting a smart brain and great sense of humor. Poodles are energetic dogs and excel at agility and obedience competitions. The poodle is bred in various sizes, including Standard, Miniature and Toy.

Adaptability: 5
Affection Level: 5
Apartment Friendly: 5
Barking Tendencies: 3
Cat Friendly: 4
Child Friendly: 5

Dog Friendly: 4
Exercise Needs:4
Grooming: 5
Health Issues: 3
Intelligence: 5
Playfulness: 4

Shedding Level: 1
Social Needs:5
Stranger Friendly:4
Territorial:4
Trainability:5
Watchdog Ability:4

Smart Breeds - Poodle

Number 2: German Shepherd

Smart Breeds - German Shepherd

A fearless dog with a natural instinct to protect, this breed is an ideal choice for military and police work. The German Shepherd is a protective, adaptive family dog, who likes to use his smarts and energy playing, running, or working.

Adaptability: 5
Affection Level: 3
Apartment Friendly: 3
Barking Tendencies: 2
Cat Friendly: 3
Child Friendly: 5

Dog Friendly: 2
Exercise Needs:3
Grooming: 3
Health Issues: 4
Intelligence: 5
Playfulness: 3

Shedding Level: 5
Social Needs:3
Stranger Friendly:1
Territorial:5
Trainability:5
Watchdog Ability:5


Number 1: Border Collie

The Border Collie has incredible focus and is arguably considered the world's best herding dog. This breed needs to have something to do because he can wreak havoc if he's bored. Extremely people-oriented dogs, they may just try to herd you in!

Adaptability: 5
Affection Level: 5
Apartment Friendly: 2
Barking Tendencies: 5
Cat Friendly: 3
Child Friendly: 5

Dog Friendly: 3
Exercise Needs:5
Grooming: 2
Health Issues: 3
Intelligence: 5
Playfulness: 5

Shedding Level: 3
Social Needs:5
Stranger Friendly:3
Territorial:5
Trainability:5
Watchdog Ability:5

Smart Breeds - Border Collie

Testimonials

  • Temperance

    My wife and I have been taking our dog to Countryside Vets for about three years now. We had an unfortunate encounter with our previous veterinarian but switching to Countryside Vets years ago has been the best decision! She has always been treated well at Countryside and Dr. Popp has always been more than friendly! Thank you!
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