How do cats age? When is a cat considered to be old?
Unless you know it's birth date, it's hard to tell a cat's age, but sometimes when cats grow old, they start to show signs of age. The average indoor cat lives 12 - 15 years.
Around 11 years old is when a cat can be considered a senior. If your cat is about that age, you may notice some changes. Certain age-related conditions may cause your cat discomfort or even compromise her quality of life.
Some symptoms that your 11+ year-old cat can display are:
- Weight changes (either gaining or losing too much weight)
- Decreased sense of smell and hearing
- Sensitivity to light
- Heart or circulatory problems
- Less agility
- Digestion difficulties
- Brittle nails
- Grooming difficulties in hard-to-reach areas
- Loose skin/Loss of muscle mass
- Behavior changes, such as increased accidents outside the litter box, irritability, decreased human interaction, confusion and less playfulness
- Fluctuating sleep patterns
- Reduced digestive function
- Reduced immune response
Just because your cat is aging, that does not mean that he or she should have to live in discomfort. There are plenty of things you can do to help your cat age gracefully and comfortably. Schedule visits to your veterinarian at least twice a year for a kitty checkup.