Though they’re rumored to have nine lives, the truth is, cats age just as humans do. In fact, they actually age even faster, which can sometimes make it difficult to spot certain physical cues. That being said, if your feline friend is headed over the hill soon, here are a few ways you can tell.
Age: Generally speaking, a 7-year old cat is considered “middle-aged.” This may seem shocking, but consider this — cats mature rapidly in their first year of age, reaching the human equivalent of 24 by their first birthday. That being said, most well-cared for house cats can live for up to 14-16 years in total.
Thin, Dull Fur: Humans usually lose some of the pigmentation and fullness of our hair as we age, and cats are no different. It’s not uncommon for their coat to lose its sheen or thin out over time, though it can happen slowly and be hard to detect.
Hard of Hearing: If your cat startles easily when you go near her it could mean that she didn’t hear you coming, which signifies decreased hearing. While this can be a sign that old age is near, it can also point to inflammation, nerve damage and inner ear issues as well.
Diminished Eyesight: Is Fluffy having a hard time locating that toy or treat you set down in her sights? You may have also noticed a visual change in the shape or color of her eyes. These are all signs that your kitty’s vision might be diminishing with age, and should be checked by a veterinarian.
Decreased Mobility: It’s not uncommon for cats, like humans, to become more sluggish with age. After all, their muscle definition and energy levels aren’t what they used to be! The best way to battle this is by exercising your cat often early on and making them comfortable with cozy living spaces and easy ways to get around the house as they get older.
Aging is a fact of life, even for our feline friends! Fortunately, scheduling regular veterinary visits can help prevent the effects of aging for a longer period of time. There’s really nothing that puts a pet parents mind at ease better than knowing their kitty is under the watchful eye of a trained veterinary professional!
Learn all about our annual feline wellness programs on our site, contact us online with questions, or feel free to call the office at 212-396-3020. At Upper East Side Animal Hospital, providing the healthiest, happiest life for you and your pet is our #1 goal!
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