A 15 year old cat is considered to be a geriatric, but cats can live for longer if they are healthy. There are plenty of physical effects that come with ageing, just as we experience as humans. Some of the common signs of ageing may include changes in the following areas: attitude, sleep, appetite, activity and cognitive ability. This natural signs of ageing don’t cause concern providing they don’t interfere with your cats daily activities or their social behaviour.
However, there are five signs that indicate that the older cat will need to see a vet and may require some additional help and attention during their last life stage. The signs are from the ‘DISHA’ categories, which are as follows.
- Disorientation and memory. Look at for memory problems, cats getting lost and confused inside or outside the home, forgetting some of their learned behaviours and getting trapped.
- Interactions. Your pet may become more clingy and not want to leave your, a family member or another pet’s side. They may also no longer wish to spend time with anyone and become more isolated and even aggressive.
- Sleep-wake cycles. This cycle is commonly witnessed during the night when the cat wakes and vocalises.
- House soiling. Not using the litter tray without any medical reason for failing to do so.
- Activity and anxiety. No activity or behaviours such as wandering around aimlessly, appearing restless or repeating the same activities.
If you have any concerns about the older cats in your household it is always a good idea to book an appointment at the vets for a check-up. Make a list of the behaviours that you have witnessed that are causing concern and speak to your vet about ageing in cats.