The Elderly Cat:
- Cats age well, with great dignity.
- Most cats remain remarkably fit until the last few months of their
- Tom cats that are not neutered generally live two years less
that tom cats that are neutered.
- Neutering does not change the longevity of female cats.
- 14 years is a good age for a cat; few will live beyond 16-17 years.
- But there are examples of cats living to 18, 20, or even 25 years.
- Cats normally sleep 18 hours a day, but they sleep more as they
- Cats will become less active in general as they age, and may
need their claws clipped.
- An elderly cat's walk may become stiffer and its coat less lustrous.
- But it will still enjoy life, especially a good snooze in the sun.
- An elderly cat may need to have its teeth cleaned more than a younger
cat. Pay attention to the cat's teeth and make sure tartar doesn't
build up and that the gums are healthy.
- Ask the vet if you should give your elderly cat special food.
- Often elderly cats will experience some type of kidney failure.
- The (necessary) high-protein diet of the cat puts stress on the kidneys.
- An elderly cat with partial kidney failure may respond to treatment and a modification of diet.
- Two signs of kidney failure are weight loss and drinking more
- Despite these problems, the elderly cat can continue to live
with a good quality of life, being a source of love and companionship
for its people.
Source: Understanding Cats -- Their History, Nature
and Behavior, by Roger Tabor, The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.,
Pleasantville, NY, 1995, pp. 128-129.