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Caring for Cats Later in Life

Age is not a disease. It is a stage of life. Care of an older feline family member can be difficult. We are here to help you balance conditions and diseases older cats may experience with quality of life. Special considerations are required in evaluating, examining, hospitalizing, and caring for older felines. We follow the recommendations for mature, senior, and geriatric care set forth by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).

We screen senior cats at each mature/geriatric visit for some of the following feline conditions and diseases:

  • Senior cats require extra care as they are susceptible to feline disease conditions.Dental disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart disease
  • Renal insufficiency/failure (kidney disease)
  • Nutritional deficiencies/ sensitivities
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Anxiety
  • Dementia

For "mature" cats (7-10 years old) we recommend annually:

  • Physical Exam
  • Fecal Examination
  • Complete blood count and blood chemistry (CBC/Chemistry)
  • Urinalysis
  • Thyroid blood test depending on physical condition
  • Blood pressure depending on physical condition
 
Life
Stage
Age of
Cat
Human
Equivalent
Kitten 0-1 months
2-3 months
4 months
6 months
0-1 year
2-4 years
6-8 years
10 years
Junior 7 months
12 months
18 months
2 years
12 years
15 years
21 years
24 years
Prime

3 years
4 years
5 years
6 years

28 years
32 years
36 years
40 years
Mature 7 Years
8 years
9 years
10 years
44 years
48 years
52 years
56 years
Senior 11 years
12 years
13 years
14 years
60 years
64 years
68 years
72 years
Geriatric 15 years
16 years
17 years
18 years
19 years
20 years
21 years
22 years
23 years
24 years
25 years
76 years
80 years
84 years
88 years
92 years
96 years
100 years
104 years
108 years
112 years
116 years

For "senior" cats (11-14 years old) we recommend:

  • Physical Exam every 6 months
  • Fecal Examination with each visit
  • CBC/Chemistry annually, or every 6 months if ever abnormal
  • Urinalysis annually, or every 6 months if ever abnormal
  • Thyroid blood test annually
  • Blood pressure annually, or every 6 months if ever abnormal
  • Chest x-rays, potentially joint x-rays depending on condition

For "geriatric" cats (15+ years old) we recommend:

  • Physical Exam every 6 months
  • Fecal Examination with each visit
  • CBC/Chemistry every 6 months
  • Urinalysis every 6 months
  • Thyroid blood test every 6 months
  • Blood pressure every 6 months
  • Chest x-rays every 6-12 months, potentially joint x-rays depending on condition

Senior Cat Care Resources

Click to download these senior feline healthcare educational resources:

AAFP’s Friends For Life, Caring for Your Older Cat
AAFP's Senior Cat Care Guidelines Summary