Five Most Common Diseases Associated with Aging in Cats are:
- Kidney Failure: A loss of the cat’s ability to retain fluid, results in increased drinking and urination
- Diabetes Mellitus: Inability to regulate blood sugar, commonly causes increased drinking and urination with weight loss, more common in obese cats
- Hyperthyroidism: An over active thyroid which often causes weight loss in spite of a good to ravenous appetite.
- Neoplasia (cancer): Cancer can occur in animals of any age, but is more common in older pets. Many times there are few signs of illness but weight loss and problems specific to the site of the tumor may be seen.
- Dental disease can also be a problem in older cats and many will require yearly dental cleaning. All types of dental disease occur in cats, but a common one at any age is called cervical line lesions. These are little craters formed in the teeth, often at the gum line, that result in inflammation and pain. Teeth with CLLs should be extracted. We’ll often also see tooth loss and abscess formation with pronounced dental disease. And finally, some cats develop a condition of severe inflammation (Gingivitis/Stomatitis) involving their gums and oral cavity and these pets must be medicated and treated aggressively to control their discomfort.
Seniors should be examined by a veterinarian every 6-12 months and should have lab screening done yearly. Typical screening includes a complete blood and urine profile with a thyroid level and urinalysis.