Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

September Newsletter

Common Illnesses in Older Cats

Tater had always been a robust, full-bodied cat. She enjoyed her meals and wasn’t ashamed. She was proud of her fur;after all, she had a particularly lustrous coat. Tater was out-going, a real “people” cat. She loved when company would visit, and never met a lap she didn’t like.

When she gradually started keeping more to herself, her owners noticed. They thought she might be losing weight, and her hair coat didn’t have quite the shine it used to have. They became especially concerned when she was reluctant to jump onto her favorite spot on the bed. Tater’s veterinarian shared the owner’s concerns, so he ran a few tests. Tater’s results: a high thyroid level and hind limb arthritis.
If an older cat is hiding more, losing weight and not grooming herself very well, it is possible that there is more to blame than just “old age.” Simple lab tests can detect common older cat diseases like high thyroid, kidney disease, and diabetes. Cats can also get primary hypertension (high blood pressure) and arthritis as they age. These are also fairly easy to diagnose with simple testing. Because cats can be so good at hiding illnesses or discomfort, we take it very seriously when owners mention subtle changes in behavior or eating habits. Routine screening with “senior wellness” plans (ours is called Silver Whiskers) can often detect an illness early and allows us to intervene before the illness causes significant damage.

Many of these diseases are manageable with medications and other treatments. Please let us know if you notice any subtle or obvious changes in your cat’s appetite, behavior, hair coat, vision, or even ability to walk or jump. We want your cat to enjoy life; after all, she deserves it!