13 year old cat, what is normal?

Micaela227

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Hi! So, as you can guess from the tittle, i have a 13 year old male cat. He was neutered when he was around one, and ever since he's been a really chill cat, plays around, eats a lot, and sleeps even more. He had some pretty bad health issues when he was young, but i think that in the last nine or ten years i only had to take him to the vet maybe three or four times for minor issues.
Now that he's older, and since i never had a older cat before (i'm 21) i'm wondering what is the normal behavior that i should expect and not worry too much about. Is he gonna play less than normal? Sleep more? What should I pay attention to? Any advise? Thank you so much in advance!!!
 

ArtNJ

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You don't have to compare your cat to some arbitrary standard for 13 year old cats, because they are all different -- its the **changes** that you are watching out for. Keep an eye out for changes in behavior, appetite, weight loss, that sort of thing. If you notice something and are wondering if you should be concerned, come check in with us.

Sounds like he is doing well right now, so that is great! A vet check is still a good idea. They will try to get you to get a senior blood panel, but if you don't have the money for that (its very expensive) that is understandable. Still, a good idea for a wellness visit at this age.

Hope your cat stays happy and healthy. Many do. I've had bad luck that way, never had a cat live much past 15, but if your cat is in good health, who knows? There is no arbitrary age, some cats can live over 20 years.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Sounds like he is doing well so far! I would agree about a senior check up, including blood work (CBC, Chemistry Profile, maybe thyroid check). This check up can serve as a baseline as he ages and will help to more quickly identify potential issues down the road, should any arise. Call your vet and ask the cost, and if need be start saving up for it.
 

daftcat75

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February is dental health month. As cats age, their teeth can go bad. Save up and plan for a dental exam once a year. With mouth X-rays. Dental problems can occur below the gum line that won't be visible with a simple visual examination.

Cats' digestion slow down as they age. A kibble-fed cat may have a harder time digesting kibble as they age. It isn't a very digestible food to begin with. If you are feeding kibble, I would make a concerted effort to reduce or eliminate it and switch him to wet food. You may also want to look into digestive enzymes and probiotics.

Cats also get arthritis as they age. A fish oil, krill oil, or salmon oil supplement--an animal-based source of omega-3 fatty acids because cats can't process plant sources of these essential fatty acids--is another thing you can add to his diet to help him as he ages. Many cats love the flavor of these oils. You can add it to his wet food if he's being picky about the wet food conversion. In order to prevent overdoing it, I would mix the capsule or a pump if it's a pump bottle directly into a whole can and then serve from that can over the course of the day rather than putting a capsule or a pump into every meal.

I would also plan on doing a yearly checkup from now on. A senior panel can cost as much as $250 depending on where you live. So set aside $20 a month if you need to save up for it. Ask your vet about the dental because that's going to cost quite a bit more (in the neighborhood of $400 as there is sedation and X-rays involved.)

Senior cats cost more. But they'll pay you back in love and a special bond that their more aloof, younger selves may have passed up. Krista was more a rambunctious roommate in her younger years. She's become much more a loving and devoted fur kid in recent years.
 

daftcat75

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Oh! And play with him even as he gets older and arthritic. Whether it's a laser pointer or a shoelace or a wand toy or whatever, keep playing with him to break up the monotony of eating and sleeping, to keep his joints moving, and to strengthen that bond between the two of you. Krista doesn't play much anymore at sixteen with arthritis and multiple other health issues. But I can see it in her eyes when I reach for the laser pointer or the toy bin that she still wants to. Even if it's only for a few seconds, that's a few seconds she's not thinking about her aching joints or gut issues.
 
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