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Caring for Senior Cats

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Does My Cat Need Senior Care?

Could your cat benefit from senior care? Like people, cats all age at different rates. Generally speaking, senior cats are between the ages of 11 to 14 years, which is the equivalent of 60 to 72 years for humans. Look out for the following age-related changes in your cat’s behavior:

•    Drinking more water than normal
•    More urine in the litter box than normal
•    Weight loss, may occur in spite of a ravenous appetite
•    Nails that don't shed, and grow into their pads
•    Change in appetite or unwillingness to eat
•    Changes in litter box habits
•    Changes in behavior and mood

These are signs that your cat needs additional veterinary care.

Thanks to advancements in veterinary care, today’s cats can live well into their teen years. It is not uncommon for cats to live to be 18 or even older. However, in order for cats to live a long full life, they need proactive veterinary care to stay healthy.

As cats age, they are at greater risk for chronic diseases and health complications. However, cats are also masters at hiding illness. Semi-annual veterinary appointments are the best way to monitor a cat’s well being. For a senior cat, six months can be the equivalent of two years – a number of health changes can happen during this period.

During a wellness exam, a veterinarian will check a cat’s weight and body condition, skin and coat quality, eyes, ears, thyroid, heart, lungs, joints, mouth and abdomen. A veterinarian may also conduct diagnostic blood work and parasite screenings. While physical changes are easily noticed (e.g., weight loss or change in coat quality), internal changes are more difficult to detect. Diagnostic tests provide an important snapshot of a cat’s internal health and can detect problems such as hyperthyroidism and kidney disease.

Feline hyperthyroidism and kidney problems are the most common health conditions affecting older cats. Hyperthyroidism affects many organs in the body, including the heart. Hyperthyroidism can lead to secondary heart disease as well as hypertension (high blood pressure). Kidney disease can also cause hypertension. Your veterinarian can check for this during your cat's exam. Blood  tests during a semi-annual wellness screening are the best way to detect hyperthyroidism and kidney problems. With early diagnosis, medical treatments can be very successful in managing these disease.  These are examples  of why proactive veterinary care is so important for senior cats.

Wellness exams are also an opportunity to evaluate a cat’s dietary needs. As cats age, their nutritional needs change.  For example, cats with kidney problems should have a diet low in protein and phosphorus. Less active cats may need to be fed less in order to prevent weight gain and obesity. Other cats may become disinterested in food, resulting in weight loss. Cats that lose their sense of taste and smell may also lose interest in eating. Unfortunately, gradual weight loss can also go unnoticed, especially for longhaired cats. This is why nutrition evaluations and regular weigh-ins are so important.

Just like humans, cats will have different wellness needs as they age. Some cats may need a special diet while other cats may need medication to manage a chronic disease. Your veterinarian will make specific recommendations based on your cat’s wellness needs.

Sources:

http://www.vet.cornell.edu

http://www.catvets.com/

News & Upcoming Events

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Payment Options

Payment is expected at the time services are rendered. 

We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, debit, and cash.

We apologize for any inconvenience however, John Rolfe cannot extend credit to our clients. We wish we could do what we do for free but, (until we win the lottery) our fees are as low as we can possibly make them and still be available for the next pet who needs us. Please, if you need to borrow money and do not have credit available, turn to your family, friends, or employers to lend you the money and make arrangements to pay them back. Your pet is your responsibility and we will do what we can to help you through a difficult time, but we cannot be financially responsible for you and your pet.

We also accept Care Credit which you can apply for at carecredit.com. Care Credit offers a 6 month/no interest plan.

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THIS ---->https://johnrolfeanimalcom.vetmatrixbase.com/index.php

Office Hours

Day
Monday7:30am6:00pm
Tuesday7:30am6:00pm
Wednesday7:30am6:00pm
Thursday7:30am6:00pm
Friday7:30am6:00pm
Saturday8:30am1:00pm
SundayClosedClosed
Day
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
7:30am 7:30am 7:30am 7:30am 7:30am 8:30am Closed
6:00pm 6:00pm 6:00pm 6:00pm 6:00pm 1:00pm Closed

"Everyone is accommodating, welcoming, caring! My baby is a wonderful Lab Mix senior girl, 16, with specific medical needs. I wanted a Vet close who cared, gave great attention and treatment. I toured, discussed needs, each visit Staff pampers her!"

"A fantastic facility and team....would not trust my pet with anyone else!"

"Despite being the last appt of the day no one made us feel rushed. Everyone was friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable."

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