Monday, February 13, 2012

Aging Pets and Senior Cat Care

Well, I guess it is inevitable - something all pet parents face: the thought of our precious petlings becoming sick or worse is overwhelming and unless you have had and loved a pet, the excessive vet bills, sleepless nights and down right hysteria, it may be hard to understand. "It's just an animal" I have heard on more than one occasion! And I am here to testify to you that this attachment and fear of loss is quite real, as my aging and very dear tabby cat "Baby" approaches 16, the thought of life without her seems unimaginable. Visions of her suffering are even worse however which is why I have tried to be proactive in my research and preparation for the inevitable signs of he ultimate enemy, aging.

One thing that I have learned is that as cats age, there is a slow but steady decrease in the weight of their kidneys and a loss of filtering ability. Cats are born with a certain number of filtering apparatus' in their kidneys. These filters are lost when the walls of the blood vessels that form them thicken, scar and become blocked as cats age. The most common signs that owners observe are weight loss and increased thirst, which I have indeed noticed with my tabby cat "Baby" for about 4 - 5 years now. I always try to make sure that she has plenty of water, placed strategically around the house and I also added wet food to her diet once each day. 

Although hard to face, animals like humans are not built to last forever. Like most seniors, I have noticed that Baby prefers a quiet evening in her warm bed. Not to say that she doesn't enjoy an occasional catnip craving or romp around the room, I attempt to keep her routine as consistent as possible. I keep noise to a minimum and try to make her as comfortable and happy as possible, returning the unconditional love and companionship that she has given me for all of these years. 

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