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Tips for Caring for Senior Cats

What to feed your senior cat?
There are many different diets that may be acceptable to feed a senior pet, which is highly dependant on your cat’s health status. It is important to perform senior blood work in order to pick the best diet for your cat. Some of the most common health conditions in older cats have specific diets formulated for them. These include kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, and many more.

Your veterinarian will be able to interpret the blood work to pick a food best suited for your pet. If they assess your cat to be healthy, they may recommend a balanced senior food or an adult maintenance diet. It is important to review the nutrition of a food with your veterinarian before you switch your cat onto it, as some senior foods can restrict certain components such as protein and phosphorus unnecessarily for your cat.

Why is my senior cat peeing on the floor?
There are many situations that can lead a cat to pee outside the litter box. There are certain diseases in older age that can cause a cat to drink and pee more. The most common of these are kidney disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). There are many other possible causes as well, which can be assessed with senior blood work. These conditions require medical management to improve your cat’s quality of life. Another possibility is arthritis. As cats get older, especially if they are overweight, they often form arthritis in their joints. If the cat has to go down or up to stairs to get to a litter box, or if the box is very deep and the cat has a hard time jumping into it, they may choose to pee on the floor instead. On the other hand, if you notice that your cat is standing in the litter box but peeing outside the edges of the box, it may be because it hurts them to crouch down in order to pee in the box. For senior pets, it is ideal to have litter boxes on multiple floors of the house, and have boxes that are easy to walk into but with a higher back that they can pee against.

Why is my senior cat losing hair?
One of the most common causes of hair loss in senior cats is hyperthyroidism. This is where the thyroid gland overproduces thyroid hormone due to a benign growth on it. Other symptoms include drinking and peeing more, weight loss, and a ravenous appetite. Some other conditions that may cause hair loss are fleas or other parasites, food allergies, or environmental allergies. These can happen in cats of any age.

Why is my senior cat losing weight?
Many people notice that their senior cats may be losing weight. There are many different conditions that cause this. Sometimes, it can be as simple as a loss of muscle mass because old cats don’t move around or play as much. Other times there can be more significant causes of the common older cat diseases, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism.

Written by Heather Bassey, DVM

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How to help injured and orphaned wild animals

Below are a few suggestions should you come across injured or orphaned wildlife.  First, you need to determine if the wild animal is indeed injured or abandoned without putting yourself in harm’s way. Try not to have too much contact with the animal or to disturb the surroundings. If you are unsure, it is best that you leave it be and call a wildlife specialist to notify them about the animal and its location. Certain animals like rabbits and deer often leave their young alone for long periods throughout the day. If it appears healthy and well, do not disturb the animal. 

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Last updated: July 19, 2021

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we have made some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CONTINUE TO SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

Note: Priority will be given to urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. If you're unsure whether your pet needs medical attention, please call us to discuss your situation. 

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday - Friday: 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

4. PET BOARDING & GROOMING

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. With your cooperation, our team can continue to provide outstanding care to our cherished patients, without compromising the safety of our staff and clients. Any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Centennial Animal Hospital