Although cats of any age can become ill, as they get older, they may start to experience more health issues that can affect their quality of life, which is why cat insurance with no upper age limit, like the insurance available from Petsure, is essential. Diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease are three of the most common diseases in cats aged seven years and older. Let’s take a look at these conditions and what you can do as a pet owner to help ensure your feline friend is healthy and happy.
Diabetes results from an inability of the body to produce or use insulin naturally. In cats, diabetes can manifest itself as:
- weight loss
- increased thirst and urination
- or even depression
It’s important to consult a vet if you notice any of these symptoms in your cat. Early detection and treatment are key for managing diabetes. Diabetes can be managed with diet changes and medication but without proper treatment, it can lead to serious complications such as blindness or organ failure.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This overproduction can lead to symptoms such as:
- excessive grooming
- weight loss
- increased appetite
- aggression towards other animals in the household (or people!)
- increased drinking and urination habits
- restlessness or irritability
- vomiting and/or diarrhoea
There are several treatments available for this condition. Medication or surgery may be appropriate treatments, depending on the severity of your cat’s hyperthyroidism.
Kidney disease is another common health issue affecting older cats; it occurs when the kidneys aren’t able to filter waste from the bloodstream properly due to damage or infection. Symptoms include:
- weight loss (even though appetite may increase)
- bad breath (due to toxins not being removed from the body)
- anaemia (caused by decreased production of red blood cells)
- vomiting/diarrhoea/lethargy (all caused by dehydration)
- decreased activity level
Treatment usually involves dietary changes aimed at reducing kidney stress as well as medications that target specific symptoms related to kidney disease.
Diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease are all serious conditions that can affect older cats if left untreated, but with proper care, they can be managed effectively so your cat lives a long life full of love and affection. If you start noticing any unusual behaviour with your pet such as sudden weight loss or change in appetite/activity level, it’s important that you take them for regular checkups with your vet so any potential illnesses can be identified early on.