As cats age, their health and behavior can change significantly. Monitoring these changes can help ensure they remain healthy and comfortable in their senior years. Here’s a checklist of red flags for senior cats that pet owners should watch out for:

Physical Health

1.Weight Changes

    • Unexplained weight loss or gain.
    • Noticeable changes in appetite or eating habits.

2. Mobility Issues

    • Difficulty jumping onto furniture or climbing stairs.
    • Stiffness, limping, or reluctance to move.

3. Breathing Problems

    • Persistent coughing or wheezing.
    • Shortness of breath or labored breathing.

4. Skin and Coat Condition

    • Dry, flaky, or oily skin.
    • Excessive shedding or bald patches.
    • Lumps, bumps, or growths.

5. Dental Health

    • Bad breath.
    • Difficulty eating or chewing.
    • Swollen, red, or bleeding gums.

6. Urinary and Bowel Habits

    • Increased frequency or difficulty urinating.
    • Incontinence or accidents outside the litter box.
    • Changes in stool consistency or colour.

7. Vision and Hearing Changes

    • Cloudy or red eyes.
    • Bumping into objects or difficulty navigating.
    • Lack of response to sounds or calling.

Behavioral Changes

1. Activity Level

    • Decreased interest in playing or exploring.
    • Increased sleep or restlessness at night.

2. Personality Changes

    • Increased irritability or aggression.
    • Uncharacteristic anxiety or fearfulness.

3. Cognitive Function

    • Disorientation or confusion.
    • Changes in routine behaviours (e.g., pacing, staring at walls).

4. Interaction with Family

    • Withdrawal from family members or other pets.
    • Reduced interest in social interaction.

Overall Well-being


    • Increased thirst or excessive drinking.
    • Dehydration (e.g., dry gums, sunken eyes).

2. Pain Indicators

    • Whimpering, whining, or vocalising.
      Excessive licking or chewing at a specific area.

3. General Appearance

    • Loss of muscle mass.
    • Poor coat condition or changes in body odour.

When to Visit the Vet

    • Routine Check-ups: We recommend regular veterinary check-ups every six months for senior dogs including annual blood and urine tests to screen for health problems and catch disease processes early.
    • Immediate Attention: Seek immediate veterinary attention if you notice severe symptoms such as sudden weight loss, difficulty breathing, or acute pain.

Preventative Measures

1.Diet and Nutrition

    • Provide a balanced diet suitable for senior cats.
    • Consider supplements recommended by our veterinarians and veterinary nurses specific to your pet’s needs.

2. Exercise

    • Maintain a regular, low-impact exercise routine through play.
    • Adjust activity levels based on your cat’s abilities.

3. Comfort and Environment

    • Ensure a comfortable sleeping area with adequate support.
    • Modify the environment to minimize obstacles and hazards.
    • Provide ramps or additional steps to aid them getting up and down from higher surfaces

4. Mental Stimulation

    • Engage your cat with interactive toys and games.
    • Provide social interaction and mental challenges.

By keeping an eye on these red flags and maintaining regular veterinary care, you can help ensure your senior cat lives a comfortable and healthy life.

We are also thrilled to announce our first client seminar of the year, dedicated to the well-being of senior pets. Join us in July for an informative evening where we’ll cover essential topics like common diseases, signs of pain, and effective pain management options. We can’t wait to share valuable insights and practical tips to help your senior pets thrive during the colder months and beyond.

RSVP to our Facebook event here or by calling in the clinic on 02 9086 9130