“My cat is 15 years old and slowing down. He also looks a bit scrawny… Is that normal?”
I’m glad you asked. We often equate aging with being less active. In fact, “slowing down” is one of the “10 subtle signs of illness”.
It could mean that your kitty is dehydrated or has low potassium. These can be corrected and he will feel a lot better. If he is moving less due to discomfort from arthritis or other conditions, there are medications, supplements and diets that can help him be more limber.
Also, your vet can advise you regarding making minor changes in your home so that he can get in and out of his litter box more readily, get to those favourite sleeping spots and observation posts as well as food and water.
Older cats also start to lose muscle mass. We want to pick that up early, as it can be the first sign of kidney, or other, disease.
Something as curable as dental disease may result in decreased food intake in some (but not all) cats – some continue to eat their usual amount, but don’t thrive due to chronic inflammation.
Together, with your veterinarian, you can check your kitty’s body condition, muscle condition and coat to evaluate whether he is eating enough of the right food to optimize health.
Most often, whatever the cause for “slowing down” or muscle wasting can be corrected or minimized so that your kitty can feel perky and be comfortable for years to come. Be sure to check out the “10 Subtle Signs of Illness” today.