Friday 2 May 2008

Old cat health

Old Himalayan Cat
Old cat health - Mocha an 18 year old female Himalayan who lives with Marilyn Papp. Photo copyright Marilyn Papp. This is where she spends most of her time nowadays.

Old cat health is a worry to people who keep cats. My cat is about 15+ years old. She is still healthy touch wood. She can't groom her back because she is a little overweight but is still in robust good health. For that I am eternally grateful and long may it last. As the years roll by we become closer and as I am retired I spend more time with her, which I sense she appreciates. We are very close companions, the relationship burnished and polished by time.

catMarilyn emailed me about her cat.

"I just wanted to let you know that my Himilayan Cat is now 18 years old, Mocha, her top weight during her life was 5lbs 2 oz, she now weights 4lbs 2oz, her eyesight is very limited and the mobility in hind legs is deteriorating. But she is a trooper and still holding on. I have noticed lately...that.... her teeth are not looking good, but she does still eat dry food. Just thought you would like to know about my Mocha."

I do want to know about your Mocha. Mocha has a habit of burning her tail on wood stoves and has never learned to avoid the stove. She obviously doesn't care. She also used to love to travel (unusual for a cat). Mocha is well traveled. She has been to Wawa, Ontario, Ottawa, North Bay, and Sault St. Marie in Canada (all those places are in Canada aren't they, Marilyn?).

catHere's a picture of her perched on top of the scratching post. She prefers to be there rather then scratch it. Sounds like mine. You can't get 'em to do anything they don't want to do (unless you trick 'em).

In human terms Mocha is 85 years old. My cat is a sprightly 73 in comparison. You can work out cat age from this posting, entitled, "How Old is My Cat".

I also made an earlier posting about "Senior Cat Care". From a common sense point of view, old cat health has the same problems as for old humans. The senses and mobility deteriorates etc. but they can live happy and full lives still. I try and exercise mine in the garden to keep her active. In fact she asks me out. She actually needs me out to supervise the area and protect her (and comb her). She feels safer then. Old cat health can be improved if activity levels are maintained.

Marilyn mentions that Mocha eats dry food. I used to give my cat dry food (on a vet's advice) but I now believe that it contains too much carbohydrate which can lead to less activity. I would recommend that Marilyn gradually transfers Mocha to wet food (canned or in a sachet) as this is better. I think this is now recognized as a fact rather than supposition. It can improve old cat health. (Update: Marilyn says this: - I do feed her moist food, I have to buy it at the vet, she goes through 1 little can every 5 days! - thanks Marilyn :)

Himalayans are pointed Persian cats. I have never lived with a Himmie. They have characters like Persians but perhaps not quite so docile as they are a cross between a Persian and Siamese. Siamese are quite active and vocal so this combination shouldn't be to docile. Marilyn will tell me in the comments section.

Marilyn, thanks for sending me your pictures of Mocha. I am sure like me you are occasionally concerned about your cat's age and her passing on. I am with mine. This is a tough part of living with a cat. But for me it has been a lovely journey full of reward.

Old cat health to Traditional Persian Cat

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