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 Post subject: Senior cat awesomeness
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:52 pm 
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I just got back from taking my (rather put-out) elderly cat to the vet, and I'm rather proud that he said she's chugging along quite well. He didn't run any lab work on her because exam pointed to all her parts working pretty well for an old lady. She did her usual routine...meowing non-stop in the carrier, shedding like crazy on the exam table, but then calming down a bit when the vet handled her (one thing I love about him is his calm, warm, positive demeanor with nervous pets). She even did elevator butt when the vet tech petted her before putting her on the scale. Her weight is down to what would have been an underweight level when she was younger, but she also doesn't have the muscle mass she did when she was younger. He said it's just a matter of keeping her interested in eating, and pretty much letting her eat as much as she wants. Quite a departure from when she was younger and prone to weight gain. We had to serve two meals a day, and monitor them so she wouldn't muscle in on the other cats' food!

She will turn 21 sometime in late October (don't know her exact birthday). I think I'll have a party in honor of it, and she can buy everyone a drink.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:41 pm 
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21 is amazing for a cat. My old guy is 16, and going downhill pretty quickly :-(

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:06 pm 
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I'm convinced that some of it has GOT to be genes. We had three cats. One made it to 17, one to 15, and the third is the one who's closing in on 21. All were fed the same food, raised by the same humans, etc. All 3 had different temperaments (the one who died at 15 was an anxious, high-strung thing and I'm convinced it shortened her lifespan a little).


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:44 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
That’s awesome that you have an almost 21 year old cat, Tempest! One of the cats I grew up with lived to be almost 20. My mom got him as a kitten long before she even moved away from her hometown and met my dad. He was in pretty good health for most of that time, too.

My Zoot was a very anxious, high-strung cat - I had him put down a week before his 18th birthday due to his failing health. I do wonder if he might have lived longer if he didn’t worry so much, but I loved his little personality just the way it was.

May your cat have many more happy days ahead of her!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:49 am 
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One thing that's gone along with Ellie's very advanced age is hearing loss. The spouse and I noticed some signs of it before, such as not answering to her name (I realize not all cats do, but she used to come to either her name or "kitty kitty" type calls), or startling upon touch like she didn't hear you come up to pet her. Later on we noticed she wasn't as freaked out by the vacuum cleaner & would just clear off to the windowsills rather than hauling ass out of the room. Vet confirmed that it's very typical for a geriatric cat, and pretty much par for the course. I'm sure that when I'm 96 I won't hear so well, either.

Now she sleeps through the vacuuming, and has been known to cuddle up to the stationary, turned-off vacuum cleaner because it's warm!

My theory is that since she's (gotta be) pretty close to deaf, she figures she might as well befriend the warm appliances. She's on very cuddly terms with the dehumidifier in the bathroom as well. I'll have it running when I'm in the bath, and she will curl up next to it or behind it.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:46 am 
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That's good news on your senior citizen. Our dog is 16, and she just keeps on truckin', too. Sure, she's slower, she sleeps more, but she still scrambles when she feels like it, and when she's alert, she's very alert.

The weird/funny trait that she's picked up, which the doc attributes to possible slight dementia...she'll walk down the hall or across a room and bark to herself! It's hard to describe, but imagine a dog walking in a very nonchalant way, but barking like there's an intruder nearby. I figure she's just talking to herself, like a lot of older folks do. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:01 pm 
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Wow, 16 and still trucking. That's pretty good!

Geriatric cats will do a similar thing of "talking to themselves". With Ellie it's a little hard to tell...she's always been a vocal cat, so yelling in the front hall is nothing new. If there's cognitive dysfunction going on, it's hard to tell. Still uses the box (though I've found a couple poops riiiiight outside the box--I attribute it to aiming difficulties with her old, stiff hips and knees), still eats and drinks and seems very content.

For the most part her running and leaping days are behind her now, though she'll sometimes trot down the hall if she's very excited to see me. The other night she surprised me by viciously attacking the packing paper and materials from a UPS box as I was unpacking it. So she still has some play drive left, which is cute.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:13 pm 
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Ancient cat Ellie is back from her annual check-up. Doc says she's doing all right, especially for nearly 22. She's lost more weight, but really that's kind of just what happens at this point. She's also much more easily distracted from food and has less drive to eat. He said just keep shoveling in the groceries, serve her stuff that's enticing, etc. Wet food helps in that regard. We also give her things we're making, if it's suitable...like scrambled egg, or chicken breast, etc. Basically she eats whatever amount she puts away, as often as she wants. She did have some bad tartar on her back molars, but the vet techs managed to get it off. That should make eating more comfortable. At this point, I would be unwilling to put her under general anesthetic. Vet and I are in agreement on that one.

She's still enjoying retirement on the couch. Very social and always wants to be near me. She may be showing some signs of senility (forgets she's eating and wanders off, then complains about being hungry), but it seems to be more the forgetful/spacey kind and not the agitated or disoriented kind. Still very sweet and content.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:40 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
^^Congrats on your senior kitty, Tempest! It’s awesome that you’ve had her for so long.

When I was dealing with an older cat that needed to gain some weight, I found high-calorie food (both kibble and wet food) really helped. My old guy was always a bit of a hard keeper (he was never particularly food motivated), but the high-calorie food helped him to keep weight on better. We got it directly from the vets.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:27 am 
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Yeah, I've gotten high-calorie wet food for her in the past when putting weight back on her after she got dental work done. I'll probably add that in too. She's currently on some pretty high-quality wet food and she does like it.

I think she'll be 22 in about two weeks, if I've done the math right. I got her close to the end of December, 1997.


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