Tips on Cats that are “Slowing Down”

A common concern many senior cat owners have is about when their cat appears to be "slowing down". This can mean different things to different people and also may have significantly different meanings to your cat's health.

For example, slowing down may mean that your cat wants to play less or sleep more. It may mean that he can't jump up on the counter or bed as easily.

The real question is _ how much slowing down is normal? A little slowing is normal as a cat ages. I generally don't worry too much as long as the cat is eating well, having normal bowel movements, maintaining his weight, breathing normally and still intermittently playful or active. If there are substantial changes in more than one of these areas, I may be a little worried.

The safest thing to do is to have your cat examined by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may want to run routine bloodwork to screen for some common diseases.

They say hindsight is 20/20. Over the years, I have seen a lot of cats presented on emergency with a significant problem and the owner tells me – "Well, we have noticed him "slowing down" a little over the past few weeks." Don't be fooled. Better safe than sorry. If you are worried, have your cat checked by your veterinarian.

For more information on senior cats, please read Commonly Asked Questions About Senior Cats.