Old Age in cs: How to Recognize the Symptoms

Are you worried about why your old velvet paw no longer listens to its name? Or are you wondering why your cat can no longer find its food bowl? We explain how you can recognize symptoms of old age in your house tiger at an early stage and enable your cat to lead a long, healthy life.

How Old Do Cats Get?

A rule of thumb is that cats live on average around 15 years of age. This means that some of them can even get a few years older.

How old a house tiger can really get depends on its genes and way of life. And of course how much the cat suffers from old age. The healthier the cat lives, the higher the likelihood that the symptoms of old age will develop more slowly. The fact is that malnutrition or malnutrition as well as underlying diseases can shorten the life span.

Interesting to know: According to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest cat so far, “Creme Puff”, is 38 years old. Of course, this is only an absolute rarity.

Typical Signs of Old Age in Cats

Old cats stand out in comparison to their younger conspecifics due to certain signs of age. These are seen in cats from the age of seven. They are divided into external identifying features and changes in their behavior:

Changes in the body

A common sign of old age in cats is grayish-white discoloration of hair, especially around the head. In general, the coat becomes duller and less shiny with age.

Due to old age, the fur coat in cats also often looks matted, as affected fur noses can no longer do enough personal hygiene in old age.

It can also be observed more and more that the muscles decrease and the posture becomes more unstable. Basic diseases that often occur in old age (e.g. joint wear and tear) can also have a negative impact on the external appearance.

Behavior changes

It is normal for cats to behave differently when they are old. These are not due to illness and are simply part of getting older:

  • confused wandering due to vision and hearing loss
  • suddenly urinating within your own four walls
  • increased tiredness
  • Memory loss
  • Decrease in eating and drinking behavior

Is it Possible to Prevent Old Age in Cats?

A cat’s age is influenced by two factors: environmental factors and genetically inherited age. While the genetic factor can only be influenced by targeted breeding, you can increase the life expectancy of your furry friend through a healthy lifestyle and thus also influence the weakness of old age in cats.

Proper nutrition

Cats are carnivores and need high levels of protein. In addition, the supplementary feeding of vitamin A and taurine is essential, as cats cannot produce the two substances themselves. Arginine and arachidonic acid are also nutrients that are important for a healthy diet and a good old age for your cat.

Sufficient exercise

Exercise is essential for a healthy cat life – science has known that for a long time. Exercise does not always have to mean high-performance sport for your cat. If your cat is able to roam the neighborhood, it will usually get enough exercise. However, if you have a cozy house tiger at home, you can lure it with the help of toys or interesting courses. This is how you can prevent premature old age in cats.

Regular health checks

Many senior cats suffer from systemic diseases such as diabetes or kidney problems. Joint diseases such as joint wear and tear (osteoarthritis) are also common in old cats. Regular visits to the vet are advisable so that you can identify and treat these diseases as early as possible. They can help your old cat by giving them painkillers, for example.

A stress-free environment

In contrast to adult cats, old cats have weaker immune systems. If they are also stressed, they are even more susceptible to infections and other diseases. This means that old age can also advance faster in cats.

Make sure that the environment is stress-free and avoid animal additions or noisy festivities. If this is inevitable, you can consider stress-relieving measures such as the use of pheromones.


It is a normal process for cats’ memories to deteriorate with age. However, you can slow down this development a bit by giving your cat brain teasers. Hiding food and offering intelligent toys can strengthen brain performance.

What Happens with Old Age in the Body?

Every living being consists of billions of cells. Depending on the type of cell, they have a specific function in the body. By dividing, they multiply and replace cells that have already died – that’s the principle.

At a young age, the body cells are still very vital. However, with increasing age, they gradually lose functionality and lifespan. Then the old age in cats sets in.

It happens that some organs also lose functionality. These include, in particular, the kidneys, the liver, or the brain. Accordingly, decreased organ functions such as hearing impairment or increased urination are signs of old age in cats.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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