Senior Cat Care

Even with 9 lives, our cats will get older. Despite many stories of cats living into their 20s, at age 7, cats are considered senior. We are here to help you and your cat, so they can enjoy these years happy and healthy.

What are the stages of a senior cat’s life? How to spot signs of aging?

Just like people, cats change on the inside often before you see any signs of aging on the outside. Most cats begin to show external signs around age 10. Of course, the most obvious sign would be mobility issues, perhaps they aren’t using their scratching post as much or are reluctant to jump on the bed. They may be doing more sleeping (given how much a cat sleeps, this may be hard to notice!), drinking or eating, and vocalizing. They can also start having vision or hearing loss. The most important thing is to note any changes – cats like routine and a change can mean something is happening with their health.

My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?

As cats age, they may lose muscle mass; however, if you are concerned about weight loss, a visit to one of our veterinarians is a good start. There are a number of age-related conditions that could be causing this, and our doctors can help address your cat’s needs.

What are some tips for how to care for my senior cat?

Every cat ages differently. With regular check-ups, we can work with you to formulate the best plan for your cat during his or her senior years. Simple things like diet play an important role, and senior cats have special nutritional needs. If your cat has mobility issues, you may want to consider elevated food and water dishes.

What are some common health issues experienced by senior cats?

The most common health issue in senior cats would be kidney disease. Other issues include dental disease, arthritis, cognitive disorders, and hyperthyroidism. With regular check-ups, we can try and detect these issues early and help your cat live as long as possible.

Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?

There are many reasons why your cat’s behaviour may change as they age. Cognitive disorders are not uncommon in cats and can be making your cat behave differently. They may also not be as strong as they used to be, or could be feeling the discomfort that comes with age. If this is happening, they may be agitated more and quick to nip or swat. If you see any changes in behaviour, please contact our hospital.

COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing health crisis, we have suspended our pet boarding services until further notice, and we are not accepting new patients at this time due to higher than normal case-loads. Thank you for your understanding.

Note: If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, please let us know when you book your pet’s appointment. As the potential to spread to pets is still relatively unknown, it is possible that your pet could create a risk to other people who may be handling him or her. Whenever possible, please send someone who is not experiencing respiratory symptoms to the appointment with your pet.

The following changes are effective as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 604-526-0334. We will bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then call you on your cell phone to discuss the issues with your pet, and you will have a telemedicine consult with the veterinarian to discuss further diagnostics required or a treatment plan for your pet. Following the end of the appointment, we will return your pet to your vehicle. If you do not have a cell phone, please knock on our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. Where possible, we will do our best to accommodate annual vaccinations; however, all other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

In these uncertain times, please see the below link for the most recent information for the public on COVID-19 and animals from the Government of Canada (specifically the Canadian Food Inspection Agency).


Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at South Burnaby Veterinary Hospital