Old cats

Senior citizen

In general, cats are considered middle-aged when they reach seven years and are seniors when they get to ten. With medical advances and better nutrition options it is quite common for domestic cats to live for more than 15 years, with many reaching 20. This means you are likely to spend many of their senior years together, so understanding the changes they’ll be going through is important to ensure your cat stays in peak health for as long as possible into their life.

Changing the home environment

Small home alterations make life a lot easier for an older cat. A soft bed in an accessible, quiet and warm location will keep them comfortable. If they’re having trouble jumping up to some of their favourite spots then you could place some steps there to help them out. And always make sure their food and water is within easy reach. Keep them indoors, especially in the cooler months and keep an eye on them when and if they are outside.

Pay close attention

The best thing you can do for your ageing cat is to keep an eye out for some common signs of illness and, if they appear, take them to the vet right away, especially if you notice any changes in their general demeanour, mobility or appetite. Regular vet-checks will help your older kitty remain in good health and any potential health issues can be picked up early and treated.

Cat's tip

Who’re you calling a fat
cat? Anyway, we prefer
the term 'festively plump

Fat cats

Adult cats have a natural tendency to put on weight and so are more likely to develop diabetes, heart and respiratory problems and arthritis. If weight is a concern speak to your vet about specially formulated ‘light’ cat foods to help your cat lose a kilo or two and keep them looking svelte.


Overgrown claws can cause pain and infection in your cat’s sensitive footpads. Young cats are generally able to keep their own claws under control with the use of trees and scratching posts, but as they age they may need a helping hand. Either visit your vet regularly tor a trimming session or ask them to show you how to do it yourself. Gloves are advisable if attempting this yourself as a cat scratch can be painful.

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Caring for your pet

Caring for your pet

Caring for your pet isn’t just about exercise and diet, it’s about ensuring they are properly cared for in all aspects.

The information provided is general information only and is not a substitute for professional veterinary medical advice. Medibank Private does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information, representations or advice contained. To the extent permitted by law, Medibank Private accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by readers of this website as a result of or in connection with the information contained on this website (whether by way of negligence or otherwise).

Terms, conditions and waiting periods apply. *Medibank Pet Insurance is general insurance issued by the insurer The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ACN 090 584 473; AFSL 241436) (Hollard), is promoted by Medibank Private Limited (ACN 080 890 259; AR 286089) (Medibank) and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ACN 075 949 923; AFSL 420183) (PetSure). Medibank acts as an authorised representative of PetSure. Medibank will receive a commission which is a percentage of the premium paid to Hollard and PetSure may receive a portion of the underwriting profit, if any - ask PetSure for more details. Any advice provided is general only, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. Consequently, before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should obtain and consider the product disclosure statement (PDS) in deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold, Medibank Pet Insurance. PetSure can be contacted by telephone: 132 331 or by mail: Locked Bag 9021, Castle Hill, NSW 1765.