Older 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 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.

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.

Things you should know

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).

Pet Insurance

Medibank Pet Insurance policies entered into for the first time prior to 30 August 2023 and subsequent renewals of those policies are issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436, arranged and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183 (PetSure) and promoted and distributed by PetSure’s Authorised Representative (AR) Medibank Private Limited ABN 47 080 890 259, AR 286089 (Medibank).

Medibank Pet Insurance policies entered into for the first time on or after 30 August 2023, and subsequent renewals of those policies are issued by PetSure and promoted and distributed by PetSure’s AR, Medibank.

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