Your Adult Cat: What to Expect at 5 – 6 Years

Adult cat

When your cat reaches 5 to 6 years old, he is nearing middle age. While not yet considered a senior cat, he is at the age when you need to begin watching for age-related changes. Here is what you need to know to keep your cat healthy as he gets older.

Physical and Mental Development

No one knows your cat better than you do. By observing your cat closely and giving him a good going-over once a week, you are more likely to catch changes or abnormalities early. A good time to check your cat is when you’re grooming him, which should also be done at least weekly. First, run your hands along your cat’s body to feel if he is gaining or losing weight. Weight change could be a sign of illness or the need for a veterinarian-supervised diet change. Watch for lumps and bumps too. If you feel a lump, ask your veterinarian to look at it promptly.

Here are some additional areas to check:

  • The eyes should be clear and bright, without redness or tearing.
  • The nose is usually cool to the touch and moist.
  • The ears should be clean and have minimal wax. Any foul odor or debris may indicate an infection or ear mites.
  • The teeth should be clean and white (even in the back), and the breath should not smell foul. Unpleasant mouth odor can be coming from an unhealthy mouth (caused by dental disease) or could indicate an illness such as gastritis, cancer, kidney problems or diabetes.
  • The gums should be a healthy pink.
  • The footpads should be free from cuts or foreign objects, and the toenails should not be red or broken.
  • The skin should look healthy, and the fur should be clean and shiny. Look for sores, bald patches, or redness to the skin. Dark grains through the fur that turn red when wet could be signs of a flea infestation. A dry coat falling out in patches can indicate a medical problem.
  • The cat’s tail should be healthy looking, not hanging limp. Be sure to examine it to see if your cat has been chewing on it, and check underneath to be sure the rump is clean of fecal material.

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