We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.
What are the stages of a senior cat’s life? How to spot signs of ageing?
1-5 is considered adolescent.
My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?
If you notice your senior cat starting to lose weight, it is recommended that you have them examined by a veterinarian. Blood work will be a likely next step to determine if there is an underlying issue associated with the weight loss, such as kidney or thyroid disorders which are commonly linked to the loss of body fat and muscle tone in senior cats. Having your cat on a proper senior diet is also important for the maintenance of weight as they age. Our team can assist you to choose a diet that is right for your cat and help you determine how much to feed your pet to maintain adequate weight.
What are some tips on how to care for my senior cat?
Implementing proper senior wellness is critical in caring for your ageing pet. We recommend having your cat examined for annual wellness exams by a veterinarian, even if they do not appear to have any pressing medical concerns. Early detection is something that should be strived for and can be achieved with regular blood work and examinations. You may find that as your cat ages, mobility and joint issues may begin to arise. If this is the case, supplementation with products such as glucosamine may be an option. Please consult your veterinarian for a recommendation tailored to your cat’s needs.
It is recommended to have your cat on a diet specifically designed for seniors to assist with cognitive function and organ care. We carry several senior diet options in our hospital that may be a good fit for your ageing cat. You may find it helpful to make small modifications around your house, such as using shallow litter pans or a baking sheet if your cat is having difficulty stepping up into the litter box. Ensuring your cat has easy access to their litter box and food bowls are also important as they age. Keeping everything they need on one level of the house to avoid excessive stair climbing may also be helpful.
What are some common health issues experienced by senior cats?
Some of the most common issues associated with ageing cats include hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney disease, dental disease and arthritis (to name a few). It is imperative to have regular wellness exams with your veterinarian to rule out any potential health concerns.
Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?
There is a multitude of reasons why a senior cat may be developing behavioural issues. We highly recommend that you discuss any behavioural issues your cat is experiencing with your veterinarian to better rule out the cause of the change.
Most cats have 18 toes; five toes on each of their front feet, and four on the back. My cat, Mandy Pawtinkin, is blessed with 22 toes. She has a congenital physical anomaly called polydactyly (Greek for ‘many digits’). It is a genetic mutation that causes cats to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more of its paws.
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.
The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 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 902.422.8595. We will take a history of your pet over the phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, we will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone and then return to your vehicle with your pet. Please ensure your pet has a properly fitted collar or is in a secure carrier. Please remove any additional clothing or blankets prior to our staff handling our patients to minimize risk to our team.
2. We are still OPEN but are now working in two shifts with reduced hours, reduced staff numbers and a need to close for extensive cleaning between shifts. Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.
3. 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. You may see our team members wearing additional protective gear when interacting with our clients and patients.
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 Halifax Veterinary Hospital