Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Three Golden Oldies

The sad truth is that pets live much shorter lives than we do and watching them age can be hard and painful, yet inevitable. Years are passing entirely too quickly and in what seems like the blink of an eye, cute kittens turn into adults. The adults in turn grow older and
it’s our obligation and responsibility to help them live their senior years in a serene and dignified manner.

Age-related physical changes that affect elderly cats cannot be corrected but may be mitigated, stress can be minimized and the special needs of older
animals can be met. Aging is usually not experienced as a sudden and dramatic change – in fact, most of the cats are just slowing down after a certain age, gradually and almost imperceptibly. Their bodies are starting to wear out, their senses are becoming less
acute, their vision gets worse, hearing deteriorates , they eat less, sleep more, grow thinner and experience old age in different ways and at their own pace. The early stages of this decline are so subtle as to be virtually unnoticeable but signs of winding down
become obvious at one point, although senior cats can actually have good quality lives, even with the problems of old age, with just a little more care.

Most vets consider cats to be geriatric by the age of 10 to 12
and right now dozens of my kitties fit that category. They are holding on fairly well and although most of them don’t need special treatment, the oldest and the chronic patients appreciate additional considerations for their comfort. Kus Kus, Marka and Kmeca
have been having health problems lately and they need your help.

Kus Kus is in rather bad shape, he is very old and has numerous health issues; he has been diagnosed with stomatitis, pancreatitis, liver and kidney problems and gastritis so far. His gums are inflamed and swollen, and his teeth are in really bad shape. It seems that his entire body, so fragile and so thin, is slowly breaking down on him. He was doing quite well
until last autumn, when he suddenly started losing weight at a rapid rate and the age related effects began to take their toll. Since he's started eating special food and receiving vitamins and supplements, he's gained some weight back and become more cheerful. He is
not suffering and that’s all that matters.

Marka is the oldest cat in the shelter, she’ll turn 18 this spring. She has always been kind of timid and has never gotten along well with the other cats, so she’s spent almost all her life on her own. Her teeth are
deteriorating, causing painful mouth conditions, her appetite is diminished and she’s become very picky. Her digestive system is delicate and less efficient, which results in frequent vomiting. However, she is still beautiful, placid and cuddly, she seems
content and spends most of her time quietly watching the world go by.

My lovely Kmeca, the kitty with vampire fangs and the weirdest meow you’ve ever heard, is sick. She’s been having increasing trouble
urinating recently and the vet's exam revealed she has a feline bladder infection, also known as cystitis. As cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder, she strains to urinate but produces just a few drops of urine or none at all. She has gritty sand in her bladder,
usually referred to as urinary sand, which irritates the lining of the bladder and it's a frequent cause of bladder infections. Luckily, she doesn’t have FUS, at least for now. And that’s not the least of it! She also has chronic bronchitis and has always reacted badly
to changes in the weather. An additional problem she’s been suffering from for years is periodic mammary gland swelling, probably due to some hormonal imbalance and her dental situation is also very bad. She is now being treated with antibiotics and is also
receiving Enysil and Vita Feline, a supplement containing vitamins and natural ingredients. She really hates going to the vet’s and protests without ceasing, as loud as she possibly can, until she cries herself hoarse.

Cats have a much shorter lifespan than humans, although all cat owners would like to think their pets will live forever, but the fact is that they are now living longer lives than they did in the past. They are amazingly capable of adapting to a slower lifestyle and taking
things easy and as long as they are enjoying life, they should be provided with the best of care they so clearly deserve, after years of friendship and unconditional love.

If anyone would like to contribute a little to help with caring for
Felix's senior citizens, it would be highly appreciated!


Angela P said...

God bless them. All of them are angels. I made my monthly donation, thank you for taking the best care of them possible.

Maine Kitties said...

Where do I find info to donate?

Felix shelter said...

There's a PayPal button on the blog, at the top of the sidebar. Thank you so much in advance!

Maine Kitties said...

Donation just sent!

Felix shelter said...

Thank you so very much! You'll receive a proper thank you note promptly :)

Timmy Tomcat said...

Love the Oldies
Stop by my blog as I have a Surprise Just fur you!

Felix shelter said...

Thanks a lot, Timmy Tomcat!