Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

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TheCatsMum
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Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by TheCatsMum »

I have two moggies, who will be 16 this year. I'm aware they are both into old age and I need to keep a close eye on their health. I just wondered what condition other old cats are in, and do they have any health problems?

Positives: At the moment Toby still likes to play and Lottie tears around the house a couple of times a week, I guess to get rid of excess energy. They both still go out, although, no further than our immediate neighbours gardens. Their coats are in lovely condition and to look at them you wouldn't know they are old cats, no sores, runny eyes, clumps of fur.

Negatives: Lottie has tartar on a couple of teeth. Luckily I can get a look at them myself, so I will go back if any redness occurs or she starts eating less.

We are keeping a close eye on them as both have lost a little weight recently - vet picked up on an annual check. We moved house last year and Toby in particular used to visit the neighbours and get treats, so the vet said less food and treats could well be the reason, so she doesn't want to leap in and put us to the cost of tests. However, if I have any doubts she will see them immediately. She's suggested the nurse weigh them again in the next couple of months anyway.
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Crewella
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Re: Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by Crewella »

That's a good age, you're obviously doing something right! I've had several cats live into their late teens, most didn't really start to show signs of age until about 17, when they did start to slow down and did lose some weight.

Keeping an eye on their weight is definitely a good idea, and also watch out for things like them drinking more, as older cats can start to have kidney issues and drinking more is one of the signs. And that they're moving freely - a couple of mine got a bit arthritic in old age.

As they get older, some cats start to have trouble grooming themselves properly, so you might also want to keep an eye on their claws and coat - several of my oldies needed their claws clipping every so often, especially the front ones.

Of course, yours might sail through old age with few problems - the main thing is to do exactly what you're doing and keep a close eye. I hope they have many happy years still ahead. :)
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Re: Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by Marla »

Hi and welcome to the forum!

It sounds like you're doing a fantastic job of looking after your cats and checking for signs of illness! :)

We have two 17 year old female cats (sisters) in addition to 2 young male cats. Both Flo and Rosie have hyperthyroidism (controlled by Felimazole) and chronic kidney disease (Flo has just started on Semintra today).
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Re: Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by nannymcfee »

I have in the past, a few strays, that were not young when they found us..

one lived with us over 20 years, he died from kidney failure, another developed dementia, she forgot that she had been fed!!!!,and lived well into late teens, another became deaf,lived until late teens,

More recently i have lost 2,of my own ( had them since kittens,one found in a field ) both lived until 19, and now the 2 strays here,not sure on age but elderly, one has a cataract,but he still chases me and playfully grabs my legs! and our girl stray is now showing signs of kidney failure , and i have to carry her outside for toilet breaks :0)...but apart from that ...oh and i think they are more fussy with food,there sense of smell goes, they LOVE roast chicken ... :D

Good luck spending many a year to come with yours :0)
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Re: Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by booktigger »

Buster is officially 18 this year, but he acts a lot younger than that, despite his various health issues. Molly and Zia were both 21 when I lost them. I personally recommend yearly bloods for senior cats, if you can pick up on things early enough, they can be controlled much better, and not all cats show symptoms until it is quite advanced.
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Re: Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by Marla »

I forgot to mention that Rosie also has arthritis.

I agree about annual check-ups and blood tests for senior cats, and it's important to note that some geriatric blood tests don't include thyroid so that needs to be requested specifically.
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Re: Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by Lilith »

Often an elderly cat with arthritis may have problems squatting in the tray. A quick wee, no problem, but as for more serious stuff...My old Finn (never knew his real age - he had been feral) needed a little errm, guidance about NOT spraying indoors when he first joined us, but he got there, and he was always a good boy about messing in his tray until the arthritis took a hold. You've heard of Tonkinese - well, he was a Wonkyknees! Sitting in position for the time required was just too much sometimes, even though the trays are roomy and he was on painkilling meds, and he would emerge from the tray with the job half done, so to speak. At other times he just used to get caught short and didn't reach the tray at all. Luckily he wasn't on the constipated side; if his motions weren't normal they tended towards being loose. It was just his age, and no doing anything about it. I used to call him 'my dirty old man'. He was a lovely chap, and for some years his front end still enjoyed life even if his back end wasn't quite in working order :)
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Re: Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by Cussypat1974 »

My Minnie is around 18 and had surgery for mammary cancer 2.5 years ago. She had lost loads of weight while she had the cancer, but is fatter now and in great health. She is not as fat as she was, but still has a BCD of 2.5/5.
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Re: Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by cathyday »

My lad Boris is 17. He had both thyroid glands removed by the time he was 13 and has been on thyroxin ever since. He's had all but 3 teeth removed, has arthritis, kidney issues & is completely deaf. Recently he's developed an unusual heart rhythm which is linked to his thyroid issues.
Despite all this he's a happy purry chap who still belts round the house after his younger friend H every day. He loves his food and still gets through the right amount for a 5kg cat even though we have to blend it down for him these days.
I get very worried each time he has a bad spell of not eating or being sick but these spells are usually due to his thyroid levels. A tweak of his meds normally gets him back on track.
Our vet is brilliant always telling us to treat the cat not his age. This is good advice.
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Re: Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by Camdengirl »

It sounds as though you're doing very well with your two cats, and I can't think of much to add to what the others have recommended already.

We estimate my little lady Pip to be about 15, she lived rough for a long time before ending up in rescue so it's hard to be sure. She has an overactive thyroid, controlled by meds, and is completely deaf (although that was due to a rather violent dental op, not age). She suffers a bit with arthritis, as a result I have to groom her back for her and she sometimes overshoots the tray because she doesn't crouch low enough. But generally she's not doing badly and still runs around like a mad thing on occasion.

nannymcfee, my other cat, Hops, forgets he's been fed on a daily basis, he's only about 7, perhaps he has early onset dementia?!
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Re: Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by Christopher Mason »

Lilith wrote:Often an elderly cat with arthritis may have problems squatting in the tray. A quick wee, no problem, but as for more serious stuff...My old Finn (never knew his real age - he had been feral) needed a little errm, guidance about NOT spraying indoors when he first joined us, but he got there, and he was always a good boy about messing in his tray until the arthritis took a hold. You've heard of Tonkinese - well, he was a Wonkyknees! Sitting in position for the time required was just too much sometimes, even though the trays are roomy and he was on painkilling meds, and he would emerge from the tray with the job half done, so to speak. At other times he just used to get caught short and didn't reach the tray at all. Luckily he wasn't on the constipated side; if his motions weren't normal they tended towards being loose. It was just his age, and no doing anything about it. I used to call him 'my dirty old man'. He was a lovely chap, and for some years his front end still enjoyed life even if his back end wasn't quite in working order :)
Hi Lilith,
I have recently adopted a Tonkinese kitten from a relative, and am a completely novice about these cats (in fact, all cats), and was going through internet resources. Some sites say they have a tendency of jumping, while some sites also say, they love climbing to higher places and are pretty talkative, and all. So, do you think they have a sober and gentle nature, in general?
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Lilith
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Re: Anyone got cats over 14 years old?

Post by Lilith »

Hi Christopher and welcome - sorry, it was just a joke I used to have about Finn (the elderly arthritic cat) being a wonkinese, bless him. :)

But I did breed Siamese in a small way, decades ago, and Molly, my youngest cat, I swear is half Burmese, not just in appearance but in temperament too, and, as you'll know, the Tonkinese was developed from these two breeds so I feel slightly qualified to comment. And all the orientals do seem to share a similar temperament but, lol - sober they are not!

They're intensely loving, demanding, naughty, into everything, up on top of everything, interested in everything, comment on everything (especially while you're asleep and they're trampolining on you!) utterly fascinating and a total pain in the whatsit! :D

Many moggies are like this too but orientals do tend to carry it to extremes. But once known, they're addictive. You fall in love.

About the climbing - yes they do. I used to say the national sport of Thailand is curtain-climbing. One of them used to sit on top of a door, quite comfortably, paws tucked under. You had to be careful not to close the door! My Molly WRECKED a beautiful pair of long lacy white curtains - and she can jump up on to the bedroom window transom, so that has to be guarded. If I tell her off she just turns the charm on!

You do have to think ahead for them and prevent them from doing silly things. Like trying to get out of an upper storey transom. Even then they'll think of something else; they have fertile imaginations! :shock:

I can only say that from now on you'll never have a dull moment - but a most beautiful and enjoyable cat companion. Oh and they're possessive. They like to do everything with you, from inspecting (and sharing) your lunch to sitting on your chest in the bath. End of all privacy!

Congrats, I envy you, I really do - they may be a headache but they're never a bore! :D
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