As a cat's appearance changes as it ages, so does its behavior and personality. It is important to know what is normal for an aging cat to determine if the cat should see a veterinarian.
Loss of Appetite
A loss of appetite can be a normal process of aging in older cats. This can be because of their decreased sense of smell or because of dental disease causing discomfort while eating.
Aging cats will tend to lose their hearing ability, usually gradually, for many different reasons. This can be caused by other illnesses, and should be checked by a veterinarian.
Due to common conditions of aging cats, such as kidney failure, diabetes or hyperthyroidism, cats may have the need to use the litter box more often. Older cats are prone to conditions such as hyperthyroidism and can cause the cat to urinate in inappropriate places. Even if the cat has never had the need to mark its territory, hyperthyroidism can cause the cat to begin doing this.
Being Less Mobile
Conditions such as arthritis can cause aging cats to become less mobile and not do the type of activity they did at one time. In advanced stages of arthritis, they may even have trouble getting in and out of their litter box.
Sensitivity to Changes
As cats age, they lose their ability to adapt to changes and unfamiliar situations and may have difficulty adapting to recent changes in the household.
Many owners blame a change in behavior in their cats as the process of aging. If you notice that your cat’s behavior has changed, however,a veterinarian should be seen to be sure an illness is not to blame, even if it just seems like old age.