Friday, July 08, 2016

Good news for old cat ladies

I am not old, I am experienced.
One in five pet cats in the United States is over 11. I know mine is--my daughter got her as a kitten while in HS and my daughter is now 34. We are not sure how old the old girl is--she just keeps walking around, hopping up on things,  begging for food, stuffing her face, and not dying. She's skinny, but doesn't seem worried about it.

Apparently the cat population, like the human one, is living longer.

International Cat Care says a cat is considered old if more than 15. That is the geriatric stage. This equals 76 in human terms. At 21, a cat is equal to a 100-year-old person in terms of age.

But what equals normal for an old cat? In a special, peer-reviewed issue of the J of Feline Medicine and Surgery, the experts broke it down.

In terms of cognitive ability, they defined a healthy aged cat as showing no signs of DISHA--disorientation, interaction changes, sleep/wake disturbances, house soiling, and changes in activity.

They also developed new blood and serum markers.

Why do this? First, it will provide a single resource for vets to provide the best care.  And second, it will form the basis of more research--such as interventions for aging cats.

The researchers described this as a "labor of love." Yup, that may be another good reason.

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