Old Age Cat Symptoms

Updated February 21, 2017

As a cat ages, they begin to show symptoms of their many years. Although the physical symptoms may be the most noticeable, changes in mood can also occur. When a cat begins to show symptoms of old age, make him comfortable and seek veterinary assistance as needed to care for common medical conditions.

Body Type

As a cat ages, they often gain weight. As they become more sedentary, they tend to get overweight. But, as the cat gets near the end of its life, it often undergoes dramatic weight loss and becomes noticeably thin.

Fur Quality

In a cat's younger years, a healthy cat will exhibit shiny, strong fur. As a cat gets older the fur will take on a dull appearance and may fall out, or shed more often. In some cases, the fur may become patchy due to lack of nutrient absorption by failing organs.


Slow, careful steps and an increase in sleeping are signs of an aging cat. As they advance in their years, a cat can be found taking more naps, and showing signs of less mobility. They may not jump up on furniture as much, or may prefer a new sleeping or hiding place at floor level.


Older cats tend to not eat as much as a kitten or healthy adult. Even treats or a desired moist food may be refused. If the cat stops eating anything, seek veterinary assistance immediately.


An older cat may not be interested in playing as much as a younger cat. They may retreat to a favorite place and become less sociable or affectionate.

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