Saturday, November 5, 2011

More on Senior Cats

I pondered quite a bit about what to write for this Saturday's Pet Blogger's Blog Hop.

Then a friend told me about Bella, the senior kitty owned by actor Chris Pratt, who stars in the movie Moneyball that just recently came out in theatres. In a (failed) attempt to add a little comic relief to his troubles with his cat Bella, Pratt posted on his blog asking if anyone knew the best way to kill a cat.
Like I said, HUMOR: FAIL.

I'm not going to play the blame game here; Pratt is a comedian and was probably just trying to get a laugh. Thanks to public outcry he now knows not to E-V-E-R do that again. It takes a real act of stupidity to get that much bad press.

Can anyone say PR: FAIL? From his description, Bella - a 12 year old white Persian - was beginning to have incontinence issues. In the end, Pratt was able to place Bella in a home where she's the only pet.

Since part of the problem may have been the stress of an elderly cat having to coexist with two energetic pug dogs, this is a happy ending for Bella. But the entire brouhaha brought to light another issue: Bella falls solidly into the demographic of the Senior Cat. And as senior cats age, they often develop illnesses and chronic conditions that owners may not be prepared to deal with.

According to VetMed Team, more cats are living into old age than ever before, and with that comes a greater need for education on how to care for senior pets. Here's what they had to say about it: "Many, if not most, geriatric cats have multiple medical conditions, and managing them is where the art and science of veterinary practice meet. Challenging it may be, but also incredibly rewarding when the veterinary team and owner working together see the tremendous impact on the cat's life.

Many cats live for years with good management of multiple chronic medical conditions." They're currenty offering a free online course on the care of Senior Cats to anyone who has joined their community. Membership is open to all veterinarians, their employees, veterinary students and animal shelter workers. Please encourage your vet - and especially your local shelters - to take advantage of this free resource!


  1. My hooman friend, D.R., loves teh senior kittehs. She wants to adopt one when she gets a new apartment. :)

  2. FaRADaY: *waves at Keisha* Nice ta meetcha! We gives D.R. two paws up for that idea - senior kittehs are pawesome!

  3. I am hoping Austin makes it to senior status. You never know he might consent to cuddles in his old age. Bless!

  4. Senior anipals do present challenges, but M says they are so worth it. So full of love and usually don't get into things like we younger anipals do.

  5. We luf our senior kitteh! (don't tell her we said that) Great post! xoxo

  6. Wonderful post! We love our senior cat, Sammy. We adopted him about 6 years ago, and now he's *at least* 15 or 16. We would not trade him for anything.

  7. So important to bring attention to the seniors. They bring so much love into our lives.

    And so sad when someone tries to get rid of their senior kitty during the time when the cat should be allowed to enjoy a life of R&R w/out stress. I saw that whole thing on Twitter with Bella. People don't realize they need to make a commitment to their cat when they adopt. You don't just enjoy your cat when they are young and then recycle because of lifestyle changes.

  8. We agree, Ann!

    And Mommy sez she wishes she could have kept Ryker for at least another 6-7 years. Fourteen was waaaay too early for him to leave us, so suddenly, too. One week from now, Monday 11/14 is the 1 year anniversary of his going to RB, and Mommy still cries for him....

  9. For old Skeeter sufferring the last stages of kidney failure, the vet used a local sedative and then Sodium pentathol. He was in my arms and didn't so much as quiver in the 2 seconds it took him to die.

    It was the best thing for him. He had reached the stage when he was falling over, could not eat, and he died in my arms looking into my face while I told him how much I loved him.

    He simply went to sleep and died there unaware as best I can tell. I can only hope for such a peaceful end.

  10. Mark, that's how Ryker's older brother Caleb left us. He was at a specialty vet, who finally told us he would never leave the vet, that his kidney failure was irreversible and that it was a truly agonizing way to die. Though I had vowed I'd never "kill" any of my babies, she convinced us that it was the very kindest thing to do.

    OTOH, with Ryker, the blood clot struck so swiftly that he was gone within 3 hours. I'm torn...I am so very glad I did not have to make that awful decision, but then I had to face an emergency vet who clearly disapproved of the fact I'd let him suffer for 3 hours.

  11. My roommate has one senior cat and I wish this course were open to regular pet owners as he could really use some education on how to care for her.

    It is really great that veterinarians can manage health conditions so well. Thank you for sharing this resource. :)


Coolio! A comment? For US?