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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Dr. Michael Dym
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Blood Panel for Senior Cats

Though the idea of dragging your senior cat to the vet may not sound like fun, it’s the easiest way to add happy, healthy years to their life. With regular senior blood panels, you can monitor your cat for chronic illnesses and infections. Older cats are more prone to certain conditions, but they’re easier to treat while they’re still pre-symptomatic. Learn more about senior blood panels for cats to help keep your purr machine in tiptop shape.

When Will My Cat Need A Senior Blood Panel?
Your cat will enter their senior years around age 7 or 8. At this age, your veterinarian may recommend yearly senior blood panels. By the time your cat is 10 or older, they may start to recommend twice-yearly checkups. Regular testing ensures that chronic illnesses like kidney disease and diabetes are detected early. Early treatment greatly increases your cat’s chances of living a long, healthy life, even with a chronic health condition.
Chronic kidney disease is one of the most common causes of illness in senior cats. By the time a cat starts to show clinical symptoms, they will have already lost about 70% of their kidney function. That’s why it’s so important to get a diagnosis before your cat starts to show signs of feeling unwell.

What Do Vets Check For In A Senior Blood Panel?
Bloodwork shines a light on your cat’s health and can reveal infections and diseases even if they have no obvious symptoms of an issue. Your cat’s senior blood panel can pick up on changes in electrolytes, enzymes, hormones, and blood sugar. These changes can indicate:

  • Anemia
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Liver damage
  • Infection
  • Hypothyroidism/Hyperthyroidism
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Heart disease

Your veterinarian may also recommend urinalysis to check for kidney stones, kidney disease, and urinary tract infection. A stool sample can detect parasites and bacterial overgrowth.

 

Signs To Watch For In Senior Cats
Even though your senior cat may get a clean bill of health at their senior wellness appointment, it’s important to monitor them for common signs of age-related illness. Seek veterinary care if they experience vomiting, diarrhea, decreased or increased urination, increased thirst, changes in appetite, or unexplained changes in weight.

Caring For Your Senior Cat
Most cats benefit from a diet that’s high in moisture. Switching from dry kibble to a canned, cooked, or raw diet can help your cat avoid urinary tract issues. A diet lower in carbs can help prevent diabetes. Before making any dietary changes, talk to your veterinarian during your cat’s senior wellness check.
You can also fortify your cat’s diet with supplements that work to prevent common health issues. A urinary tract supplement can help protect your cat against bladder stones and infections, while hemp treats can manage inflammation and boost your cat’s immune system. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help keep joints limber and promote healthy cognitive function.