We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

Senior tabby cat

Senior Cat Care

Cats can age differently depending on their breed, activity level and diet; however, they generally begin their senior years around the age of 8. The health of your cat can rapidly change with age. These changes often go unnoticed. Cats will often hide signs of pain or illness in the early stages. By the time owners notice their cat seems “off”, the illness will have significantly progressed. With regular annual exams, preventative blood screens and senior dietary consultations, we can help your senior cat enjoy a lifetime of good health.

What are the stages of a senior cat’s life? How to spot signs of ageing?

One of the most common and most underdiagnosed conditions in senior cats is arthritis. About 90% of cats over the age of 12 are suffering from some form of arthritis unbeknownst to their owners. Cats are small and quite agile; therefore, they can often cover up mobility difficulties and pain due to arthritis. Unlike dogs, cats generally do not limp from arthritis but will show subtle changes in their lifestyle and behaviour. These changes can include a reluctance to jump up or down from surfaces, urinating/defecating outside of the litter box, scruffy coat from lack of grooming and less tolerance of people or a withdrawn attitude. Increased drinking and urination is another sign of ageing that is often related to renal disease or diabetes. A dramatic weight loss is also an indicator of age-related illness and should be addressed by your veterinarian.

My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?

If you notice your senior cat is losing weight, the best thing to do is to book a consultation with your veterinarian for a physical exam. A significant drop weight could be an indicator of a wide variety of illnesses varying from a simple parasitic infection to dental disease, diabetes, renal disease or a thyroid condition. Your veterinarian may recommend some diagnostics such as a senior blood panel, a urinalysis or imaging to rule out any of these potential underlying, age-related illnesses.

What are some tips on how to care for my senior cat?

Caring for your senior cat starts at home with lots of loving care and awareness of your feline companion’s changing environmental needs. Making sure litter boxes and food/water bowl are easily accessible is essential, as well as ensuring that the water bowl has plenty of fresh water. Annual wellness exams and regular senior blood screens play a key role in early detection, treatment and management of age-related conditions.

What are some common health issues experienced by senior cats?

Common health issues in senior cats include obesity, dental disease, renal disease, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.

Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?

It is quite common for your senior cat to develop behavioural issues during their senior years due to pain and discomfort related to arthritis or other age-related diseases as well as cognitive dysfunction.


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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 204-444-3615. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 7:30 am - 6:00 pm. Saturday: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Oakbank Animal Hospital