From welcoming your cat home to watching their fur turn grey, it can be difficult to see your pet age, especially since they grow older more quickly than we do. According to the Feline Advisory Bureau, cats are considered to be in an older life stage as early as seven years old,* which is equivalent to 44 human years.**

Why is it important to know if my cat is a senior?

Veterinarians base their diagnostic and treatment recommendations on your cat’s life stage. They know that as a cat ages, changes occur internally which are obviously far more challenging for pet parents to notice than external changes. Appearance changes, like weight loss or new growths, would inspire a visit to the vet just as behavioral changes like drinking more water or struggling to jump would. But how do you know if your cat is healthy inside and out? Increasing the frequency in which your senior cat visits the vet is often the recommended method.

Older cats are more likely to develop chronic diseases than kittens and in most cases, these chronic diseases are not curable. Caring for older cats with a chronic disease may require regular monitoring by your veterinarian and dedicated, at-home care; both of which can become costly thanks to the advanced diagnostic and treatment options now available. Talk to your veterinarian about developing the best plan for your cat as they age so together you can keep a close eye on their health and catch any issues early.

What if my senior cat has a pre-existing condition?

If you’re thinking about enrolling your older cat in a pet insurance policy and they already have a medical condition, it will be considered pre-existing. It is important to know that no pet insurance provider covers pre-existing conditions regardless of the pet’s age. However, you should still consider enrolling your senior cat because approximately 1 in 3 pets will need emergency veterinary treatment this year.‡

Enrolling your senior pet in an insurance policy as soon as possible is the best way to guarantee that they will get the care they need without worrying about the attached costs. Any new illnesses or injuries that occur after enrollment and waiting periods are covered up to 90%, so you don’t have to worry about getting hit with large veterinary bills or be faced with making a difficult decision.

While many providers don’t cover cats after a certain age due to their higher risk of health problems, there are a few providers, including Petplan, who invite pets six weeks old and above to enroll.§ Make sure your cat’s later years are comfortable and happy—protect them with the most comprehensive coverage today!

Learn more about Petplan’s cat insurance coverage. 

*FAB. WellCat for life veterinary handbook. Tisbury, Wiltshire, UK: Feline Advisory Bureau, 2008: 5. 

** Pittari, J, Rodan I, Beekman G, et al. American Association of Feline Practitioners’ senior care guidelines. J Feline Med Surg 2009 11: 763–78.

† American Veterinary Medical Association.

‡ According to Datamonitor.

§ May be subject to limitations based on pet age at policy inception or renewal.

Oct 3, 2019

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