VCA Cat Hospital of Philadelphia

Why Does My Cat . . . Not Show Her Age?

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While most dogs start to show their advanced age by the gradual graying of their snouts and paws, it seems that the majority of older cats somehow hang onto that kittenish glow.

According to Dr. Marcus G. Brown, DVM, of the Capital Cat Clinic in Arlington, Va., some felines do go gray, but it typically happens much later than it does in dogs — and not as intensely.

“It is felt that cats may have more melanocytes [cells that produce pigment in skin and hair] than dogs,” Dr. Brown says. “Cats are very old when they gray, usually around the age of 17.”

And the amount of gray hair doesn't reflect how active or healthy your kitty is — it's only related to melanin, Dr. Brown adds.

So How Do Cats Show Their Age?

“You can see it in their eyes to some degree,” Dr. Brown explains. “There is a normal graying of the lens called nuclear sclerosis, which does not affect vision.”

Another visual sign of aging in cats with kidney disease and other diseases is a decrease in muscle mass, while a less visible sign of normal feline aging is hearing loss.

“They also sleep more and more soundly,” Dr. Brown says.

In other words, maybe senior kitties benefit from all that beauty sleep.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, please contact the Veterinary Hospital of Pennsylvania at 215-898-4685.  They are located at 3900 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.