Dear VetBabble: Understanding Aging in Cats and Related Health Issues
**Question:** I’m an owner of a 19-year-old cat who seems to be having trouble with breathing, moves slowly, and has started to poop and pee all over the house. Could you please tell me what might be wrong and what I can do to help him?
Understanding Your Aging Cat’s Behaviour
Cats, like humans, experience a variety of changes as they age, which might include changes in energy levels, behaviors, or even bodily functions. Generally, as cats age, they may not be as spry or energetic as they once were. If you find your older cat, much like your 19-year-old friend, moving slowly, it may simply be an indication of their body adjusting to the inevitability of aging. To understand more about how age can act upon our feline friends, you can pay a visit to [here](https://www.vetbabble.com/cats/how-long-do-cats-live-aging-cat/).
Identifying Health Issues: Trouble Breathing and Movement
The noticeable decreased movement and trouble breathing, however, are concerning signs that may point towards possible health issues, such as arthritis or respiratory conditions. Arthritis in cats can result in decreased movement as it causes discomfort or pain to your cat. Here at VetBabble, we have a wonderful resource about [Arthritis in Cats](https://www.vetbabble.com/cats/arthritis-in-cats/) that will help you identify other signs and available treatments for this condition. Yet, it is crucial to remember that any form of breathing difficulty indicates serious health concerns that need immediate attention. Chances are, there might be a heart-related issue or a respiratory infection that’s causing your cat to struggle with his breath.
Abnormal Bathroom Habits: Possible Constipation and Behavioral Changes
As for inappropriate pooping or urinating behavior, there can be a few potential causes. Your cat might be suffering from constipation or other digestive issues which alters their regular bathroom habits. It’s also worth mentioning that aging cats may develop cognitive dysfunctions which can alter their perception and instigate such behaviors. Do check out our article on how to help your constipated cat [here](https://www.vetbabble.com/cats/constipation-in-cats/). However, changes in bathroom habits may also be influenced by conditions of their litter tray. Cats can be very fastidious about their bathroom habits, and if their litter tray isn’t up to their standards, they may start seeking other areas of the house to do their business. To delve deeper into this issue, you can refer to our article, [Why Won’t My Cat Use the Litter Tray?](https://www.vetbabble.com/cats/wont-cat-use-litter-tray/)
Note of Caution and Encouragement
Although it’s important to be informed about possibilities, we cannot stress enough the importance of seeking professional veterinary input. Remember, they have years of training, and the ability to diagnose and provide appropriate treatment for conditions that may be affecting your cat. It’s always best to consult with your vet when you notice any significant changes in your pet’s behavior or health. It’s great that you’ve recognized these changes in your older cat – it’s just further proof of your commitment and love. With the right guidance, and a little bit of work, you can help manage your pet’s aging process and ensure their golden years are comfortable and happy.