Senior Cat Care

Senior cats are your affectionate, long time companions that have won your heart over! Over the years, you have learned their ins and outs and what makes them unique. In turn, they know how to make you smile. Although cats can age differently depending on breed, activity level and diet, cats generally begin their senior years around the age of 7 or 8. At Van Isle Veterinary Hospital we recommend annual senior wellness exams starting around 7 years of age. The health of your cat can rapidly change with age and often times these changes go unnoticed. Cats will often hide signs of pain or illness in its early stages and by time owners notice their cat seems “off,” the illness has significantly progressed. With regular annual exams, preventative blood screens and senior dietary consults, together we can help your senior cat enjoy a lifetime of good health. The most important thing to remember is to cherish your pet’s senior years; they come too suddenly and pass too quickly. These will be some of the best years and moments you will have with your old, loyal and loving friend. So let’s make every day count!

How to spot signs of aging?

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, yet their owners are unaware of this. 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 behavior. 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urinating/defecating outside of the litter box, scruffy coat from lack of grooming and less tolerance of people or a withdrawn attitude. PU/PD (increased drinking and increased urination) is another sign of aging and is often related to renal disease or diabetes. A dramatic weight loss is also an indicator of an 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 losing weight, the best thing to do is book a consult with your veterinarian for a physical exam. Dropping 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 including a urinalysis or fecalanalysis or an x-ray to rule out any of these potential underlying, age related illnesses.

What are some common health issues in senior cats?

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

Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?

It is quite common for your senior cat to develop behavioral issues during the senior years. This is most often related to pain and discomfort due to arthritis or another age related diseases as well as cognitive dysfunction.

How to care for your Senior cat?

Caring for your senior cat starts at home with lots of TLC and being aware of your feline companion’s changing environmental needs. Making sure litter boxes and perches are easily accessible, as well as having access to plenty of fresh water is important. Annual wellness exams as well as regular senior blood screens play a key role in early detection, treatment and management of age related conditions.


Get a Cupcake and Support BC Animals in Need During Treat Week (Feb 24 - Mar 1, 2020)

Van Isle Veterinary Hospital is super excited to be hosting our 4th annual cupcake day fundraiser! BCSPCA celebrates “Treat Week” across the Province from Feb 24th – March 1st 2020 where business, pet owners and animal lovers can bake up a storm and sell treats with the proceeds going to BC animals in need.

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Last updated: July 5, 2021

Dear Clients,

At this time, we will be maintaining our current health and safety policies as the province entered the next stage of on July 1, 2021.

Note: We will not be making changes to our health and safety policy until our staff have had the opportunity to receive their second vaccine.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

As you can imagine, we have a significant backlog of surgeries and wellness/vaccine exams to catch up on and we will be working hard over the next several weeks to do just that. We want to thank everyone in advance for your patience while we work through this. Although restrictions have been lifted, our health and safety protocols have not. It is important we continue to follow the guidelines set out by Worksafe BC and social distance our large team as much as possible. This means although we can offer these elective services, we are doing much fewer during the day than we were pre-COVID.


As of July 7, 2021, we are excited to invite our clients back into the exam rooms! We have put some important safety measures in place to help keep our clients and our team safe.


The use of our online store for easy ordering, payment and delivery of our pet's food, flea and tick medications. Orders over $100 can be delivered to your home for free! CLICK HERE


During the first 8 weeks of COVID, we were operating as a 24-hour facility to better serve our community and to maintain social distancing within our team. However, as the COVID-19 situation changes, so do we!

Our team of doctors felt it was important to get back to performing your pet's much needed regular services. In order to do so safely, we had to once again change the way we do business. 

As such, effective October 6, 2020, we will no longer be available for after-hours, on call services between midnight and 7:00 am. After-hours emergency care will be referred to Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital between the hours of midnight - 7:00 am. They can be reached at 250-933-0913.

We will continue to be available until midnight for your call-in, after hours needs.

Our regular hours of operation remain the same:

Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

We are all looking forward to this next stage in our Province’s reopening and the future is looking bright! Thank you for helping us make this transition as safe as possible, so our team can be at its best and continue to look after your pet!

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital