Source: Ken Harkin, associate professor, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
RADIO REPORT: Caring for Elderly Cats
You have selected a report on how to care for an elderly cat. The two wraps and sound bite follow in 3, 2, 1
1: K-State expert suggests several ways you can prolong the
life of your cat
SUGGESTED LEAD: We would all love to keep our cats healthy and happy as they grow older. An expert at Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine recommends several ways you can help prolong the life of your feline. Lanice Thomson reports.
MOST CAT LOVERS AGREE -- IN A PERFECT WORD, OUR FELINE FRIENDS WOULD LIVE A LONG HAPPY AND HEALTHY LIFE. DR. KEN HARKIN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT K-STATE'S COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE SAYS BARRING UNEXPECTED ILLNESSES SUCH AS CANCER WHICH CAN SHORTEN YOUR CAT'S LIFE -- YOU CAN DO YOUR PART TO KEEP YOUR PET LIVING LONGER. . .
(Harkin: 31 "The number one thing I can say to give your cat the longest life possible is to make your cat an indoor only cat. It minimizes the exposure of the cat to all sorts of diseases that would significantly shorten the cat's life. Two, I think good nutrition and routine veterinary care to make sure any problems that pop up are taken care of early before they become major life-threatening problems.
LANICE THOMSON, KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY.
2: Regularly scheduled veterinary visits are important for your
SUGGESTED INTRO: Animals . . . just like people . . . need regularly scheduled health checkups. An expert at Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine says annual, and even semi-annual, checkups can catch health problems in your older cat before it's too late. Lanice Thomson reports.
REGULAR VISITS TO YOUR VETERINARIAN ARE IMPORTANT FOR THE HEALTH OF YOUR ELDERLY CAT. DR. KEN HARKIN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT K-STATE'S COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE, SUGGESTS WORKING CAREFULLY WITH YOUR VET TO EITHER PREVENT HEALTH PROBLEMS OR CATCH PROBLEMS EARLY ON. . .
(Harkin :21 "Maybe it's time to start doing some blood work on an annual basis to make sure kidney function, liver function is normal. Make sure the serum potassium is normal. Those cats that have slightly lower potassium and renal failure do live much longer if you give them a potassium supplement. It might be ideal to check blood pressure on an annual basis. Hypertension is a problem with cats as they get older.")
HARKIN SUGGESTS KEEPING YOUR CAT INDOORS AND FEEDING IT A HIGH QUALITY CAT FOOD. LANICE THOMSON, KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY.
1: Kidney failure is one of the major problems older cats face
TIME: : 35
Kidney failure is one of the biggest problems facing elderly cats. Dr. Ken Harkin, associate professor at Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine says there are several things to look for if you think your cat is experiencing this problem. This sound bite is 35 seconds and follows in 3, 2,1. . .
(Harkin :35 "One thing you may notice early on is that the cat is drinking more and urinating more than what you normally expect from the cat. You may notice a slightly decrease in appetite, you may notice some weight loss as they get older. Cats as they get older start to lose weight anyhow, but maybe more significant weight loss than you expect to see. As renal failure progresses, you may notice more lethargy, the cat's just not very active, the cat may have some intermittent vomiting, as it progresses further, the cat may not want to eat anymore and be very lethargic and lie around and not groom themselves.")
Harkin says the average lifespan of a cat is 15 years, and some extremely healthy cats can live to be 18, 19 or even longer.