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These eight most common senior diseases can be prevented or successfully treated with routine care and checkups.

By Elaine Wexler-Mitchell, DVM

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My senior Somali cats, Keiki and Shaka, like many older cats, have health issues. Fourteen-year-old Keiki has arthritis, and 12-year-old Shaka has intestinal cancer, but because of early detection and ongoing medical treatment, they both live comfortable, happy lives.

Your cat is considered a senior if he is over 10 years of age. This is equivalent to about 60 years of human age. Senior cats should be routinely examined by a veterinarian twice a year and have screening tests performed at least once a year, even if they appear completely normal. This protocol allows the veterinarian to monitor and evaluate changes in the cat's weight, condition and laboratory values. I diagnosed my own cats' problems by following this same protocol.

Most diseases are easier to treat when diagnosed at early stages, so be aware of the following eight most common diseases of senior cats, and help your cat live longer.

**Get the September 2010 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article.**

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