My 18 year old cat seems to be going deaf and has health problems. Advice?

My 18-year-old beloved tortoiseshell (calico) long-hair female seems to be going deaf. Her sight is already impaired in one of her eyes. So concerned over her as she no longer wants to go out, does not trust anyone other than me and is losing confidence.

I even now have to feed her in my bedroom where there is no ‘foot traffic’, something my partner hates. I don’t know what else to do to help her but as she is also a renal cat with thyroid problems, I have to ensure she eats no matter where it may be. Any advice about either puss or partner?


Hi Ellen, I’ll try respond myself and hopefully my colleagues with respond too. To be honest I don’t think you can do much more than you are already doing. After all a cat caretaker can do no more than help make life as comfortable as possible provided the correct veterinary advice has been received on medical problems.

I presume you have directions from the vet on dealing with renal and thyroid problems. As to being partially blind we know cats compensate very well. The same for the hearing. Keeping to routines and leaving everything in its place helps to create certainties and markers for a cat with poor sight or who is blind.

If feeding her in a quiet place such as your bedroom helps her to eat then I would hope your partner is patient and will accept it.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Ellen you are doing the very best you can by allowing your cat to stay and eat in a quiet place. With her age and her illness and her hearing and sight loss she is feeling very vulnerable. She has found a place she feels safe in and you are the person she loves and needs right now.
    Explain to your partner this is essential to keep her last days warm, comfortable and fear free. Remind him that one day he will be old and maybe disabled and/or ill and then he will want a safe warm place to end his days in too.
    Surely he can find it in his heart to be kind and patient about your much loved cat.

  • Think of her as an older human. We get frail. Lose our hearing and eyesight. We sleep more and we have more accidents. Kitties are mammals and susceptible to the same wearing out of their bodies. Like Michael said, love her, take extra good care of her, spend lot's of time with her and let her enjoy her last days. Would love to see picture or two.

    • Yes, that was my thought. Older people need patience and support in the same way. Old cat often have dementia too which causes more problems. Patience and acceptance is needed. It is difficult to see your beloved cat fade.

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