Course Overview

More cats are living into old age than ever before, and the strong bond owners have with their elderly companions gives veterinarians the opportunity to provide optimal care for these patients. With the current knowledge base in feline medicine and the commitment of owners toward their older pets, veterinarians can extend and improve the quality of life for senior cats. Many, if not most, geriatric cats have multiple medical conditions, and managing them is where the art and science of veterinary practice meet.

Challenging it may be, but also incredibly rewarding when the veterinary team and owner working together see the tremendous impact on the cat's life. Many cats live for years with good management of multiple chronic medical conditions. The veterinary practice team plays a pivotal role in the health and wellbeing of cats as they age. It is crucial that every practice sets up feline aging protocols regarding physical examination, diagnostic recommendations, medical management, and client education. Each person on the practice team has a role to play in the delivery of those protocols. Every interaction with the owner of a senior cat should be geared towards offering the very best care possible, allowing the owner to make a well-informed decision as to the level of care desired.

Providing excellent care of the senior cat benefits not only the cat and its owner but the practice as well. The American Association of Feline Practitioners has developed a set of general guidelines for the care of the aging cat. The guidelines are an excellent foundation for the development of senior cat protocols. The guidelines form the core of this course. Combined with additional components, this course will help train every member of the practice team. "Old age is not a disease" may be an oft repeated phrase, but it is still an important message of the AAFP senior guidelines.

PLEASE NOTE: This course contains flash based Articulate presentations. iPhones and iPads are not natively flash compatible but if a flash compatible browser has been installed on the iPad the presentations will play correctly. This link Flash on iPads provides information on flash compatible browsers. The presentations may also be viewed on a Mac.


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 2 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians and veterinarians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.

This is an non-interactive online course that meets RACE requirements; program number 57-11973.


Course Content

This course provides information pertaining to the medical management of the aging cat.


Course Focus and Learning Objective

This course is appropriate for all members of the veterinary practice team although it contains information and terminology that may be unfamiliar to those not veterinary technicians or veterinarians.

After completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Discuss general age classifications, general age related changes and the differing medical needs of the older cat
  • Explain the importance of timely wellness visits
  • Outline the components of a thorough senior cat physical examination and the right questions to ask owners
  • Establish preliminary wellness visit physical exam protocols
  • Name the components of the Minimum Database recommendations and explain how to evaluate the results
  • Explain the importance of nutrition and the impact of weight related issues
  • Discuss dental and anesthetic considerations for the senior cat
  • Outline the monitoring and management of common senior cat diseases and conditions
  • Identify the general factors in complex disease management
  • Describe quality of life considerations
  • Educate other team members and clients regarding the special needs and considerations of the senior cat



...Audiovisual presentation.

...The entire course was very good and beneficial.


...I learned a lot about the importance of bringing your cat to the vet at all ages to help prevent diseases when they are seniors.

...All content was great.

...The modules were easy to follow, nicely illustrated and the reference material was interesting.

...I liked the charts and guide lines.

...I felt this was a little more challenging then the other courses.

...I liked the section on multiple disease management and diagnosis.


Course Completion Requirements

  • Examination: Students must pass the examination with a score of 80% or better

  • Course Survey: Students must submit the course survey

Upon submission of the final completion requirement the student will automatically be marked as completed and the course completion email will be sent out. The student will have immediate access to the certificate.



Price: FREE

Students who do not access the course for 30 consecutive days will be processed as incomplete. However, students may re-enroll at any time.



VetMedTeam 2014