Ask the pet expert: affectionate cats

Why do older cats often become more affectionate? My 13-year-old cat, who previously liked people but on her terms only, has become very attention demanding. Many of my friends report the same thing in their oldsters.

Any behavior change in your cat warrants a visit to your veterinarian. A cat that becomes more (or less) affectionate could have an underlying illness that has prompted the change in behavior. A complete physical exam and further testing such as labwork and x-rays may help your veterinarian diagnose any medical issues, and help determine the proper course of treatment.

That said, cats are similar to humans in that we both can have different interests at different ages. Think about how your interests and priorities have changed as you've gotten older. A 13-year-old cat is roughly 70 years old in human years and is considered a senior. A 70-year-old person, who may have once been very active and independent, may now prefer to spend the majority of their time relaxing with friends and family. The same can be true of your cat.

Once any medical issues have been ruled out or treated by your veterinarian, it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the extra love and attention your feline friend has chosen to share with you.

This week's expert is Deirdre Demers, Registered Veterinary Technician at Cat Hospital At Towson ( To submit a question for a local animal expert, email

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