Is your kitty aged seven or older? If so, your feline friend is near—or already in—her golden years. Senior cats are absolutely adorable! As your pet ages, she’ll experience many of the same things that older people do. Fluffy may get stiff and sore, she’ll tire out more easily, and she won’t be as active as she once was. Your pet may also experience a decline in her mental capacity. Here, a Crown Point, IN vet discusses senility in cats.
Feline senile dementia, or cognitive dysfunction system (CDS), is not uncommon in older cats. Fluffy’s cognitive abilities may start declining at any time after she reaches age 11 or so. However, senility generally sets in when kitties are over 15.
Signs of CDS can vary from kitty to kitty. Some common ones include restlessness, anxiety, irritability, confusion, withdrawal, and disorientation. Fluffy may become forgetful, disoriented, and/or less aware of her surroundings, and may act a little differently. Other signs you may notice include inappropriate soiling, changes in sleeping patterns, and/or a lack of grooming. These symptoms may manifest in a variety of ways. For instance, your furry buddy may get lost on her way to her litterbox, or forget where her water dish is. She may also get ‘stuck’ in a corner, or get confused about the layout of her domain. It’s also not uncommon for older cats to become more vocal. This may be because they are meowing to express their dismay at something, such as getting lost.
Helping Kitty Cope
Although feline senility cannot be cured, there are some things you can do to help keep your pet comfortable and purring. Playing, for instance, can be very beneficial. Cats have to focus to time those pounces just right. This is kind of like doing a kitty crossword puzzle. Take time to play with your feline buddy every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. It’s also important to provide your furball with plenty of stimulation. Leave a radio or TV on for her, and make sure she has a comfy window spot. We also recommend keeping Fluffy on a set schedule for meals, cuddles, and playtime. Your vet may also recommend medication or supplements.
Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Crown Point, IN vet clinic, if ever we can be of assistance. We are here to help!