We — and our cats — tend to slow down with age. One change that could affect senior felines is dementia.
Cats, like people, can become more loving — or crankier — with age. It sounds a little strange but changes in your pet’s behavior cannot always be explained away with a simple, “He’s getting old.”
A 2006 study from ScienceDaily.com found cats can develop a form of Alzheimer’s. A buildup of protein in nerve cells can impede an elderly cat’s cognitive functions.
Below are some signs of possible feline dementia. Visit your before drawing any conclusions because these symptoms could also be red flags for other conditions.
- Confusion (aimless wandering, forgetting old routines)
- Behavioral issues such as extra neediness, aggression
- Grooming less frequently — or not at all
- Loud crying for attention
- Changes in appetite (either eating less or forgetting that they just ate)
- Failing to use the litter box or having trouble finding it.
Diet, medications, gentle play, regular affection and a low-stress environment can all help aging cats cope.
Below are resources to learn more about dementia and cats.