29 May Mental Decline In Older Cats
As our felines are getting better cat health care, and more are indoor cats, they are experiencing a greater lifespan. Its not as uncommon anymore for cats to live into their twenties.
Having your kitty around longer is great, but the downside is with the longer lives cats may experience more age-related cat health problems like arthritis, hearing loss, vision loss, kidney disease and a decline in their mental state. A mental decline may also be referred to as Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS).
Although not all cats will have symptoms of CDS, it is estimated that almost half of those over the age of sixteen will exhibit one or more behaviour problem related to age.
Possible symptoms of feline CDS include:
- Change in sleep cycles Its common for older cats to sleep more but cats with CDS will sleep a lot more. Or they might sleep more than normal during the day then be restless at night.
- May seem confused or disoriented Cats with this syndrome may seem dazed or lost, they may pace, get caught in tight or strange places, or sit and face a corner or wall for a long period of time looking confused.
- Crying Some cats will cry out. Youll notice the cry have a different tone than the normal meow youv’e been accustom to. Remember if they cry in or near the litter box it could be a feline urinary tract infection or bowel condition that needs medical attention.
- Change in the interaction with family Some cats become much less interactive, they may not want the same attention or amount of petting. They may stop greeting you, or be less interested in that old ritual. Sometimes they wont recognise family members or other pets in the household.
- Stop using the litter box Some cats will stop using the litter box. Remember this can be a sign of another cat illness, so that needs to be ruled out before coming to the conclusion its just an age-related cat behaviour.
Cats that exhibit these symptoms may have another cat health problem and that always need to be ruled out first. But if your veterinarian cant finds a medical reason for your elder cats behaviour, it may be feline CDS.