Did you know that cats can get dementia, just like people can? According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) over half of cats aged 11-15 years are affected, and more than 80% of cats over age 16 have dementia. An Oshawa, ON vet offers some information on feline dementia in this article.
Kitty dementia takes time to develop, so you aren’t likely to notice any drastic changes overnight. Some of the earliest symptoms may be meowing and withdrawal. You may notice your pet seeming a bit dazed or disoriented. For instance, Fluffy may stare blankly at a wall, forget where her litterbox is, or just wander aimlessly around the house with no apparent rhyme or reason. She may lose interest in play, and may sleep even more than usual. Inappropriate soiling is another common symptom. Contact your vet if you notice any of these warning signs.
There’s no one known cause of dementia in kitties. However, certain medical conditions do have a high rate of overlap with the disease. These include hyperthyroidism, hypertension, deafness, blindness, arthritis, brain tumors, and any condition that causes chronic pain. If your feline friend has any of these conditions, you’ll want to be extra vigilant. Ask your vet for more information.
There are some things you can do to keep your furry pal happy, healthy, and purring. Daily playtime may actually be quite beneficial. You may also want to keep nightlights on for Fluffy so she can get around more easily after dark. Kitties are very much creatures of habit, so try to avoid changing your cat’s routine or environment too much. If you have to move or rearrange your home, or if your household changes, pay your feline buddy some extra attention. We also recommend making sure your furball can easily reach her litterbox. (It’s not a bad idea to set out some extra ones, either.) Most of all, just make sure your cute pet feels loved and safe. Pay lots of attention to her, and keep her comfy and purring.
Dementia can put Fluffy at risk of certain things. This is one reason we strongly suggest keeping her indoors. She may forget how to get home, or not know how to get away from something!
Do you have questions about senior cat care? Contact us, your Oshawa, ON animal clinic, today!