Is your cat in her golden years? As your feline friend grows older, she’ll go through many of the same changes and challenges that people do as we age. There’s also a chance that Fluffy could become a bit senile. Kitty dementia, or feline senile dementia, as it is also called, affects more than half of kitties that are age 15 or older. This is something you’ll want to be aware of and keep an eye out for as your furry pal grows older. In this article, a Rochester, NY vet offers some more information on dementia in cats.
The signs of dementia can vary from kitty to kitty. As with many health issues in cats, these are often mild at first, but grow more pronounced over time. There’s actually an acronym for the most common signs: DISHA stands for Disorientation, (changes in) Interactions, Sleep-wake cycle changes, House soiling, and Activity level changes. Some red flags include confusion, changes in behavior, grouchiness, poor grooming, withdrawal, and reduced interest in play. Fluffy may forget where her litterbox is, or get ‘stuck’ in the bathroom. Some cats get very confused and frightened by the changes they are experiencing, and may yowl in reaction.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for kitty dementia. However, Fluffy’s health will need to be monitored closely. Many of the signs of dementia we listed above can also be indicative of other health issues, such as brain tumors, deafness, or kidney disease. If your cat displays any of them, contact your vet immediately.
Good home care will go a long way towards keeping your cat content. One thing that often helps is keeping Fluffy on a set schedule for meals and playtime. Our feline pals are definitely creatures of habit! Try to avoid disrupting your furry friend’s domain and schedule with major changes, such as adding a new pet or rearranging things. Playing is also beneficial, both physically and mentally. Offering lots of beds and setting out nightlights after dark will also help. Last but not least, just pay attention to your cat, and make sure she feels loved and safe. Keep in mind that many cats now live into their late teens or even 20s. Fluffy may still have many wonderful years ahead of her!
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