Senile Dementia in Cats

This condition can appear from the age of 10 years old. It can cause disorientation and behavioral changes. Although it's not reversible, it can be slowed or stopped.
Senile Dementia in Cats

Last update: 31 October, 2018

Just like people, as pets get older they deteriorate physically and sometimes mentally. Therefore, in today’s article, you can get some information on feline cognitive dysfunction, which is commonly known as senile dementia in cats.

Time: relentless for both humans and pets

The passing of time causes inevitable physical changes for cats. It can also cause, among other things, confusion and disorientation take place in felines.

Domestic cats live for 15 years on average. However, the first signs of senile dementia in cats can appear from the age of 10 to 11 years old. This is a very common condition for cats are older than 15 years.

If you have any suspicions of this condition in your cat, you should go straight to your vet. He or she will provide with advice on the best steps to take according to your cat’s condition.

Just like people, cats can deteriorate mentally as they get older. Continue reading to find out more details about senile dementia in cats.

A cat with senile dementia in cats

Irreversible deterioration that can be slowed down

A cat with cognitive dysfunction gradually loses control of their body and surroundings. This is why it’s fundamental to know how to help them as they live through these changes.

However, just like people, this deterioration can’t be reversed by stopping it or slowing it down. It’s also worth remembering that dementia doesn’t affect all animals the same way.

Therefore, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the signs of senile dementia in cats in order to take necessary measures to maintain your cat’s quality of life through this stage of life.

The signs of senile dementia in cats

The following are some of the signs of feline cognitive dysfunction:

  • Changes in behavior: casts with this condition become needier for your attention or becomes more aggressive.
  • Confusion: Your cat may begin to wander around aimlessly, which means they forget about the location of their food, water, and litter box.
  • Meowing more than usual: they may start to constantly meow throughout the night. In general, this is a sign that your cat is nervous or anxious. They may feel alone, lost or disorientated in the darkness.
  • Changes in sleep pattern: Due to losing interest in their surroundings, they may sleep for long periods of times during the day and be more active during the night.
  • Bad hygiene: they may stop licking themselves like before, which will give their fur a neglected and dull appearance. They also may stop eating due to feeling dirty.
  • Relieving themselves away from their litter box.
Cat next to litter box

Advice for taking care of cats with cognitive dysfunction

If the vet diagnosed your cat with senile dementia, he or she may prescribe some medications for your cat’s treatment. In any case, there are many measures you can take to make things easier for your cat.

  • Don’t change their routine so often. Don’t move your cat’s things: bowls, bed, scratching post, toys, etc. Try not to acquire, remove, or move other objects or furniture either.
  • Avoid stressful situations. It’s important that your cat to have a peaceful area to stay if there is a lot of movement or noise in your house. For example, if you receive a lot of visitors or if you’re having work done on the house.
  • You should play with your cat as much as you can in order to them active and stimulated.
  • Brush your cat frequently or wash them with a damp cloth to keep their fur in good condition. You will also need to clean their eyes and ears.
  • Install some ramps in your house so your cat won’t have any troubles getting to places he used to like. Also, leave a little light on at night to stop them from becoming disorientated.
  • Provide them with the right diet according to your vet’s instructions.
  • Give them a lot of attention. This is, without a doubt, the most important thing to do when dealing with senile dementia in cats.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.