Dementia and Alzheimers are two of the most debilitating and heartbreaking conditions we humans can develop. But can cats get dementia too?
This is a question that wasn’t asked just 30 years ago. The average lifespan of cats was estimated around 10 years old in the ’90s. Fast forward to today and that number is now around 15 years old. More domestic cats are living indoors, which likely accounts for this increase. However, along with a longer lifespan comes degenerative diseased that come with age.
Especially as cats age, it’s so important to keep an eye on their physical health. Senior cats should see their vet twice a year – for a wellness exam and senior blood panel. Because cats age so much faster than humans, a lot can change for them in 6 months.
Signs of Dementia in Cats
It’s important to get a vet visit anytime we notice sudden changes in our cat’s behaviors or habits. Oftentimes an underlying physical issue can cause these changes. If all physical health issues have been ruled out, it’s possible your cat is experiencing cognitive decline.
Signs your cat may be experiencing dementia can range from very subtle changes in normal habits to alarming new behaviors.
Yowling or loud vocalizations. For cats that are usually demur, these loud noises – often in the middle of the night – can be very concerning. One of our cats went through this and often just needed to know where we were in order to calm down.
Wandering aimlessly or seeming confused. Just as with humans, some cats may wander into unfamiliar territory or stand in a room with a blank stare, looking confused.
Altered circadian rhythm. You may notice a drastic change in the waking and sleeping cycles.
Unresponsive to normally enjoyed activities. Your cat may ignore their favorite toy or forget their favorite snuggle spot.
It’s important to realize we can do many things to slow the progression of cognitive decline in our cats. We can give their brain a boost with healthy foods and supplements, we can keep them more alert and active with enriching activities, and we can be extra sensitive to their changing need – like litter box placement or mealtime preferences. Above all, we can be there for them. Spend extra time together, talk to them, and even discover new things for them to enjoy. Give them the most enriching time of their lives.
Recommended Product for Feline Cognitive Disorders