Senile dementia in cats

Old cat

As our cat ages, its body undergoes a series of age-specific changes. Cells don't reproduce as quickly, so your joints, organs, and muscles gradually wear out.

Over time, they could become totally confused and disoriented as a consequence of senile dementia in cats. If that happens, they will need a series of special care so that they can age calmly.

What is senile dementia?

Old gray cat

The cat, unfortunately, is an animal that has a life expectancy much shorter than ours, of just 20 years. It only takes a year (or a year and a half, in the case of a large breed) to become an adult. From that age and up to 10 years, your body will be able to perform its functions without problems, but afterwards, will experience some changes that will make us suspect that it has already begun to age. Here are some of them:

  • Avoid jumping to high surfaces.
  • Meows more than usual, and maybe louder.
  • It becomes disoriented.
  • He relieves himself in places he shouldn't.
  • He avoids being alone, and has a hard time when his family is away.
  • May become irritable.

If your cat has started to show this behavior, it is most likely that his aging process has begun. You should not worry. It is a natural process, that every living being will pass. But you should know that once you turn 15, the chances of having senile dementia are very high.

This pathology, known as feline cognitive dysfunction, appears when the animal loses control of its body and its environment, and it will depend on us that you can feel calm and safe in your own home again. We have to be understanding with him, and help him in any way we can as his caregivers.

Symptoms of senile dementia in cats

Many of the symptoms of old age are also common in this pathology. However, there are others that are specific to the disease. They are as follows:

  • Forgets to groom: The feline is an animal that spends much of its time preening, but when it becomes senile it forgets to do so, which is very worrying because it could stop eating because it feels dirty and neglected.
  • Spend more time sleepingA healthy adult cat should sleep between 16 and 18 hours a day. As he gets older, he loses interest in things around him, and spends more time in bed.
  • Meows desperately at night: It might seem like she's in heat, but it's actually a help meow, wanting company.
  • Is confused: is confused and disoriented, which causes stress and / or anxiety.

How is it treated?

Although nothing can be done to repair the damage caused by aging, the veterinarian can implement a pharmacological treatment so that the cognitive deterioration stops. It is important to specify that not in all cases this treatment may be required. In case of doubt, it is necessary to consult with the professional.

Caring for a cat with senile dementia

Old cat

If our furry has been diagnosed with senile dementia, we will have to do a series of things so that it can continue to have a good quality of life.

Avoid moving things around

So that you do not feel disoriented, you have to try to avoid things (chairs, tables, sofas, etc.) from place. In this way, you can continue to feel that you have everything under control, which is very important to you.

Take care of their hygiene

As we have commented, a cat that stops grooming can seem like. To keep you from feeling bad We must brush him at least twice a day, clean his eyes with a gauze moistened in chamomile every day and his ears three or four times a week with a specific liquid.

Every fortnight we can wipe it with a cloth soaked in warm water to clean its fur, thus removing dirt.

Play with him

You may not really want to play, but you have to invite him to do it. In animal product stores we will find many cat toys, like ropes or balls. For our friend, a rod that has a stuffed animal attached to its end will be more than enough to entertain him for a while.

If we don't want to buy toys, we can make them ourselves. A simple cardboard box can become the best entertainment for the furry. It will be enough to make one or two holes through which it can enter and exit, and voila.

If necessary, place ramps

If you cannot access the usual places, ramps are the solution. We can make them with wooden plates and wrap them with stuffed fabric to make it more comfortable for you to walk on them.

Give him a lot of love

Old cat with his human

It is the most important. If we do not give him love, if we do not keep him company, the cat will not want to move on. Therefore, it is essential to be by his side until the end of his days. He would do it for us.

Senile cats can have a good quality of life if we take care of them. Let's not leave them alone.

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  1.   Anais Peñaloza said

    My cat Lex is 15 years old. He has recently stopped grooming himself. If I try to brush it, it gets really upset. The vet sent him a nutritional supplement and he moves better, but he does not wash.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Anais.
      Try passing him a brush-glove while giving him a cat treat. In this way, little by little you will associate brushing with something very positive, which is the candy.
      When you accept the brush-glove, do the same by wiping it with a damp cloth.
      A greeting.

  2.   yaliza said

    Are all cats suffering from senile dementia?

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Yaliza.
      No no all. But you cannot know which cat will suffer from it and which will not.
      A greeting.

  3.   gaby said

    my kitten Penelope is suffering from it. But we already took her to the vet and started the treatment.

  4.   Fabiana said

    Hi, I'm Fabiana, I have a 14-year-old cat that reading has all the symptoms of senile dementia, will there be any medicine to give her to help her as in the humanso? Everything else about affection, taking care of her, playing, etc. I do it but I urgently need a medicine, I have 3 more cats and living with her like that is very difficult and I feel sorry for her to see her like this. Here where I live, no one knows much about it. Thank you.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Fabiana.
      Sorry, but I can't help you. I am not a veterinarian and I do not have the power to recommend any medication.
      Nor do I recommend self-medicating it, as it could be very harmful for it.

      What you can do is give it a natural relaxant (valerian, linden). But you should consult a veterinarian about the amount you can give him, because if you give him too much, problems could arise.

      Much encouragement.