Senility in Cats Discussion
Thought I would open a discussion about cats ans senility and see if anyone else has a cat that shows this kind of behaviour?
Lately Tabitha has been a bit off. She has been urinating occasionally outside the box. She has ideopathic cystitis so its not surprising that this happens. What I am wondering is if she is going senile. Your proabably all laughing!! :D but I am serious she has been strange.
She will let out this meow that is very loud and it is sometimes continuous. (When Bomber was alive she would make this meow and he would come running! ) She will move from room to room on the main floor like she is looking for something. On one occasion she promptly went upstairs to our bedroom and pee'd. Once I noticed the relation ship between the meow I now pick her up and take her downstairs and place her in the box. (its located in the basement of the house) She always promptly goes??? Its like she has forgotten where the litter box is :wall: but on any other day and in the same day she will go and use the litter box on her own???
She has also decided that when she wants attention she wants attention but she becomes very vocal while driving you nuts!
She is 15 years old.
Cats can experience cognitive dysfunction, just as we do and dogs do in old age. [url]http://www.petplace.com/cats/cognitive-dysfunction/page1.aspx[/url]
Our Ginger is 18.5 and is quite deaf, though she can hear. if you look at the link, Ginger has shown the last two and decreased playfullness for about two years now. Cats depend on their hearing a lot for play so I don't know if that is due to hearing loss or C.D. for our girl.
Ginger always was a very vocal cat but now it's terrible. Her tone is loud and insistent and demanding and painful and much more frequent and long lasting. Partly I suppose because she needs to be loud to hear herself. Ginger will walk past us in the living room, say we are sitting reading the paper. She'll jump up on the chesterfield, yes she still can, but then she will face the back and HOWWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. We will yell at her, GINGER, we have to yell, and she'll look around in surprise as if to say, "there you are." And she will have walked right by us 30 seconds ago.
She definitely has the nocturnal separation anxiety. More HOWWLLLLLING.
On the other hand she is not as easily irritated by the other two cats but I think it is because she doesn't hear them coming in time to be nasty to them.
Other than some minor kidney failure, some arthritis for which I give her Sub-Q cartrophen Vet, which helps enough, she is fine. No bathroom problems and she can still get up and down on her cat tree. She does not groom as much as before but that must be partly to the arthritis. She still keeps her white tummy sparkling. :)
For your Tabitha, is it at all possible to put the litter box closer so she can find it more easily? It's not easy watching them age, is it?
Thanks Longblades that is quite interesting about your Ginger. Probably not the way you would describe living with it! :D The howling / increased meow volume was what got my attention most recently.
She has now become the only pet in the household and it started when that occured. I lost her brother a yr ago and her rival Winston not long ago so she is the only animal left. I wanted to introduce another kitty but it wasnt a very good idea considering her age and she can be nasty.
I only have one closet on the main floor of our home as its pretty small and it holds all the coats etc so that wouldnt be a good idea. I am pretty much stuck to the basement area. Although I have it raised on a table so Winston wouldnt eat it but that isnt an issue now so maybe I can place it on the floor so she doesnt have to jump up. Worth trying anyway.
I found this today in an article I was reading about cats a senility. I am positive now that Tabitha is exhibiting this. She does all of the following. Funny thing is she started with some of the symptoms last year after loosing her brother but I thought it was her just trying to get attention. She loves to get stuck in the corner so to speak. I used to wonder what the heck she was seeing because she will stare into the corner and meow incessantly?? weird.
[I]On the outside, our felines often look younger than their physical years. But cats, sadly, are not immune to cognitive dysfunction. Some do indeed become senile in their senior years. I always assumed my 20 year old cat was senile–lots of deep meooowing and copious amounts of time spent staring at the wall–but I never really knew for sure, until I read about cats and senility in The Cat Behavior Answer Book (Storey Publishing, 2007). Here, author Arden Moore addresses the issue of aging cats.
If you notice excessive yowling and confusion, you should have your senior cat examined regularly by your vet to rule out any possible underlying medical condition. Hyperthyroidism, liver disease, kidney disease, and urinary tract infection are examples of diseases that may cause hypervocalization or confusion. Some cats who become deaf also start yowling frequently.
Some cats start to exhibit certain telltale signs of cognitive dysfunction around age 12, Many animal behaviorists use the acronym DISH to refer to the symptoms and signs commonly associated with feline senility.
D IS FOR DISORIENTATION
Cats who are disoriented often walk aimlessly, stare at walls, get “stuck” in corners, seem to be lost in their own home, or lose their balance and fall.
I IS FOR INTERACTIONS
Cats with impaired mental function often display changes in their interactions with people. They’re less likely to greet people when they come home or to seek out a lap.
S IS FOR SLEEP
Cats who once slept through the night may prowl restlessly, vocalizing as they roam.
H IS FOR HOUSETRAINING
Proper bathroom habits often go by the wayside, not for medical reasons or displeasure with the state of the litter box, but because the cat just forgets to use it.
To ease nighttime howling, try to break his daytime sleep cycle by frequently but gently waking him during the day. Try to make him more tired at night. Some golden oldies will snooze through the night if you treat them to a heated or cozy pad; look for one that plugs in at a very low temperature and has a washable cover. If these steps do not work, you may ask your vet for help.
Try to stick to routine as much as possible. Add some extra litter boxes in different rooms and on each level of your house. This will help cut down on any missed litter box opportunities. Avoid litter boxes with covers, as alder cats find it harder to get into them. Lower sides are also best too as the hind legs sometimes become stiff.
Most important, shower your cat with love. Spend plenty of time cuddling him and speaking to him in reassuring tones. Enjoy the time you have left with him.
Have Tabitha & Ginger both been recently tested for HyperThyroidism?
No, not Ginger. I'll ask the Vet about that.
My Chico at 14 has also changed somewhat,he is more vocal for certain,but otherwise acts like a kitten,wants attention 24/7.
His last HyperT test showed he was on the higher end of normal,so he's going back next wednesday for a re-test.
Vinnie will be coming along too,he has a mass on his backleg,I am hoping it's only fatty,he is very overweight at 21lb's:(
Aw, chico2, I'm sorry you have more worries :grouphug: Hope Chico and Vinnie both check out fine! :goodvibes:
Thank you,I am not too worried,we just have to deal with it,whatever it is..hopefully nothing serious for either cat:pray:
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