Senile dementia in cats is quite common, although it’s not quite as common knowledge. I came across a question in one of the forums from an owner asking what happens when a cat goes senile.
She went on to describe symptoms that she said seemed to be dementia, but she said she’d never heard of cat dementia before.
Well, it does exist, but not many people know this. That’s why I thought it would be a great subject to discuss today.
I came across a question in one of the forums from an owner asking what happens when a cat goes senile.
She went on to describe symptoms that she said seemed to be dementia, but she said she’d never heard of cat dementia before. Well, it does exist, but not many people know this.
That’s why I thought it would be a great subject to discuss today.” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]
How to Spot Senile Dementia in Cats
First, let’s talk about senile dementia in cats. As cats age, they become more prone to both physical and mental issues.
Although it’s easy to spot physical symptoms like weight loss, stiff joints, and possible urinary tract issues, it’s much more difficult to spot senile dementia.
That’s because cats are extremely stoic animals, and even the most friendly cat sleeps a lot. Senile dementia is often mistaken for other physical issues because of the symptoms.
Senile Dementia Symptoms
That being said, let’s take a look at the symptoms of senile dementia in spots. Be aware that these symptoms may also be indicative of other physical issues, so if your cat has any of these, it’s important to get him to the vet and have a thorough checkup.
One of the hallmarks of senile dementia in cats, dogs, or even humans is confusion. While it’s easy to spot confusion in humans, and to a lesser degree, dogs, it can be more difficult to recognize it in cats.
Look for signs of confusion such as not using the litter box, excessive roaming, lack of appetite, or not using their favorite napping spot.
Aversion to Affection
Love bug cats generally keep that desire to be petted, held, and generally cuddled throughout their lives. If your cat has classically been a cuddler, but you find that he is starting to avoid contact or become easily irritated, this could be a sign of senile dementia.
While vocalization in dogs is usually attributable to pain, cats are more likely to vocalize due to senile dementia. Cats are stoic creatures, and they don’t normally vocalize due to pain.
As cats move into senile dementia, they will become more and more vocal as they become more and more confused and unsure. This will generally increase at night, as the cat will be more restless and even more confused due to the darkness.
This sign of senile dementia can be a bit harder to spot. Cats are notorious sleepers to begin with, so you’ll really need to watch out for this symptom.
Even though all cats sleep their days away, if you notice that your cat is sleeping even more than usual and is becoming less and less active, it could be a sign of senile dementia.
It’s important to remember that this sign should be considered in conjunction with other symptoms, as older cats become less mobile whether they’re senile or not.
Like sleeping, cats are synonymous with self-cleaning. If you spot your cat at any time of day, chances are he’s cleaning himself.
One of the big signs of senile dementia is your cat starting to take on a “ratty” appearance. If you notice that your older cat is not grooming himself like he used to, it could be a sign of senile dementia.
Senile Dementia Symptoms Could be Something Else
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to take your at in to see the vet right away. Although these signs could be indicative of senile dementia, they could also signal other physical ailments.
A thorough checkup at the vet will help you determine if your cat has senile dementia or something else and how to best go about treating whatever may be giving your cat a problem.
Have you already learned what happens when a cat goes senile?
Share your experiences and advice below.
Oh my, I had no idea this could happen to cats. I’m happy I read this now I’ll be sure to watch for the signs with my two furbabies.
Oh wow! I don’t have any cats but this is great information.
Thanks for sharing this very informative post. Although I’ve had cats all my life, I never realized that they could suffer from senility. Definitely something to keep in mind.
I had a sweet little cat of mixed breed in my clowder. At the age of 13 she started to show symptoms like described in the article. She started to eat, forgot what she was doing and left to do something else. She was a silent type earlier, but started very loudly to vocalise. She stopped going outside and started relay on me or other cats on everyday tasks.
Luckily she kept using the litter box, but I needed to groom her or keep company to her that she remembered to do so. Usually our routine was to eat together. I keep putting the bowl under her nose if she was leaving and fed her nutrition rich pastes from the veterinary clinic. After the meal we had grooming session and cuddly time.
She lived only two years after the onset of symptoms. I don’t think a 13 year old cat is old so I suppose they also have an early onset variations of dementia.
Thank you for this.
We have an older adopted senior cat and he has suffered trauma in the past so it is not easy for us to tell what is natural behavour for him BUT we feel he is not exhibiting the signs you indicate – he is wandering a little but but, we think, it is due to finding some late senior confidence in hs new home AND he always has a light left on for him at night (yeah helicopter mum talking here….)
My little girl is 20 years old. She goes to her Vet every six months since she was 10 years old. She does yowl at night – the Vet said this is probable dementia. However, it was hard to take the Dr. seriously because Miss Kitty is still using her litter box. She DOES sleep more often. I thought this was because her arthritis may be acting up (which she takes meds for). Now I know, the poor girl prob. has dementia. Needless to say she is a pampered baby. 20 years is a long time to spend with someone – I love her dearly !
Our girl Cleo, seemed to revert back to her kittenhood, she had always had an aggressive streak (I have the scars to prove it), but as she started to lose the plot she wanted more attention and was keen to sit on your lap and have a cuddle she even started playing with toys, somethings had got bored with as she had reached adulthood. She still went out but didn’t venture far from the sight of the door often when she went out she would just sit gazing around as if she wasn’t quite sure how she had got there.
I have a cat that’s 18 years old. He has been deaf for the past 2 years and has learned to live with that for most part. He has always traveled with us in the RV but the last time we went he was peeing all over the bed and us.
Prior to that event I knew that he was going senile because he will sit in the house and just mew and will sit there looking like he is lost.
This is good information to have, especially since cats are living longer these days. Our “Foxy” was 19 when she passed away!
This is tough. One of our cats is getting older, and I hope he’ll stay healthy for a few more years.
This is good info to know. It is sad to think that cats suffer with this like humans
It’s great to know these signs. I know my cats are starting to get older too. I’ll have to make sure to watch for the signs.
Poor kitties! I hope mine doesn’t have to go through this. But this was a great post to help people look for the signs.
I have to make sure to share this post with my sister, she has a cat.
I’m surprised to know about this too. ? Didn’t know it also exist on cats.
This is really helpful! I didn’t know this condition exist in cats. Thanks so much for sharing!
It’s so sad to know that your cat has dementia senile. But we need to do everything that it’s possible to help them!
This is great info! Although I don’t have cats quite yet I know how to spot if they’re senile now.
I didn’t realize this even happened to cats! Lots of really useful info here thanks.
I have never had a senior cat, and it is interesting to read about this. I did not realize cats could really be affected by becoming senile.
I never know that Cats experience such. Glad I came over your post. It’s interesting to learn more about pets especially cats.
For those with senior cats, these are helpful tips. Thanks for sharing.
For those with a senior cats, there are great tips, I don’t have a cat, but I’ll share this with my friends who have cats. Thanks