Did you know that older cats can suffer from dementia, just like people can? Our feline friends often go through the same types of changes as people do, including a decline in cognitive ability. Of course, this plays out a bit differently in cats than it does with people. A local Portland, OR vet discusses kitty dementia in this article.
Fluffy can’t tell you if she’s feeling confused, forgetful, or scared, so it’s important for you to know what to look for. Your furry friend may seem disoriented. She might not remember where her water dish is, or she may forget how to get out of her litterbox. Other red flags include changes in appetite; different sleeping patterns; uncharacteristic behavior or vocalizations; litterbox mishaps; poor grooming; and lethargy. These can all be signs of several medical problems, so have your vet check your kitty out immediately if you notice any of them.
Dementia can’t be cured, but it can be managed. The key is to keep Fluffy happy, healthy, and entertained. Try to reduce making major changes to your kitty’s environment and/or routine. You may also want to set out a nightlight to help your furball get around more easily after dark. If your feline pal has trouble jumping or climbing, get her some pet ramps or stairs. Play sessions will also help. Opt for activities that will stimulate your kitty’s brain. Hold a laser pointer for her, or get a puzzle toy. If you leave your furry buddy home alone, turn a light and a TV or radio on for her. No one wants to sit alone in a dark, quiet house!
Keeping Fluffy comfortable will also help soothe her. Pay lots of attention to your feline buddy! Talk to her, pet her, and don’t deny those adorable requests for cuddles and lap space. Also, make sure your kitty has lots of comfy napping spots to curl up in. Your vet may also recommend specific supplements, such as Omega 3 or 6 oils.
We recommend keeping all cats indoors. This is especially important with older kitties. Fluffy may forget how to get home, or she may not remember what the sounds of barking dogs or car horns could mean. Better safe than sorry!
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