My two senior cats, Ricky and Teddy, are both about to have their 17th birthdays. They have been wonderful members of our family for such a long time but as they have aged we do notice changes in behavior that are common among elder felines. Teddy, who was a bit of a loner most of his life, has become much more clingy and now relishes snuggling and being pet. Ricky is vocalizing much more now and, at times, in a very loud voice.

Ricky and Teddy

Ricky and Teddy – my wonderful senior cats

It is important to understand that your cats are also likely to change as they age and you need to understand that this is part of the aging process and recognize these changes, be compassionate, and provide available treatments if appropriate. Cats often will develop Feline Cognitive Decline (FCD) during their senior years. 55% of all cats aged 11-15 and 80% of all cats aged 16-20 will develop FCD. Some of the symptoms of FCD are:

  • Memory Issues – forgetting where litter box or food dish is located
  • Confusion – wandering aimlessly and getting lost in familiar places
  • Anxiety – restlessness
  • Decreased Activity – grooming less
  • Social Behavior Changes – needs constant contact and becomes clingy
  • Sleep-Wake Changes – sleeps more during the day
Feline Cognitive Decline

Senior cats with Feline Cognitive Decline may forget the location of litter boxes and food dishes. Show patience and compassion if your cats become forgetful

If your cat displays any of these issues be sure to take her to the veterinarian as they are best equipped to recognize these changes and prescribe treatment. If your vet rules out medical problems then it is likely that your senior cat is experiencing a brain function issue caused by Feline Cognitive Decline. One of the best things you can do for your cat with this diagnosis is to be compassionate and try to keep her daily schedule consistent. There are medicines that may help and, if so, your veterinarian is likely to recommend this as a therapy.

All living beings change as they age and cats are not exempt from this so please keep your eyes and ears open for changes. Cats can live many quality years and continue to be loving members of your family during their senior years. Lots of love and compassion are the most important things you can provide during this stage of your cat’s life.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Tagged on:                 

Related Posts

Traveling with pets. Bring Mittens with you or leave her at ... People are on the go now more than ever and travel (whether for vacation or work) is a part of almost everyone’s lives these days. Pet owners have opt...
Treating food allergies in pets If you're concerned that your pet may have food allergies and think you would like to try your pet on a new diet to address a medical condition like i...
Pet Dental Health When your dog gives you kisses do you almost pass out from the stench of her breath? Pet dental disease is one of the most common disorders diagnos...
Protect your pets from fleas, ticks, and heartworm! Here in DC spring is starting to make way for the summer heat and as we head outdoors with our pets fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are ready for a feast....
Pet Obesity – 2016 Survey Indicates All-Time High Well, the numbers are in for 2016 and the pet obesity epidemic shows no signs of abating. The pet obesity survey, conducted by the Association for Pet...
Pet Examinations – Health check-ups for cats and dogs Do you regularly visit your healthcare provider when you’re not sick or hurt? Like many people, the answer is probably “No”. So how about your pets? D...
Prevent arthritis in cats and keep your kitties pain free In the last few weeks I have stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy weight for your pet and that pet obesity can lead to several healthy iss...