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

Vomiting Cat? Normal or Something to Worry About Cats tend to vomit from time to time. Virtually all cat owners will tell you that they experience this with their cats. While this can be a ‘clean-up’...
Early detection and treatment of cat kidney disease The water in canned cat food helps to flush out the kidneys Chronic cat kidney disease is an all too common finding in middle-aged to senior kitti...
Cat Arthritis – Ricky’s Treatments Ricky is our loving senior (17+ years young) cat. Ricky's 'cat arthritis' started when he was 15 and has increasingly become worse over the past 2 yea...
Urinary Obstruction in Cats Frequent visits to the litter box along with vocalization and straining are signs of urinary obstruction. See your veterinarian immediately if you no...
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...
Treating arthritis in cats to keep them comfortable As we discussed last week, cats are very good at hiding their pain and it can be difficult to know if they are uncomfortable. The best thing is to voi...
How often should I take my cat to the veterinarian? There are more cats than dogs in the U.S. yet they are getting less than half the veterinary care of canines. There are a variety of factors that cont...