Has your old feline friend started to behave strangely lately – making funny sounds, staring off into space, or forgetting to use the litter box? Just as elderly people are susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease, so too may our feline friends suffer from cognitive decline and dementia, which is more than just old age. Learn all the symptoms of cat dementia, plus how you can help an aging cat best deal with the disease, below.
Can cats get dementia?
Yes. Just like us humans might experience physical or mental health changes as we get older, so do our feline friends. Cat dementia, also known as feline senile dementia, impacts over 50% of cats over the age of 15 years. Today, cats live longer than ever, and may have a lifespan of 20-21 years. So if you have a senior cat, it is likely that they will experience some signs of dementia. However it’s important to diagnose cat dementia correctly, as the symptoms could actually be masking another illness in your cat.
FYI – Dogs can get dementia too.
What is cat dementia?
Cat dementia, also known as feline cognitive dysfunction, is a brain disorder typically associated with old age in cats. Like other organs, the brain starts to deteriorate with age – which leads to a decline in cognitive abilities. Just as humans with Alzheimer’s disease may forget their loved one’s names, a cat with dementia may forget their normal routine, or become disoriented, confused and afraid more easily. This can be very sad to witness, but understanding the symptoms and treatment options can help you to and your cat better adjust to your new situation.