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Feline dementia

In this article vet Richard introduces the topic of feline dementia, also known as feline cognitive dysfunction.

Many of our feline friends are living longer lives. Cats are considered to be senior between 11 to 14 years or age and those who reach 15 and above are considered to be super senior, and just like us we can start to see some age related changes in our older cat’s brain functions.

We can see cats who forget where they are, where the litter tray is and when they were last fed. Some cats may start to cry loudly at night, they may change their sleep pattern and they may start to urinate or defecate in the wrong place. Some cats can become more needy or they can become grumpy and they can seem unable to settle and restless. They may become more or less interested in food and stop grooming themselves.

Unfortunately there are no specific tests for cognitive dysfunction and some of the common older cat diseases such as an overactive thyroid gland, arthritic pain or kidney disease can give similar symptoms. When we are investigating these patients we will need to rule out other possible causes so we would start with a full examination with one of our vets and ideally check blood pressure and run blood and urine to look for other disease processes before we consider cognitive dysfunction.

There are no specific, licensed products for cognitive dysfunction but there are supplements and environmental changes we can make to help look after our older cats in their senior years. If you are worried your older cat may be showing some of these signs then please contact the surgery to make an appointment with one of our team.

Give us a call on 01803 606059 (Torquay), 843836 (Paignton), book an appointment online, or send us a WhatsApp using the button on screen.

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