HERE ARE SOME SIGNS AND SIGNAL’S TO WATCH FOR IN YOUR AGING CATS. UNDERSTANDING FELINE COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION.
FCD – Feline Cognitive Dysfunction is said to affect close to 55% of cats between the ages of 11-15 and 80% of cats over 15. It affects their memory, awareness, ability to learn as well as their sight and hearing . It is very similar to Alzheimer’s in humans and can cause major behavioral changes in your cat. The deterioration of these functions can cause forgetfulness of already learned habits ( like where the litter box is, where their food is). It can disturb their sleeping habits and lower their activity levels, which in turn can cause them anxiety, stress and aggression. These behavioral issues can change your cats relationships with you and all the pets in your home . You kneed to know the best way to handle these issues carefully and compassionately and give your kitty the proper care they need heading into their senior years.
HERE IS A LIST OF FCD BEHAVIOR’S TO LOOK FOR AS YOUR CAT AGES.
DISORIENTATION AND CONFUSION
- AIMLESSLY WANDERS
- STARING INTO SPACE
- GETS LOST IN A PLACE THEY KNOW
- CAN’T NAVIGATE OVER OR AROUND COMMON OBSTACLES
MEMORY AND LEARNING
- DOES NOT USE THE LITTER BOX
- ELIMINATES IN AREAS LIKE NEAR THEIR FOOD OR WHERE THEY SLEEP
- SEEMS TO SOMETIMES NOT RECOGNIZE FAMILIAR PEOPLE AND OTHER PETS
- CAN FIND THEIR FOOD AND WATER
- THEY BECOME OVER DEPENDENT, FOLLOW YOU EVERYWHERE ( this one is tricky as my cat does this now and a lot of cats do lol),WANT CONSTANT ATTENTION
- OR THEY BECOME THE TOTAL OPPOSITE …..THEY DON’T REALLY WANT TO BE PET, LESS CONTACT, NOT INTERESTED IN “HELLO’S”, OR INTERACTING WITH OTHER PETS
- BEHAVES WITH MORE IRRITABILITY AND AGGRESSION IN GENERAL
- BECOMES EXTREMELY VOCAL…( you will know it when you hear it).
- IS LETHARGIC AND DOES NOT RESPOND TO THINGS GOING ON AROUND THEM
- EATS LESS
- LESS GROOMING
- CYCLES MAY BE REVERSED – SLEEP ALL DAY, AWAKE ALL NIGHT
- BEING VOCAL DURING THE NIGHT
OBVIOUSLY THE BEST THING TO DO IF THESE ARE THINGS YOU ARE SEEING IN YOUR CAT IS TO HEAD TO THE VETS OFFICE. GET A PROPER DIAGNOSIS AS SOME OF THESE ISSUES MAY NOT BE CAUSED BY FCD BUT SOMETHING ELSE.
THERE ARE MEDICATIONS YOUR VET CAN PRESCRIBE THAT WILL HELP YOUR CAT COPE WITH FCD AND GIVE THEM A GREATER QUALITY OF LIFE AS A SENIOR FUR BABY.
HOPE THIS HELPS GIVE YOU A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF A MAJOR ISSUE AFFECTING OUR SENIOR CATS. THAT AS A PET OWNER YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO GIVE THAT YOUR CAT A WONDERFUL AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR THEM TO GROW OLD IN. SOMEWHERE THEY ARE LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY AND GIVEN BACK ALL THE LOVE THEY’VE GIVEN US!!!