As our cat ages, his body undergoes a series of age-specific changes. Cells don’t reproduce as quickly, so your joints, organs, and muscles gradually wear out.
Over time, they may become totally confused and disoriented as a result of senile dementia in cats. If that happens, they will need a series of special care so that they can age calmly.
What is senile dementia?
The cat, unfortunately, is an animal that has a life expectancy much shorter than ours, of just 20 years. It only takes a year (or a year and a half, in the case of a large breed) to become an adult. From that age and up to 10 years, your body will be able to perform its functions without problems, but afterwards, it will undergo some changes that will make us suspect that it has already begun to age. Here are some of them:
- Avoid jumping to high surfaces.
- Meows more than usual, and maybe louder.
- Gets disoriented
- He relieves himself in places he shouldn’t.
- He avoids being alone, and has a hard time when his family is away.
- It can become irritable.
If your cat has started to show this behavior, it is most likely that his aging process has begun. You should not worry. It is a natural process, that every living being will pass. But you should know that once you turn 15, the chances of you having senile dementia are very high .
This pathology, known as feline cognitive dysfunction, appears when the animal loses control of its body and its environment , and it will depend on us that it can feel calm and safe again in its own home. We have to be understanding with him, and help him in whatever way we can as his caregivers.
Symptoms of senile dementia in cats
Many of the symptoms of old age are also common in this pathology. However, there are others that are specific to the disease. They are as follows:
- Forgets to groom itself: the feline is an animal that spends much of its time grooming itself, but when it becomes senile it forgets to do so, which is very worrying because it could stop eating because it feels dirty and neglected.
- Spend more time sleeping: a healthy adult cat should sleep between 16 and 18 hours a day. As he gets older, he loses interest in things around him, and spends more time in bed.
- Meows desperately at night: it might look like she’s in heat, but it’s actually a help meow, wanting company.
- He is confused: he appears confused and disoriented, which causes him stress and / or anxiety.
How is it treated?
Although nothing can be done to repair the damage caused by aging, the veterinarian can implement a drug treatment to stop the cognitive decline . It is important to specify that not in all cases this treatment may be required. In case of doubt, consult with the professional.
Caring for a cat with senile dementia
If our furry has been diagnosed with senile dementia, we will have to do a series of things so that it can continue to have a good quality of life.
Avoid moving things around
So that you do not feel disoriented you have to try to avoid things (chairs, tables, sofas, etc.) from place. In this way, you can continue to feel that you have everything under control, something that is very important to you.
Take care of their hygiene
As we have commented, a cat that stops grooming itself can seem like. To prevent him from feeling bad, we must brush him at least twice a day, clean his eyes with a gauze moistened in chamomile every day and his ears three or four times a week with a specific liquid .
Every fortnight we can wipe it with a cloth soaked in warm water to clean its fur, thus removing dirt.
Play with him
They may not be keen to play, but you have to invite them to do so . In animal product stores we will find many toys for cats , such as ropes or balls. For our friend, a rod that has a stuffed animal attached to its end will be more than enough to entertain him for a while.
If we don’t want to buy toys, we can make them ourselves. A simple cardboard box can become the best entertainment for the furry. It will be enough to make one or two holes through which it can enter and exit, and that’s it.
If necessary, place ramps
If you can’t access the usual places, ramps are the solution. We can make them with wooden plates and wrap them with stuffed fabric so that it is more comfortable for you to walk through them.
Give him a lot of love
It is the most important thing. If we do not give him affection, if we do not keep him company, the cat will not feel like moving on . Therefore, it is essential to be by his side until the end of his days. He would do it for us.