Felines are now living much longer lives than earlier because of reasonable care and proper maintenance. And there is no better news for cat owners than this, who are yearning to spend extra years with their little furry friends. But extended years also come with a high prevalence of aging feline health issues, and cat dementia is one of them. In this article, we’ve gathered the most prevalent signs to detect Dementia in cats as early as possible and everything you need to know to protect your cat aging.
What Is Cat Dementia?
Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) is a disorder directly associated with aging a feline’s brain, more commonly known as cat dementia. It eventually leads to alterations in awareness, inadequacies in understanding and remembering, and weak responsiveness to stimuli. The incremental deterioration in cognitive skills is affected by age-related changes in the cat brain. Cat dementia usually has a slow onset, with differences in memory or spatial skills aggravating over time.
What are the Signs Of Dementia in Cats?
You can misinterpret the initial signs of cat dementia for other diseases, so be extra vigilant while discussing any behavioral alterations with your vet. Old age is also related to arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and kidney infection in cats which can all cause certain attitude modifications because of discomfort or other symptoms. Alterations in behavior such as those described here can be evidence of cat dementia or another disorder.
The most common behavioral indication of cat dementia are defined by the acronym DISHA. Which stands for:
- (Changes in) Interactions Sleep-wake cycle changes
- House soiling
- Activity level alterations
Within these classifications of indications, you might notice:
- Anxiety or uneasiness
- Severe grumpiness
- Lessened or No desire to play
- Unnecessary licking
- Appearing disregard for formerly memorized training or house regulations
- Slow to comprehend new tasks
- Incapability to pursue usual routes
- Decreased self-grooming
- Fecal and urinary incontinence
- Loss of hunger (anorexia)
- Alterations in sleep cycle (e.g., night waking, napping during the daytime)
- Boosted vocalization
Diagnosis For Dementia In Cats
You will have to provide a detailed history of your feline’s health condition to your veterinarian, involving the beginning and nature of the symptoms and good experiences that might have accelerated the uncommon behaviors or difficulties. To help your veterinarian diagnose and better understand the whole situation, record the unusual activities you notice for your veterinarian to examine. Your vet will then conduct a comprehensive physical inspection to assess your kitty’s overall health condition and cognitive capacities. Other than this, periodic blood tests, ultrasounds, and X-rays aid in ruling out the risks of other ailments that may be the sign of behavioral alterations related to cognitive dysfunction syndrome.
How deal with cat dementia: Treatment for Dementia in cats
Treatment for Dementia in cats can be harsh as it can not be reversed or healed. The objective of therapy is to provide comfort to the cat by concentrating on relieving the distress, slowing the infection process if possible, and benefiting the cognitive processes in cats.
Take these precautions if your cat has dementia.
- Limit changes in their environment and surroundings to a minimum to prevent further confusion or distress. It involves placing their meal bowls and litter boxes in the same areas but extends to other aspects as well, such as positioning home furniture in the same place.
- Switch on nightlights as it will help your kitty manage alterations in its sleep-wake process. If they begin strolling in the dark, keeping a dim light turned on will allow them to locate the position of their litter box and meal bowl in the house.
- If your feline has other health issues, such as osteoarthritis, putting in ramps or stairs can benefit the old cat to reach their favorite high spots. These can also be effortlessly improvised utilizing old boxes or books. However, make sure that they are safe and stable so that it does not fall over, hurting your cat.
- Keep their mind healthy and active by introducing brain games, riddles, and cat toys.
- Try not to get annoyed or disappointed if they appear confused all the time or have frequent indoor accidents. You can try basic re-training strategies, but be sympathetic and patient towards them when it comes to conclusions.
- Ask your veterinarian about adding supplements such as Omega-3, vitamin B12, vitamin E, and antioxidants to your cat’s diet as these can strengthen a healthy brain.
- Make litter boxes and food bowls easier to access by making them larger or shallower.
- Organize a regular daily routine and try to stick to it. For instance, keep a constant feline feeding plan to help prevent further confusion for your cat.
- Develop extra sleeping areas in warm places.
Can Dementia In Cats Be Prevented?
Just like humans, the cat brain is also inferred for its neuroplasticity, which signifies its uncertainty. It can continue to transform throughout life and be effortlessly molded by experiences. It is why cognitive enrichment constitutes a significant part in postponing the outset and slowing the course of cat dementia.
Teach enrichment activities to your mentally and physically stimulating cats but at the same time adequate for your kitty’s personality. Before introducing any such action, take into account health conditioning such as osteoarthritis. Feline playtime can be a significant part of this, especially if your cat lives mostly inside.
There are numerous cat toys available designed mainly to cater to your cat’s natural hunting instincts. Some cats may enjoy food-motivated games such as riddle feeders, but make sure to change food flavors regularly.
Can You Give A Good Quality Of Life To Cat With Dementia?
Well, In most cases, yes; however, it’s crucial to understand that your feline’s needs have shifted. Once you discern the differences that accompany aging and work with your vet to regulate them, your kitty’s aging years can be rewarding for the welfare of both of you.
As felines age, it is harder for them to deal with alterations, even for their benefits. When introducing changes, remember your feline’s routine and environment; You should render modifications slowly and gradually at a pace.