You may notice some differences in your Pelham cat’s behavior as she grows older. Your kitty may sleep more, and show less interest in toys and playing. Your feline friend may have a loss of hearing and eyesight, and may begin to move more stiffly. Some cats experience a decline in their cognitive functions as they age. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome is the scientific name for a condition Kitty gets as her brain starts to deteriorate. Also known as feline senility, CDS can be likened to dementia in humans.
Here are a few key points on CDS:
The symptoms of feline cognitive disorder can vary from cat to cat. Your cat may seem to wander around aimlessly. Fluffy may appear not to recognize you, or you may find her ‘stuck’ in a corner. Your once-lovable kitty may suddenly not seem to like being petted. Cats with senility sometimes stop using the litter box, or use it erratically. You may also notice her sleeping cycles change. Some cats may become fearful, and begin hiding frequently. Your feline friend may yowl or cry in an odd manner. Other possible symptoms of feline dementia include a loss of appetite, increased activity at night, and a lack of interest in grooming.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for feline senility. There are, however, things you can do to help your cat. Keep doors closed at night, so your furball is less likely to get disoriented on a midnight snack run. Install nightlights so Kitty can see better in the dark. Playing with your cat every day can help stimulate her mind, which may improve her mental condition. Be careful not to exhaust your kitty; mental stimulation is your goal. Using a clicker to teach your furry friend some new tricks can also help.
A change in Kitty’s diet may also help improve her cognitive functions. A nutritional regimen that includes specific supplements can make a big difference. Some of the supplements that may help with CDS include Vitamins E and C, selenium, flavonoids, antioxidants, beta carotene, carotenoids, Omega-3, and carnitine. Check with your vet for specific recommendations on your senior kitty’s diet.
As your feline friend enters her golden years, she will face the challenges that come with aging, as we all do. Enjoy this time with your senior pet. She may have different needs, and her behavior may change a bit, but one thing hasn’t changed: what Kitty needs most is your unconditional love.
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