A decline in mental function is not just a problem for many aging humans. It’s also a problem for cats as well.
Studies have shown 28% of felines between the ages of 11 and 15 show some signs of cognitive dysfunction. That number shoots up to 50% for cats over the age of 15.
The cause of this condition isn’t always obvious. In some cases, cognitive dysfunction develops as a result of other problems like arthritis, hormonal disorders, liver disease and kidney failure. In others, it comes about as a result of an increase in the breakdown rate of neurotransmitters and the build-up of damaging free radicals in the brain.
Regardless, a cat with cognitive dysfunction will display one or more of the following symptoms:
- restlessness and wandering
- problems with litter box use
- memory loss
- altered sleep patterns
- changes in behavior and activity levels
Mental and physical stimulation go a long way towards improving or maintaining your aging feline pal’s mental acuity. Activities such as leash walking and playing with toys can help keep a senior cat’s mind sharp and body strong.
If you suspect that your furry friend is developing cognitive dysfunction, it’s time to make an appointment with Austin Pet and Bird. Our staff of caring vets will do a complete nose to tail exam to pinpoint the cause of any apparent mental decline.
Your pets, and especially senior ones, deserve only the best healthcare. Contact us today to help your feline pal enjoy a longer, happier life!