Aging is a natural process among humans and feline friends alike. If you have a cat that is getting on in years, and you’ve noticed some changes in behavior, he may be suffering from cognitive brain disorder, a condition similar to Alzheimer’s Disease that impacts humans.
By 15 years of age, cats may begin to exhibit signs of cognitive brain disorder, according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners. This can impact not only your cat, but you and your family members, as well.
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Symptoms Of Cognitive Brain Disorder
Here are a few signs of cognitive brain disorder in senior cats:
- Lack of appetite
- Taking potty breaks outside of the litter box
- Less interaction with humans and other pets
- Decreased problem solving skills
- Less overall awareness of surroundings
- Disrupted sleep-awake cycles
- Loud crying, primarily during the nighttime hours
How You Can Help
So, how do you help your cat through this time of his life? It is important to provide the right nutrition and mental stimulation. Choose foods and specially formulated treats that are high in antioxidants and omega fatty acids. This aids in cognitive function. Incorporate a maze or puzzle ball into feeding time.
Keep Light On
When it is time for nighttime slumber, keep your cat’s sleeping area quiet and safe. As his vision may be declining, keep a light or night-light turned on, especially since his sleep-awake patterns are changing and he might be prone to wandering around at night.
Aids To Help Navigate Around The House
Make sure you apply non-skid surfaces in your home and add ramps or steps to assist your aging cat getting to places without having to jump. You may even want to add more litter boxes or get a bigger one, as your cat may experience more waste elimination at this time in his life.
Aging is not a negative process, it’s natural. Just know that your cat does not have to go through it alone, and with your help, love and assistance, he will still be able to enjoy every single day in your loving care.
Note: This post was originally published in November 2016 and has been edited for content and format.