Does your cat have dementia? – A guide for owners of older felines

It may sound like a silly question but I would bet most owners with older cats could recount multiple examples of ‘feline senility’.  Some are funny, some are sad and some are just plain unpleasant.  But as tempting as it is to be angry with your cat for, say, mistaking your bed for a litter tray, the truth is that more than 50% of cats over 15 years of age suffer from some degree of dementia, also known as Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS).  Is your cat one of them?

Let’s start with a couple of questions to get you thinking:

1)       Has your older cat started to urinate or defecate in inappropriate places?

2)      Does your cat demand more attention that she used to?

3)      Have you noticed your cat crying out more frequently, particularly at night?

4)      Is your cat less adventurous than he used to be, preferring to stay close to home?

5)      Is she behaving strangely – staring at walls, forgetting there is food in her dish or perhaps interacting differently with a housemate?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your cat is in fact showing at least one of the signs of feline dementia or CDS.

What is Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome?

The first question that often comes to mind is whether or not it is related to human dementia and in fact the answer is yes, there are many physical and behavioural similarities between CDS in cats and Alzheimer’s disease in humans.  Both diseases are likely caused at least in part by physical changes related to decreased blood flow to the brain and an increase in nasty little molecules called ‘free radicals’.  They may have a funny name, but the damage these molecules do to living cells is hardly a laughing matter.  The older the body gets the more free radicals it produces and when combined with decreased blood and oxygen flow, these molecules wreak havoc on the particularly sensitive and fragile cells in the brain.  All this damage also leads to the deposition of protein ‘plaques’ around the nerve cells, making it even harder for signals to make it through.  The end result is a collection of tired, damaged and dirty cells trying unsuccessfully to maintain normal brain function.  A pretty distressing thought!

The longer this process goes on, the harder the cat finds it to do the simple things that used to come so naturally.  They may forget where the litter tray or cat flap is, resulting in poor toilet habits.  Changes in sleeping habits and activity levels can lead to increased stress, which in turn can result in loud, seemingly pointless crying.  Meals are forgotten and relationships with both human and animal housemates may suffer.  Nobody wants to see their cat experience this kind of stress, yet in reality, most of the time the symptoms of CDS either go unnoticed or are simply put down to ‘getting older’ and as a result, nothing is done about it.

What CAN be done about it?

The first step to treating Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome is actually diagnosing it in the first place.  CDS is a diagnosis of exclusion, which means that it cannot be diagnosed directly but rather by ruling out other conditions.  There are many other conditions which can cause similar symptoms though, so it’s important to speak with your vet to try to figure out what’s really going on.  The disease that most closely resembles CDS in terms of symptoms is arthritis, and in fact there are many similarities between the two conditions as both the underlying causes and the treatments are quite similar.  Other conditions that result in some of the same symptoms as CDS include kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, deafness, blindness or brain tumours.  As some of these are easily treatable, it is definitely worth trying to get to the bottom of it.

If your vet diagnoses your cat with cognitive dysfunction, there are several things that you can do to help your feline friend as they learn to cope with their illness.  The first is to feed a high quality diet, and preferably one that is particularly high in antioxidants (which kill off those free radicals) and other supportive compounds such as vitamin E, beta carotene and essential fatty acids.  Several other vitamins and molecules have also shown promise in treating the condition and this has led to the development of several therapies including special diets and nutritional supplements.

Perhaps equally if not even more important than changing what goes into a CDS cat’s body is changing their environment to support their condition.

Some of the things that owners can do at home to help cats with dementia (and, incidentally, arthritis as well) include:

  • Feed your cat according to a routine schedule so they know what to expect when
  • Increase the number of food bowls, water dishes and litter trays to make them more accessible from wherever the cat may be in the house.  Litter trays should be wide with shallow rims to allow easier access and sand-like litter may be kinder to older toes.
  • Try to keep their environment otherwise unchanged (especially for those cats who may also be blind or deaf) as change creates confusion which increases anxiety and stress.  If changes do need to be made, try to introduce them slowly and gradually.  A Feliway or Pet Remedy plug-in or spray can help anxious cats cope with daily life
  • Provide several deeply padded and comfortable resting/hiding places throughout the house and make them easily accessible by building a ramp or steps up to those that would otherwise require a big jump.
  • Give your cat the attention and reassurance they seek but do not overdo it as they also appreciate time to themselves.  Don’t rush to get a new kitten thinking they need companionship, as this usually causes more stress than it is worth.

As with so many diseases of older cats, Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome may be common, but it isn’t normal so if you think your cat may be showing some of the symptoms, the first thing to do is speak with your vet.  Together you may be able to significantly improve the quality of your cat’s life with a few simple changes.  It can also help to think about your cat’s schedule and environment from their point of view rather than your own, as you may discover other ways to make their lives a bit easier.  Next time your cat has a ‘senile moment’ and wakes you up at 3am with a howl, spare a thought for their ageing brain before getting cross!

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126 thoughts on “Does your cat have dementia? – A guide for owners of older felines

  1. Hi Debbie, thanks for asking. Yes, dementia is possible in a cat younger than 15, however, the younger the cat (and 7 would be quite young) the more likely it is that these symptoms are actually due to a different condition. I highly recommend taking your cat to the vet to rule out other diseases before giving them a diagnosis of dementia. Best of luck!

  2. Hi Debbie, thanks for asking. Yes, dementia is possible in a cat younger than 15, however, the younger the cat (and 7 would be quite young) the more likely it is that these symptoms are actually due to a different condition. I highly recommend taking your cat to the vet to rule out other diseases before giving them a diagnosis of dementia. Best of luck!

  3. I have a lovely 20 yr.old cat(a moggie).Dizzy has hyper thyriodism,kidney failure,is stone deaf,in fact she went deaf overnight and has dementia.
    Recently she has been very anxious about venturing downstairs from my bedroom to use her litter tray and feed.Last night she actually told me in her own way that she did not want to go downstairs anymore and urinated on my bed as I lay there.
    The result is that I have now brought everything into my bedroom,litter tray,food tray and an old wooden ironing table which she uses as a scratch post.The things we do for our cats.

  4. I have a lovely 20 yr.old cat(a moggie).Dizzy has hyper thyriodism,kidney failure,is stone deaf,in fact she went deaf overnight and has dementia.
    Recently she has been very anxious about venturing downstairs from my bedroom to use her litter tray and feed.Last night she actually told me in her own way that she did not want to go downstairs anymore and urinated on my bed as I lay there.
    The result is that I have now brought everything into my bedroom,litter tray,food tray and an old wooden ironing table which she uses as a scratch post.The things we do for our cats.

  5. Hi, My old girl is 17 and has been making these horrible howling noises through the day and night I have taken her to the vets twice and had her bloods screened etc and they all come back normal, she has lost a bit of weight and seems really unhappy in general, Im at a loss what to do next the noises are so upsetting, could this be something underlining?

    1. Hello Denise, it can be so upsetting when our pets are not well – if only they could talk! We’d suggest speaking to your vet again, they might want to run further tests on her such as an x-ray, even further bloods (it is all according to the tests she has already been screened for) etc. Best of luck, Dave RVN.

  6. Hi, My old girl is 17 and has been making these horrible howling noises through the day and night I have taken her to the vets twice and had her bloods screened etc and they all come back normal, she has lost a bit of weight and seems really unhappy in general, Im at a loss what to do next the noises are so upsetting, could this be something underlining?

    1. Hello Denise, it can be so upsetting when our pets are not well – if only they could talk! We’d suggest speaking to your vet again, they might want to run further tests on her such as an x-ray, even further bloods (it is all according to the tests she has already been screened for) etc. Best of luck, Dave RVN.

  7. I have a 5 year old tabby who is already very vocal. I’ve noticed (overnight) that his talking has become even more frequent and more pronounced. As if he’s in pain…I’m no vet but since he loves any type of touching he lets me do an amateur exam on him just looking for signs of pain. I gently massage, squeeze, touch, push, pull and he doesn’t respond vocally. He just cries incessantly but when I pick him up and let him in my lap he’ll fall right to sleep. He’s always loved affection but not to the point where he’ll practically pass out once I pick him up and place him in my lap. His sight still works because he can see his brush from a mile away! Is he suffering? Can such a young cat have dementia? I’ve had him since he was a year old and with me he’s like a dog in cat’s clothing…he’s my shadow. I know this cat so I know when something is off. I’m soooo worried…help! Thank you

  8. I have a 5 year old tabby who is already very vocal. I’ve noticed (overnight) that his talking has become even more frequent and more pronounced. As if he’s in pain…I’m no vet but since he loves any type of touching he lets me do an amateur exam on him just looking for signs of pain. I gently massage, squeeze, touch, push, pull and he doesn’t respond vocally. He just cries incessantly but when I pick him up and let him in my lap he’ll fall right to sleep. He’s always loved affection but not to the point where he’ll practically pass out once I pick him up and place him in my lap. His sight still works because he can see his brush from a mile away! Is he suffering? Can such a young cat have dementia? I’ve had him since he was a year old and with me he’s like a dog in cat’s clothing…he’s my shadow. I know this cat so I know when something is off. I’m soooo worried…help! Thank you

  9. Hi,
    My cat is aged at 14 and he is experiencing dementia. Because the signs are showing that. But the vets in my country are not educated, and because of them I lost one of my cats. So rather than taking to them, I want to make the life easier for my cat. Is there any particular diet that I could use for my cat? We also have two more cats, which are girl and they are always making him to be alive by fighting with him=) and also we needed to move two times our house, I guess at the last one dementia had been occurred. I even do not invite my friends to our home because he is acting more stressful. On the other hand he is always circling around him when he has his toilet and when he is hungry. We are using a medicine for the behavioral disorder but still it does not help him. He was an aggressive cat for all of his life and he always loved the routine. He had been acted very irritative to the “sound” for all of his life. If you could help me, I would be glad.

    1. Hi, it seems by making your cat’s life easier by not having too much stress for them, you are doing the right thing. Diet wise there are several brands that can work for brain function, but most seemed aimed at dogs. We understand you are not encouraged by your vets, however they are really the best placed people to be able to help you further.

  10. Hi,
    My cat is aged at 14 and he is experiencing dementia. Because the signs are showing that. But the vets in my country are not educated, and because of them I lost one of my cats. So rather than taking to them, I want to make the life easier for my cat. Is there any particular diet that I could use for my cat? We also have two more cats, which are girl and they are always making him to be alive by fighting with him=) and also we needed to move two times our house, I guess at the last one dementia had been occurred. I even do not invite my friends to our home because he is acting more stressful. On the other hand he is always circling around him when he has his toilet and when he is hungry. We are using a medicine for the behavioral disorder but still it does not help him. He was an aggressive cat for all of his life and he always loved the routine. He had been acted very irritative to the “sound” for all of his life. If you could help me, I would be glad.

    1. Hi, it seems by making your cat’s life easier by not having too much stress for them, you are doing the right thing. Diet wise there are several brands that can work for brain function, but most seemed aimed at dogs. We understand you are not encouraged by your vets, however they are really the best placed people to be able to help you further.

  11. Hello everyone. My mum’s cat Sparky is 19 this year and he is showing symptoms of having CDS. He has recently started ripping up bags and newspapers just before urinating. We have tried putting newspaper in his litter tray (just to let him know its alright to wee there), but he is now getting confused and doesn’t seem to know “Where to go?”. He meows and whines and howls at night and day when he gets “lost”. We have to actually go up to him, pick him up and pet him for a while, until he knows its us. Another thing he has started doing is forgetting where his food is. He can smell it, he can taste it but he doesn’t know its actually there! Our vet has recommended that we give him vitamin E, but it doesn’t seem to be working very well. Any suggestions on how to help our poor old kitty please?

  12. Hello everyone. My mum’s cat Sparky is 19 this year and he is showing symptoms of having CDS. He has recently started ripping up bags and newspapers just before urinating. We have tried putting newspaper in his litter tray (just to let him know its alright to wee there), but he is now getting confused and doesn’t seem to know “Where to go?”. He meows and whines and howls at night and day when he gets “lost”. We have to actually go up to him, pick him up and pet him for a while, until he knows its us. Another thing he has started doing is forgetting where his food is. He can smell it, he can taste it but he doesn’t know its actually there! Our vet has recommended that we give him vitamin E, but it doesn’t seem to be working very well. Any suggestions on how to help our poor old kitty please?

  13. Hi All,

    I think my cat is suffering dimentia and i’m not sure what to do to make her life easier. Simba is a 15 year old domestic moggy and all of a sudden started seeing her reflection in my glass windows and mirror and has started hissing and fighting thinking another cat is there.

    I have covered certain surfaces with white paper and this seems to ease the tension for her but then she just moves on to another surface like the oven or the fridge.

    Does anyone have any ideas or the vet’s online is their medication she can be on as the vet put her on anti-anxiety medication but this was awful as she was not her self at all.

    Please help. Thanks

  14. Hi All,

    I think my cat is suffering dimentia and i’m not sure what to do to make her life easier. Simba is a 15 year old domestic moggy and all of a sudden started seeing her reflection in my glass windows and mirror and has started hissing and fighting thinking another cat is there.

    I have covered certain surfaces with white paper and this seems to ease the tension for her but then she just moves on to another surface like the oven or the fridge.

    Does anyone have any ideas or the vet’s online is their medication she can be on as the vet put her on anti-anxiety medication but this was awful as she was not her self at all.

    Please help. Thanks

  15. My cat ,is 20 years old. Has all of the above. Last year he had a stroke. Which has left him a bit wobbably on his feet. He has been to the vets and has been told well he’s 20. I don’t know if he’s suffering or not. He eats loads . loves cuddles. And still cleaning his self. He had a cat tray in doors now . but all seems to be working OK.

  16. My cat ,is 20 years old. Has all of the above. Last year he had a stroke. Which has left him a bit wobbably on his feet. He has been to the vets and has been told well he’s 20. I don’t know if he’s suffering or not. He eats loads . loves cuddles. And still cleaning his self. He had a cat tray in doors now . but all seems to be working OK.

  17. My cat is only 7 1/2 years old and is showing quite a few symptoms of dementia.
    I have taken him to the vet for a check up and have had blood tests done but nothing has shown up in test results. Was told he was too young for it to be dementia.
    I am worried as to what to do next. Can you help please?

    1. Hi Evelyn, sorry to hear about your cat. It might be worth speaking to the vet again and asking if the symptoms you cat is displaying could be behaviour issues. Sometimes there can be a change in the enviromnment, even a new cat in the neighbourhood to change cats behaviour. Calming products such as Feliway might help, but sometimes a professional pet behaviourist is needed. Dave RVN @ Vet Help Direct.

  18. My cat is only 7 1/2 years old and is showing quite a few symptoms of dementia.
    I have taken him to the vet for a check up and have had blood tests done but nothing has shown up in test results. Was told he was too young for it to be dementia.
    I am worried as to what to do next. Can you help please?

    1. Hi Evelyn, sorry to hear about your cat. It might be worth speaking to the vet again and asking if the symptoms you cat is displaying could be behaviour issues. Sometimes there can be a change in the enviromnment, even a new cat in the neighbourhood to change cats behaviour. Calming products such as Feliway might help, but sometimes a professional pet behaviourist is needed. Dave RVN @ Vet Help Direct.

  19. Hello. My cat is 21 and seems to be becoming confused. He’ll stare vacantly, meow very loudly, has become clingy and has stated to wee indoors. We keep to a routine and keeps the light on at night so as to keep things easy for him. I just wondered what the life expectancy is for a cat displaying these traits and was there anything else we could do to help him.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      It is impossible to say, some cats can go on for a long time – 21 is an excellent age! A general heath check with your vet might be a good idea, they will know his history and could offer more advice for you.

  20. Hello. My cat is 21 and seems to be becoming confused. He’ll stare vacantly, meow very loudly, has become clingy and has stated to wee indoors. We keep to a routine and keeps the light on at night so as to keep things easy for him. I just wondered what the life expectancy is for a cat displaying these traits and was there anything else we could do to help him.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      It is impossible to say, some cats can go on for a long time – 21 is an excellent age! A general heath check with your vet might be a good idea, they will know his history and could offer more advice for you.

  21. My 18 year old moggy, well at least that’s how old I think he is, is was inherited in 2000 and wasn’t a kitten . . . Anyway, Eddy(the cat) is now completely deaf. In all honesty rather like me he has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer but doing some odd things and sleep pattern totally changed. He also appears to be plucking fur to the extent he now has some totally bald patches. Any answers? ??

    1. Hi Wendy, there can be numerous reasons that cats pluck their fur, from stress or pain to parasites. It would be best if he was checked over by your vet and they might be able to shed light on his behaviour. Dave RVN Vet Help Direct

  22. My 18 year old moggy, well at least that’s how old I think he is, is was inherited in 2000 and wasn’t a kitten . . . Anyway, Eddy(the cat) is now completely deaf. In all honesty rather like me he has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer but doing some odd things and sleep pattern totally changed. He also appears to be plucking fur to the extent he now has some totally bald patches. Any answers? ??

    1. Hi Wendy, there can be numerous reasons that cats pluck their fur, from stress or pain to parasites. It would be best if he was checked over by your vet and they might be able to shed light on his behaviour. Dave RVN Vet Help Direct

  23. Long story short, my lovely cat is 19 years old and she has severe dementia, i just have one question, my mum is saying we should put her down due to her condition and quality of life, we both love her to pieces and was asking is it the right thing to do to put your cat down because of dementia? The cats current situation: she has lost all of her body weight in fat, she is extremely skinny now, she gets lost so easily and stares at walls the majority of the time, she dosen’t eat food only licks so we have been giving her liquid food for the past few weeks. From the information above is it time we said our goodbyes, please help, i am not ready to lose her just yet, 🙁

    thank you

    1. Joe, you need to ask yourself if you are keeping her alive for your sake, despite her quality of life not being very good. Animal welfare is our main concern, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want her to suffer. When pets reach a very good age as she has, it’s difficult to decide the best course of action.

      1. I’m in exactly the same position. Within the space of six weeks my 15 year old boy has gone downhill with the same symptoms – not eating only licking/picking, seeming confused, staring at walls, walking in circles (clockwise only) and not going far. I’m resigned to the fact he might be on his last furlong and have grieved every night even though he’s still here. Ive even picked out where in the garden to bury him but I just can’t bring myself to take him to be put to sleep. What if he’s fine in himself? What if he doesn’t know he’s suffering? My idea of suffering might be different to his? He’s not the cat I knew six weeks ago but I just can’t let go. I’m an emotional wreck right now and people would think I’m bonkers for feeling this way. Is it more about me than him? Maybe. But I’m stuck. It’s made worse by the fact that his twin sister is still healthy and fit. Goddamm this s*** situation! I wish it were me and not him.

        1. Hi Sam, it’s a horrible situation to be in, we agree. It’s often so hard to know what to do for the best. Firstly, we think a trip to the vet is in order. What if it isn’t dementia that your kitty is experiencing? What if there is much that can be done to help? There could be another reason for these symptoms and potentially something which needs to be treated quickly. It’s good to forge a relationship with your vet especially at this time so that you can make a plan for your aging cat. You will also likely find a great deal of support from them too. We wish you and him the best.

  24. Long story short, my lovely cat is 19 years old and she has severe dementia, i just have one question, my mum is saying we should put her down due to her condition and quality of life, we both love her to pieces and was asking is it the right thing to do to put your cat down because of dementia? The cats current situation: she has lost all of her body weight in fat, she is extremely skinny now, she gets lost so easily and stares at walls the majority of the time, she dosen’t eat food only licks so we have been giving her liquid food for the past few weeks. From the information above is it time we said our goodbyes, please help, i am not ready to lose her just yet, 🙁

    thank you

    1. Joe, you need to ask yourself if you are keeping her alive for your sake, despite her quality of life not being very good. Animal welfare is our main concern, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want her to suffer. When pets reach a very good age as she has, it’s difficult to decide the best course of action.

  25. My Lucky cat is 18 years old. He was tentatively diagnosed with intestinal cancer (75% chance) a year ago and given 3 months to live. We didn’t do the invasive biopsy to confirm due to his age. He is on prednisone and doing well, putting on weight, and obviously outliving is prognosis! He now seems to clearly be developing dementia. Mainly it is the excessive howling at night, and during the day, too. He also has the somewhat confused/lost expression at times. He has been to the vet recently for blood work follow up (for the prednisone) and everything is pretty good, except he had a high white blood cell count. He was put on an antibiotic. He takes Shen Calmer chinese herbals for the anxiety, and we have Feliway. I also got a Thundershirt for him which seems to help somewhat at night. As all have said, the howling is heartbreaking, and I wonder if he is suffering. Otherwise he really is doing pretty good at this point. Any advice?

  26. My Lucky cat is 18 years old. He was tentatively diagnosed with intestinal cancer (75% chance) a year ago and given 3 months to live. We didn’t do the invasive biopsy to confirm due to his age. He is on prednisone and doing well, putting on weight, and obviously outliving is prognosis! He now seems to clearly be developing dementia. Mainly it is the excessive howling at night, and during the day, too. He also has the somewhat confused/lost expression at times. He has been to the vet recently for blood work follow up (for the prednisone) and everything is pretty good, except he had a high white blood cell count. He was put on an antibiotic. He takes Shen Calmer chinese herbals for the anxiety, and we have Feliway. I also got a Thundershirt for him which seems to help somewhat at night. As all have said, the howling is heartbreaking, and I wonder if he is suffering. Otherwise he really is doing pretty good at this point. Any advice?

  27. Last summer my 19 year old female cat had just about all of the symptoms mentioned in the text. And then the symptoms went away!!!. And now in the last 3-4 weeks the symptoms have returned. In addition, she does have kidney problems. We live in Arizona, so it’s hot, but she has not been outside in 3 years. I try to keep the house at a reasonable high 70’s low 80’s. She spends most of the day curled up in a sink or shower, and most of the evening howling. She has lost her appetite and is confused.

  28. Last summer my 19 year old female cat had just about all of the symptoms mentioned in the text. And then the symptoms went away!!!. And now in the last 3-4 weeks the symptoms have returned. In addition, she does have kidney problems. We live in Arizona, so it’s hot, but she has not been outside in 3 years. I try to keep the house at a reasonable high 70’s low 80’s. She spends most of the day curled up in a sink or shower, and most of the evening howling. She has lost her appetite and is confused.

  29. I have a rescue cat that I have had for around 8 years. I think she is now 15, but I suspect she may be a little older.
    She developed all of these symptoms last winter, just after she was diagnosed with kidney disease. Her KD is under control and she is doing well (a special diet has arrested the disease progression for now) and the vet prescribed a supplement for the CDS (Activait) and, hey presto, within three weeks, she was far more settled, the howling stopped (well. just about) and she was far less anxious.
    I moved her litter tray, food, bed and water into one room so she had easy access and a quite sanctuary to retreat to when she wants and, touch wood, no more ‘accidents’ and she is eating well.
    But 8 months on, her CDS is progressing and the supplement doesn’t seem to cover all of her symptoms. She has started yowling again but the confusion doesn’t seem to have come back. I am upping the supplement dose to twice a day, at the vet’s recommendation, so I am hoping that will give her some more relief.
    But the vet said that cat’s don’t ‘die’ from CDS – but I do want to know what will eventually happen to her? There seems to be little information on the eventual effects of this horrid disease?

  30. I have a rescue cat that I have had for around 8 years. I think she is now 15, but I suspect she may be a little older.
    She developed all of these symptoms last winter, just after she was diagnosed with kidney disease. Her KD is under control and she is doing well (a special diet has arrested the disease progression for now) and the vet prescribed a supplement for the CDS (Activait) and, hey presto, within three weeks, she was far more settled, the howling stopped (well. just about) and she was far less anxious.
    I moved her litter tray, food, bed and water into one room so she had easy access and a quite sanctuary to retreat to when she wants and, touch wood, no more ‘accidents’ and she is eating well.
    But 8 months on, her CDS is progressing and the supplement doesn’t seem to cover all of her symptoms. She has started yowling again but the confusion doesn’t seem to have come back. I am upping the supplement dose to twice a day, at the vet’s recommendation, so I am hoping that will give her some more relief.
    But the vet said that cat’s don’t ‘die’ from CDS – but I do want to know what will eventually happen to her? There seems to be little information on the eventual effects of this horrid disease?

  31. My 16 years old cat was never very vocal but since we lost our other cat 3 months ago he seems to cry alot during the night a very distressing meow
    I first put this down to grief but now I think it’s more if he can’t see me during the day he cries out too at times He seems to be sleeping more during the day also. A few months ago he had bloods taken for kidneys and thyroid but all was clear

  32. My 16 years old cat was never very vocal but since we lost our other cat 3 months ago he seems to cry alot during the night a very distressing meow
    I first put this down to grief but now I think it’s more if he can’t see me during the day he cries out too at times He seems to be sleeping more during the day also. A few months ago he had bloods taken for kidneys and thyroid but all was clear

  33. I have two tabby cats, 15 years old, brother and sister. He has overactive thyroid on medication and she has just been diagnosed with dementure. Both sets symptoms same. No tests have been done on her. Her weight loss has not been extreme. She is back at vets in a couple of weeks with urine sample. Should I insist on blood tests?

    1. Hello Sally, definitely speak to them about blood tests – after all it’s your peace of mind (and you will be paying the fee!)

  34. I have two tabby cats, 15 years old, brother and sister. He has overactive thyroid on medication and she has just been diagnosed with dementure. Both sets symptoms same. No tests have been done on her. Her weight loss has not been extreme. She is back at vets in a couple of weeks with urine sample. Should I insist on blood tests?

    1. Hello Sally, definitely speak to them about blood tests – after all it’s your peace of mind (and you will be paying the fee!)

  35. My cat is about 12 and has changed her behaviour over the last few months. She is still eating and drinking fine but is toileting all over the house and had blood in her stools. The worst thing is she sleeps at the top of the banister and falls from top to bottom of the stairs on a regular basis, I have tried on many occasions to move her for her to sleep comfortably but she just goes back every time, she is going to hurt herself and it is very sad to watch. I have asked my vet to put her to sleep as this would solve a lot of problems for both of us but they say no

  36. My cat is about 12 and has changed her behaviour over the last few months. She is still eating and drinking fine but is toileting all over the house and had blood in her stools. The worst thing is she sleeps at the top of the banister and falls from top to bottom of the stairs on a regular basis, I have tried on many occasions to move her for her to sleep comfortably but she just goes back every time, she is going to hurt herself and it is very sad to watch. I have asked my vet to put her to sleep as this would solve a lot of problems for both of us but they say no

  37. My 15-1/2 year old girl has started howling at night, but she has a “baby” that she likes to carry around and that is when she howls like she is in heat. Last night she started crying at the door of our apartment. She never goes out in the hall, but since she was crying at the door, I let her out for a couple of minutes and then brought her in. She went right back to crying at the door so I repeated letting her out. She once again started crying at the door. I finally (at 5 am) went back to sleep and all was quiet when I woke up. Tonight after she ate her dinner, she started to stare at the apartment door again.

    1. Hi Barbara. I assume we’re talking about your dog, 15 1/2 is a good age! Bear in mind that as your pet ages, her care needs might change. Did you offer her to go out to urinate? Sounds simple however as our pets get older, for one reason or another they might need to urinate more often, another symptom that is best talked through with a vet. Because of this howling, crying and general change in behaviour, I’d recommend that you take her to see a vet for a general check over and talk through these changes with them.

  38. My 15-1/2 year old girl has started howling at night, but she has a “baby” that she likes to carry around and that is when she howls like she is in heat. Last night she started crying at the door of our apartment. She never goes out in the hall, but since she was crying at the door, I let her out for a couple of minutes and then brought her in. She went right back to crying at the door so I repeated letting her out. She once again started crying at the door. I finally (at 5 am) went back to sleep and all was quiet when I woke up. Tonight after she ate her dinner, she started to stare at the apartment door again.

    1. Hi Barbara. I assume we’re talking about your dog, 15 1/2 is a good age! Bear in mind that as your pet ages, her care needs might change. Did you offer her to go out to urinate? Sounds simple however as our pets get older, for one reason or another they might need to urinate more often, another symptom that is best talked through with a vet. Because of this howling, crying and general change in behaviour, I’d recommend that you take her to see a vet for a general check over and talk through these changes with them.

  39. My 16 year old male has all symptoms, it’s quite obvious that his mind has gone. He is still happy though. As long as he is with me in my room he is happy, loves his treats and loves a cuddle, always purring. He gets extremely upset and cries when I leave him alone but I’m to care for him 24/7. I have seen one comment here that bugs me ‘we want to put him down cos it solves problem but the vet wont let us’ <— if you're talking about your own problems that is a disgusting attitude and you do not deserve the love of a pet. A cat with dementia can still live a happy life, the first thing you think of shouldn't be to put them down! When you own a pet you have to be able to tell the difference between a cat that has problems but is happy and a cat that is constant pain and distress.
    Dementia in cats is not always a valid reason to put them to sleep! People must remember that. My little man is content now I've adapted my daily life to comfort him, sometimes that's all they need. Please don't automatically put a cat down just because their mind isn't what it once was.

  40. My 16 year old male has all symptoms, it’s quite obvious that his mind has gone. He is still happy though. As long as he is with me in my room he is happy, loves his treats and loves a cuddle, always purring. He gets extremely upset and cries when I leave him alone but I’m to care for him 24/7. I have seen one comment here that bugs me ‘we want to put him down cos it solves problem but the vet wont let us’ <— if you're talking about your own problems that is a disgusting attitude and you do not deserve the love of a pet. A cat with dementia can still live a happy life, the first thing you think of shouldn't be to put them down! When you own a pet you have to be able to tell the difference between a cat that has problems but is happy and a cat that is constant pain and distress.
    Dementia in cats is not always a valid reason to put them to sleep! People must remember that. My little man is content now I've adapted my daily life to comfort him, sometimes that's all they need. Please don't automatically put a cat down just because their mind isn't what it once was.

  41. my cat is 23 and has dementia says the vet but what i want is help he is meowing all the time night and day and is driving me crazy he is on medication for both dementia and Hyperthyroidism and also on natural medicationFeliway for his anxiety nothing is working still meowing constantly and is driving me insane especially at night he keeps me awake have seen the vet she has given valium but says not all the time what can i do

    1. Hello Sue,

      23 is a great age! Unfortunately it there is not much more you can do to help with the meowing, it seems like you are doing everything now. For night time, I wonder if he is in one room? Some owners fine a radio left on a low volume can help – just as reassurance for them. Do you find the Feliway helps at all? There are also products such as Pet Remedy, which are slightly different…

  42. my cat is 23 and has dementia says the vet but what i want is help he is meowing all the time night and day and is driving me crazy he is on medication for both dementia and Hyperthyroidism and also on natural medicationFeliway for his anxiety nothing is working still meowing constantly and is driving me insane especially at night he keeps me awake have seen the vet she has given valium but says not all the time what can i do

    1. Hello Sue,

      23 is a great age! Unfortunately it there is not much more you can do to help with the meowing, it seems like you are doing everything now. For night time, I wonder if he is in one room? Some owners fine a radio left on a low volume can help – just as reassurance for them. Do you find the Feliway helps at all? There are also products such as Pet Remedy, which are slightly different…

  43. Hi, my female 9/10 year old has recently started with the above symptoms. She has always cried at night but it’s recently got worse and more frequent. We have found her humping teddies and blankets whilst yowling too. She has started weeing by the door in the kitchen even when trays are clean. She has also started been quite clingy. She has always had a very weird personality but recently got worse. The vets is a no go unless absolutely necessary as she is such a timid little girl and I fear the stress would be too much. She is still happy and eating and drinking though so should I be worried?

    1. Hi Laura, as it says in the blog, the first step in the treatment of CDS is to actually diagnose it and rule out other causes for the same symptoms. This is why it is best discussed with your vet on an individual basis. If she gets too stressed visiting the practice, it could be worth asking for a home appointment. Your cat’s behaviour has changed for some reason and I would recommend looking into the matter with the support of your vet as I’m sure there is much that can be done to support her going forward. Hope this helps. Best wishes

  44. Hi, my female 9/10 year old has recently started with the above symptoms. She has always cried at night but it’s recently got worse and more frequent. We have found her humping teddies and blankets whilst yowling too. She has started weeing by the door in the kitchen even when trays are clean. She has also started been quite clingy. She has always had a very weird personality but recently got worse. The vets is a no go unless absolutely necessary as she is such a timid little girl and I fear the stress would be too much. She is still happy and eating and drinking though so should I be worried?

    1. Hi Laura, as it says in the blog, the first step in the treatment of CDS is to actually diagnose it and rule out other causes for the same symptoms. This is why it is best discussed with your vet on an individual basis. If she gets too stressed visiting the practice, it could be worth asking for a home appointment. Your cat’s behaviour has changed for some reason and I would recommend looking into the matter with the support of your vet as I’m sure there is much that can be done to support her going forward. Hope this helps. Best wishes

  45. Hi,
    Our SOY is 17 years old.
    She has CDS, has a transdermal everyday for her high blood pressure and has suspected cancers growing in her chest cavity, but seems to be slow growing. She had a thyroidectomy about 4 years ago.

    She doesn’t seem to be in any pain, and is under a vets care… But the CDS is heartbreaking… Is it kinder to have her put to sleep, or is she actually okay and just needs to be left to live put her days… Is she scared when she is having a CDS moment? I don’t want her to be in distress.

    The tears are streaming as I write this… We love her to bits.

    Thanks
    Bianca

    1. Bianca, we really feel for you. At this point it is all about quality of life and whether or not you feel, that on balance, she gets some enjoyment out of life. Does she eat well? Does she get a bit of exercise? Does she enjoy her favourite treat? Does she enjoy a fuss? Is she in pain (you are obviously already keeping an eye on that one)? Just some of the questions that can help but there are many others. ‘The right time’ is notoriously a very difficult decision to make and this is perhaps done best in conjunction with your vet. How about talking it through with them? Including your concerns about her being distressed? You obviously love her to bits and so rest assured that whatever decision you make, you’ll be doing for it for the right reason. We wish you all the best

  46. Hi,
    Our SOY is 17 years old.
    She has CDS, has a transdermal everyday for her high blood pressure and has suspected cancers growing in her chest cavity, but seems to be slow growing. She had a thyroidectomy about 4 years ago.

    She doesn’t seem to be in any pain, and is under a vets care… But the CDS is heartbreaking… Is it kinder to have her put to sleep, or is she actually okay and just needs to be left to live put her days… Is she scared when she is having a CDS moment? I don’t want her to be in distress.

    The tears are streaming as I write this… We love her to bits.

    Thanks
    Bianca

    1. Bianca, we really feel for you. At this point it is all about quality of life and whether or not you feel, that on balance, she gets some enjoyment out of life. Does she eat well? Does she get a bit of exercise? Does she enjoy her favourite treat? Does she enjoy a fuss? Is she in pain (you are obviously already keeping an eye on that one)? Just some of the questions that can help but there are many others. ‘The right time’ is notoriously a very difficult decision to make and this is perhaps done best in conjunction with your vet. How about talking it through with them? Including your concerns about her being distressed? You obviously love her to bits and so rest assured that whatever decision you make, you’ll be doing for it for the right reason. We wish you all the best

  47. Dear Dave
    Ty no he is allowed to wonder the house i did have in one room with me but of course he was terrible so i just let him wonder the house .I found Feliway useless it does nothing and here in australia it is so expensive will try the other .Will try a radio to see if that works. ty for your help

  48. Dear Dave
    Ty no he is allowed to wonder the house i did have in one room with me but of course he was terrible so i just let him wonder the house .I found Feliway useless it does nothing and here in australia it is so expensive will try the other .Will try a radio to see if that works. ty for your help

  49. Hi

    My cat Chloe is 24-25 (not totally sure). She’s been deaf for years, always been skinny, often forgets where she is and walks around in circles as is she forgets where she is going. She went through the staring at the walls and yelling stage and walking around yelling but she does seemed to have stopped that now (still vocal when she want feeding!). She can still jump on the bed and bound around, however she has started urinating randomly on the sofa and carpet, even where she sleeps, however she still goes to her litter tray to poo. She has had blood tests at the vets and all is fine for a cat her age. I don’t want to put her down, however the house is getting ruined. Does anyone have any ideas to control this?

    1. Hi Simon, what an age! She sounds as if she’s still doing well however I can see why you’d like to get to the bottom of this inappropriate urination. Usually a urine test would be employed to investigate why this problem is occurring and in addition, ultrasound scans among other tests. It would be worth taking her back to your vet and seeing what else can be done. It could be incontinence relating to old age, cystitis or some other cause but it would be worth ruling out a medical reason for this. Best wishes

  50. Hi

    My cat Chloe is 24-25 (not totally sure). She’s been deaf for years, always been skinny, often forgets where she is and walks around in circles as is she forgets where she is going. She went through the staring at the walls and yelling stage and walking around yelling but she does seemed to have stopped that now (still vocal when she want feeding!). She can still jump on the bed and bound around, however she has started urinating randomly on the sofa and carpet, even where she sleeps, however she still goes to her litter tray to poo. She has had blood tests at the vets and all is fine for a cat her age. I don’t want to put her down, however the house is getting ruined. Does anyone have any ideas to control this?

    1. Hi Simon, what an age! She sounds as if she’s still doing well however I can see why you’d like to get to the bottom of this inappropriate urination. Usually a urine test would be employed to investigate why this problem is occurring and in addition, ultrasound scans among other tests. It would be worth taking her back to your vet and seeing what else can be done. It could be incontinence relating to old age, cystitis or some other cause but it would be worth ruling out a medical reason for this. Best wishes

  51. Dear Dave tried everything please help still meowing loudly at night i cannot sleep what else can i try have tried everything ty

  52. Dear Dave tried everything please help still meowing loudly at night i cannot sleep what else can i try have tried everything ty

  53. oh please anyone salem my cat is driving me still insane still meowing badly what can i do it has come to the stage i am thinking about getting him put down oh please someone help me .i need help with him come on anyone have they got a cat that does the same how do you solve the problem please please

  54. oh please anyone salem my cat is driving me still insane still meowing badly what can i do it has come to the stage i am thinking about getting him put down oh please someone help me .i need help with him come on anyone have they got a cat that does the same how do you solve the problem please please

  55. Hi my 14 year old cat seems to forget she has been fed, she eats then a few minutes later cries for more food as if she as forgotten she has already eaten. She has also started wetting where she sleeps and crying out loud at me, something she has never done as she has always been a quiet cat. She is also very homely now bless her 🙂

    1. Hi Jackie, some of these signs could be related to cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) however they could also be caused by other illness/disease. For example if she’s hungry and not not gaining weight, it could be related to her thyroid and urinary incontinence can be a result of many causes. It sounds as if an ‘MOT’ is in order and I recommend that you take her to your vet to be examined. After all, part of the diagnoses of CDS is eliminating other causes for the symptoms. As cats get older, they often require a different approach to their care and therefore, you and your vet can make a plan for her future. Best wishes.

  56. Hi my 14 year old cat seems to forget she has been fed, she eats then a few minutes later cries for more food as if she as forgotten she has already eaten. She has also started wetting where she sleeps and crying out loud at me, something she has never done as she has always been a quiet cat. She is also very homely now bless her 🙂

    1. Hi Jackie, some of these signs could be related to cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) however they could also be caused by other illness/disease. For example if she’s hungry and not not gaining weight, it could be related to her thyroid and urinary incontinence can be a result of many causes. It sounds as if an ‘MOT’ is in order and I recommend that you take her to your vet to be examined. After all, part of the diagnoses of CDS is eliminating other causes for the symptoms. As cats get older, they often require a different approach to their care and therefore, you and your vet can make a plan for her future. Best wishes.

  57. My girl Scrappy is 18. She is currently in the beginning/early stages of kidney failure and is under a vets close care for this (specialized diet included)
    Aside from that she has 2 small cysts (non-cancerous) –one on her neck and one on her tail. Overall, she is extremely active for a cat her age – no problems getting around (including jumping) and is still quite playful at times.

    I have noticed she is much more demanding for attention in the last year but my main problem is occurring at night. We have two nightstands on each side of our bed. Every single night is the same behavior. She will get up on the nightstand and get as close as possible to the wall (facing it) and just start howling –always the same exact spot. If I just reach out and touch the nightstand with my hand, she will stop – and come over and curl up on my legs and got to sleep…for about 20-30 minutes, then the process starts all over again…and over..and over. She never does this during the day. Last night she literally woke me out of sound sleep at least 12-15 times, no exaggeration. I’m at my wits end, I have not slept well in months.
    I cannot lock her out, we have two other cats and the three of them would be nonstop clawing and digging to get in. Any advice or input is greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Jessie, thanks for getting in touch. Firstly, it would be a good idea to establish the cause of this change in behaviour. Talking through the matter with your vet is the best way to achieve that as CDS is diagnosed by excluding all other potential causes. For example, has her renal status changed again, causing upset? Once you’re clear what the problem is then you can begin to manage the symptoms. If she does indeed suffer with CDS then there are nutritional supplements that can help (again talk through what is suitable for your girl with your vet considering her renal disease). We especially feel for you because of your lack of sleep, this isn’t sustainable long-term we would imagine. If you do go down the route of closing your cats out of the bedroom, make any changes gradual and think about supporting with appeasement products such as Feliway. Perhaps two doors between you all would be required! I’m sorry I haven’t got an easy answer for you, I think talking through the matter with your vet is the best place to start and mention that you are getting no sleep, they might even have a colleague who specialises in behaviour that can help. Whatever you do, you clearly love your cat so rest assured that you’re doing your best to help her! Best wishes

  58. My girl Scrappy is 18. She is currently in the beginning/early stages of kidney failure and is under a vets close care for this (specialized diet included)
    Aside from that she has 2 small cysts (non-cancerous) –one on her neck and one on her tail. Overall, she is extremely active for a cat her age – no problems getting around (including jumping) and is still quite playful at times.

    I have noticed she is much more demanding for attention in the last year but my main problem is occurring at night. We have two nightstands on each side of our bed. Every single night is the same behavior. She will get up on the nightstand and get as close as possible to the wall (facing it) and just start howling –always the same exact spot. If I just reach out and touch the nightstand with my hand, she will stop – and come over and curl up on my legs and got to sleep…for about 20-30 minutes, then the process starts all over again…and over..and over. She never does this during the day. Last night she literally woke me out of sound sleep at least 12-15 times, no exaggeration. I’m at my wits end, I have not slept well in months.
    I cannot lock her out, we have two other cats and the three of them would be nonstop clawing and digging to get in. Any advice or input is greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Jessie, thanks for getting in touch. Firstly, it would be a good idea to establish the cause of this change in behaviour. Talking through the matter with your vet is the best way to achieve that as CDS is diagnosed by excluding all other potential causes. For example, has her renal status changed again, causing upset? Once you’re clear what the problem is then you can begin to manage the symptoms. If she does indeed suffer with CDS then there are nutritional supplements that can help (again talk through what is suitable for your girl with your vet considering her renal disease). We especially feel for you because of your lack of sleep, this isn’t sustainable long-term we would imagine. If you do go down the route of closing your cats out of the bedroom, make any changes gradual and think about supporting with appeasement products such as Feliway. Perhaps two doors between you all would be required! I’m sorry I haven’t got an easy answer for you, I think talking through the matter with your vet is the best place to start and mention that you are getting no sleep, they might even have a colleague who specialises in behaviour that can help. Whatever you do, you clearly love your cat so rest assured that you’re doing your best to help her! Best wishes

  59. Hi everyone, my 17 year rescue puss has been diagnosed with dementia. Like Sue writes, my cat has also been crying from 3am in the morning and will not settle. I too have been exhausted but am committed to her and really want to help settle and comfort her.

    We have tried ignoring her, closing the door and leaving her in the living room with her food, bed and blankets and toys and nothing has worked. Like clockwork she cries and cries until I get up to be with her (and it has to be me otherwise she won’t settle).

    We went to the vets today – she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 2 years ago but once we’d got to grips with that and stabilised her medication, all had been well. She does not go out for more than half an hour now a few times in the day when I am at home to keep an eye on her as she is also deaf. Anyway, Feliway hasn’t stopped the midnight and early morning howling although it has always help settle any anxiety in the past so we do keep using it just in case. We now have a prescription for Zylkene and a high fat diet in the form of Royal Canine Stage 2 food.

    I agree with comments that it has to be about quality of life but with a few manageable adjustments to food (for us, we now give small amounts of food gently warmed and omega and fish oils for her brain) and their routine to encourage and settle them, from my experience, there is no reason to have a pusscat put to sleep just because it has dementia. There are lots of things as an owner that you can do to help to comfort and encourage your cat so that they know you are there when they get a bit confused. Be kind, be patient – (although I completely appreciate that this is very hard when you are sleep deprived as a result of their behaviour!), my cat has responded amazingly since I’ve realised she is a bit lost and confused sometimes and a cuddle and encouragement for her really seem to help. I hope that this is useful.

  60. Hi everyone, my 17 year rescue puss has been diagnosed with dementia. Like Sue writes, my cat has also been crying from 3am in the morning and will not settle. I too have been exhausted but am committed to her and really want to help settle and comfort her.

    We have tried ignoring her, closing the door and leaving her in the living room with her food, bed and blankets and toys and nothing has worked. Like clockwork she cries and cries until I get up to be with her (and it has to be me otherwise she won’t settle).

    We went to the vets today – she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 2 years ago but once we’d got to grips with that and stabilised her medication, all had been well. She does not go out for more than half an hour now a few times in the day when I am at home to keep an eye on her as she is also deaf. Anyway, Feliway hasn’t stopped the midnight and early morning howling although it has always help settle any anxiety in the past so we do keep using it just in case. We now have a prescription for Zylkene and a high fat diet in the form of Royal Canine Stage 2 food.

    I agree with comments that it has to be about quality of life but with a few manageable adjustments to food (for us, we now give small amounts of food gently warmed and omega and fish oils for her brain) and their routine to encourage and settle them, from my experience, there is no reason to have a pusscat put to sleep just because it has dementia. There are lots of things as an owner that you can do to help to comfort and encourage your cat so that they know you are there when they get a bit confused. Be kind, be patient – (although I completely appreciate that this is very hard when you are sleep deprived as a result of their behaviour!), my cat has responded amazingly since I’ve realised she is a bit lost and confused sometimes and a cuddle and encouragement for her really seem to help. I hope that this is useful.

  61. Ps I also meant to add that we have now started to swaddle her gently in one of her favourite blankets while picking her up to cuddle her- this really seems to work? However, we only do this when she makes it clear she wants to be with us, normally when she is crying at us and won’t settle. We still make sure that she has her own space with lots of comfy spots in various rooms and a couple of hidey holes for when she wants to be by herself. So far it does seem to have helped her…

  62. Ps I also meant to add that we have now started to swaddle her gently in one of her favourite blankets while picking her up to cuddle her- this really seems to work? However, we only do this when she makes it clear she wants to be with us, normally when she is crying at us and won’t settle. We still make sure that she has her own space with lots of comfy spots in various rooms and a couple of hidey holes for when she wants to be by herself. So far it does seem to have helped her…

  63. My cat is 12 and has become very violent to everyone and everything including his sister causing quite a lot of injuries to us

    1. Hi Lindsey, we recommend that you take him to your vet to be examined. There could be a reason such as pain (for example from arthritis) or hyperthyroidism (this condition can makes cats grumpy). Failing that, a behaviourist might be able to help. Who knows, there might be something they can do and you might have your cold cat back before you know it!

  64. My cat is 12 and has become very violent to everyone and everything including his sister causing quite a lot of injuries to us

    1. Hi Lindsey, we recommend that you take him to your vet to be examined. There could be a reason such as pain (for example from arthritis) or hyperthyroidism (this condition can makes cats grumpy). Failing that, a behaviourist might be able to help. Who knows, there might be something they can do and you might have your cold cat back before you know it!

  65. My sweet polydactyl tuxedo cat, Ming, is about 14 as near as we can figure as she was a shelter rescue. She survived breast cancer two plus years ago, but has been diagnosed with dementia this past year. Her howling progressed from afternoon yodeling upstairs in the hall to frequent and prolonged sessions at any time of the day (including the entire time I’m writing this message). So far she does not perform overnight, which is a relief. She has recently started the staring and often times goes after our other cat if he passes by her or comes up from behind her without her knowing he’s there. He is bewildered and has not yet really retaliated, thank goodness, because he is twice her size.

    She is and has always been a ninja, running and jumping with lots of energy. That has cost her two teeth which she broke skidding into a wooden step and recently her mobility for a few days when she dislocated her patella quite painfully out of its groove!

    She would eat around the clock if we fed her every time she sat at the dish, we never contemplated that she could “forget” that she’s eaten. We’re very thankful that, so far, she uses the 3 boxes we have around the house because she has diabetes insipidous which results in her drinking, drinking, drinking, and then peeing, peeing, peeing. We’d have a flood if she forgot her potty habits!

    I think of her as my feline soulmate, she’s always been attached to me at the hip and she is more so now. (My dear husband is the male cat’s human companion.) I never get to go back to sleep after her breakfast because she comes in for cuddles and has recently begun demanding belly rubs which go on as long as I care to continue – and I plan to give them as long as I am able! We will put up with the screaming and odd behavior for as long as we feel she is living a good life, hopefully for quite a long time.

  66. My sweet polydactyl tuxedo cat, Ming, is about 14 as near as we can figure as she was a shelter rescue. She survived breast cancer two plus years ago, but has been diagnosed with dementia this past year. Her howling progressed from afternoon yodeling upstairs in the hall to frequent and prolonged sessions at any time of the day (including the entire time I’m writing this message). So far she does not perform overnight, which is a relief. She has recently started the staring and often times goes after our other cat if he passes by her or comes up from behind her without her knowing he’s there. He is bewildered and has not yet really retaliated, thank goodness, because he is twice her size.

    She is and has always been a ninja, running and jumping with lots of energy. That has cost her two teeth which she broke skidding into a wooden step and recently her mobility for a few days when she dislocated her patella quite painfully out of its groove!

    She would eat around the clock if we fed her every time she sat at the dish, we never contemplated that she could “forget” that she’s eaten. We’re very thankful that, so far, she uses the 3 boxes we have around the house because she has diabetes insipidous which results in her drinking, drinking, drinking, and then peeing, peeing, peeing. We’d have a flood if she forgot her potty habits!

    I think of her as my feline soulmate, she’s always been attached to me at the hip and she is more so now. (My dear husband is the male cat’s human companion.) I never get to go back to sleep after her breakfast because she comes in for cuddles and has recently begun demanding belly rubs which go on as long as I care to continue – and I plan to give them as long as I am able! We will put up with the screaming and odd behavior for as long as we feel she is living a good life, hopefully for quite a long time.

  67. Just taken our beloved 19 yr old Molly to the vets – she has had severe dementia for a while now as well as chronic arthritis it was so difficult seeing her go so downhill… she purred through the cage when I stroked her on the way to and waiting for the vet and purred in my arms when they gave her the final injection and she slipped away. We weren’t at all ready to let her go (when are you ever?) but sometimes you have to do what’s best for her…it’s quite now and I find myself looking around for her in her usual places…Molly you will be missed – best cat ever xx

  68. Just taken our beloved 19 yr old Molly to the vets – she has had severe dementia for a while now as well as chronic arthritis it was so difficult seeing her go so downhill… she purred through the cage when I stroked her on the way to and waiting for the vet and purred in my arms when they gave her the final injection and she slipped away. We weren’t at all ready to let her go (when are you ever?) but sometimes you have to do what’s best for her…it’s quite now and I find myself looking around for her in her usual places…Molly you will be missed – best cat ever xx

  69. My 15 year old

    Cat is showing symptoms of dementia and forgets he has been fed.I feed him a small portion then put another in a smaller bowl. Buy very snack cat food to make it easy on him. Hard to watch him and his dementia

  70. My 15 year old

    Cat is showing symptoms of dementia and forgets he has been fed.I feed him a small portion then put another in a smaller bowl. Buy very snack cat food to make it easy on him. Hard to watch him and his dementia

  71. I’m sorry for you, both. It is so painful to lose an animal and/or watch it get old. I’ve been through it several times, and it’s always very difficult and painful.

  72. I’m sorry for you, both. It is so painful to lose an animal and/or watch it get old. I’ve been through it several times, and it’s always very difficult and painful.

  73. My cat is now 20 and has deteriorated over the past year, he has forgotten where to toilet, cries constantly for attention and I have to put his food under his nose or he forgets where it is, I know the time is right for me to do the right thing for him and let him have the peace he deserves but after all these years im finding it really hard to let go hes been with me through some of the hardest times in my life so im being selfish, I am going to have to do it soon for his sake, Elliot you really are my best friend x

  74. My cat is now 20 and has deteriorated over the past year, he has forgotten where to toilet, cries constantly for attention and I have to put his food under his nose or he forgets where it is, I know the time is right for me to do the right thing for him and let him have the peace he deserves but after all these years im finding it really hard to let go hes been with me through some of the hardest times in my life so im being selfish, I am going to have to do it soon for his sake, Elliot you really are my best friend x

  75. Wellybobs is 17. I’ve loved him since the day I saw him being born. He drives me mad with this new cry at all hours, especially in the small hours. I worry that the neighbours might think that I’m hurting him! His latest thing is crying till I see his latest kill…a piece of cat meat that he has taken from the dish and placed at his feet for me to see. He has lost the sight in one eye and is partially sighted in the other due to cataracts. It breaks my heart to see him wander into a room and stop not knowing why he is there (I know that feeling). I know the day we say goodbye is close but I’m not ready yet….and I don’t think he is.

  76. Wellybobs is 17. I’ve loved him since the day I saw him being born. He drives me mad with this new cry at all hours, especially in the small hours. I worry that the neighbours might think that I’m hurting him! His latest thing is crying till I see his latest kill…a piece of cat meat that he has taken from the dish and placed at his feet for me to see. He has lost the sight in one eye and is partially sighted in the other due to cataracts. It breaks my heart to see him wander into a room and stop not knowing why he is there (I know that feeling). I know the day we say goodbye is close but I’m not ready yet….and I don’t think he is.

  77. It has been a pretty rough few months. I got two cats from the animal shelters around 7 years of age. And I have had them for about 8 or so years. Had to put down Buster a month ago because he had been losing weight for the past couple months and had lymphoma and tumors in his stomach.When he no longer felt the need to eat, I knew it was time to let him go. My other cat Missy, I think, has bouts of dementia. As of today, she had some sort of a seizure while I was holding her and was frothing at the mouth and panting like a dog. I didn’t know what to do but talk softly into her ears. I think she has the same issues the other cat owners have. I have to make noise at the food dishes for her to come and eat …I practically have to hold the food to her nose. I think she also has a bout with impaired vision. I noticed that after this little mini stroke or seizure(?) that she now almost wants to walk in a circle. It’s very tough to see cats of this age go through this. But I will keep an eye on her, keep her calm and hope for the best.

  78. It has been a pretty rough few months. I got two cats from the animal shelters around 7 years of age. And I have had them for about 8 or so years. Had to put down Buster a month ago because he had been losing weight for the past couple months and had lymphoma and tumors in his stomach.When he no longer felt the need to eat, I knew it was time to let him go. My other cat Missy, I think, has bouts of dementia. As of today, she had some sort of a seizure while I was holding her and was frothing at the mouth and panting like a dog. I didn’t know what to do but talk softly into her ears. I think she has the same issues the other cat owners have. I have to make noise at the food dishes for her to come and eat …I practically have to hold the food to her nose. I think she also has a bout with impaired vision. I noticed that after this little mini stroke or seizure(?) that she now almost wants to walk in a circle. It’s very tough to see cats of this age go through this. But I will keep an eye on her, keep her calm and hope for the best.

  79. It has been a pretty rough few months. I got two cats from the animal shelters around 7 years of age. And I have had them for about 8 or so years. Had to put down Buster a month ago because he had been losing weight for the past couple months and had lymphoma and tumors in his stomach.When he no longer felt the need to eat and there were visual issues in the rectum area, I knew it was time to let him go. My other cat Missy, I think, has bouts of dementia. As of today, she had some sort of a seizure/stroke while I was holding her. Her limbs stiffened, she was frothing at the mouth and panting like a dog. I didn’t know what to do but talk softly into her ears. I think she has the same issues the other cat owners have. I have to make noise at the food dishes for her to come and eat …I practically have to hold the food to her nose. I think she also has a bout with impaired vision. I noticed that after this little mini stroke or seizure(?) that she now almost wants to walk in a circle. It’s very tough to see cats of this age go through this. But I will keep an eye on her, keep her calm and hope for the best.

    1. Hi Tony, we can see why this is distressing for you. Your cat would really benefit from seeing a vet ASAP. There are a number of things that could be going on here and we recommend that you have her examined to prevent any unnecessary discomfort or suffering. Best wishes

  80. It has been a pretty rough few months. I got two cats from the animal shelters around 7 years of age. And I have had them for about 8 or so years. Had to put down Buster a month ago because he had been losing weight for the past couple months and had lymphoma and tumors in his stomach.When he no longer felt the need to eat and there were visual issues in the rectum area, I knew it was time to let him go. My other cat Missy, I think, has bouts of dementia. As of today, she had some sort of a seizure/stroke while I was holding her. Her limbs stiffened, she was frothing at the mouth and panting like a dog. I didn’t know what to do but talk softly into her ears. I think she has the same issues the other cat owners have. I have to make noise at the food dishes for her to come and eat …I practically have to hold the food to her nose. I think she also has a bout with impaired vision. I noticed that after this little mini stroke or seizure(?) that she now almost wants to walk in a circle. It’s very tough to see cats of this age go through this. But I will keep an eye on her, keep her calm and hope for the best.

    1. Hi Tony, we can see why this is distressing for you. Your cat would really benefit from seeing a vet ASAP. There are a number of things that could be going on here and we recommend that you have her examined to prevent any unnecessary discomfort or suffering. Best wishes

  81. My Cat Spencer is 17 & for the last few months has been getting me up at night wanting feeding when there is food already there. He started just sitting in random places staring at nothing, now hes weeing around the house not using the litter tray etc. Yesterday he started walking round in circles and does not want to go out. Im really worried about him I hate to see him like this.

    1. Hi Andrea, we can see why you’d be worried. We think a check up at the vets ASAP is in order as there’s often much that can be done to help. Especially where inappropriate urination is concerned. It could be indicative of a number of causes some of which require prompt treatment. It’s tough to watch our pets go through these changes which is why support from your vet can be so beneficial. Best wishes

  82. My Cat Spencer is 17 & for the last few months has been getting me up at night wanting feeding when there is food already there. He started just sitting in random places staring at nothing, now hes weeing around the house not using the litter tray etc. Yesterday he started walking round in circles and does not want to go out. Im really worried about him I hate to see him like this.

    1. Hi Andrea, we can see why you’d be worried. We think a check up at the vets ASAP is in order as there’s often much that can be done to help. Especially where inappropriate urination is concerned. It could be indicative of a number of causes some of which require prompt treatment. It’s tough to watch our pets go through these changes which is why support from your vet can be so beneficial. Best wishes

  83. I have had my two (brother & sister) since they were born almost 18 years ago. Took one to the vet today since the past week he was urinating just outside the litter box. He had a UTI and is put in antibiotic pills ($11) to help. According to the vet, we should see a noticeable change for the better in a couple of days. He also has very bad arthritis in his hips. This week I also noticed him looking sort of like he isn’t fully aware. Vet said he has cataracts and minor loss of vision, but doesn’t recommend anything for it. So sad seeing my babies grow old. Thankful for every moment I have with them.

  84. I have had my two (brother & sister) since they were born almost 18 years ago. Took one to the vet today since the past week he was urinating just outside the litter box. He had a UTI and is put in antibiotic pills ($11) to help. According to the vet, we should see a noticeable change for the better in a couple of days. He also has very bad arthritis in his hips. This week I also noticed him looking sort of like he isn’t fully aware. Vet said he has cataracts and minor loss of vision, but doesn’t recommend anything for it. So sad seeing my babies grow old. Thankful for every moment I have with them.

  85. Hi all. I have a nearly 17 year old red somali kitty named Sally who has been diagnosed with dementia and failing kidneys by our vet. She is pretty much deaf and blind as well. I noticed in the last year or so that she was terribly anxious, frightened of my younger bigger pets, and howled almost constantly, day and night, unless she was cuddled up next to me on the sofa. I can’t stay on the sofa all day so she was upset a lot of the time. My Mom came to visit and thank God for her because she suggested I give Sally her own room with her own bowls, litter, bed, etc. Sally has lived upstairs for the past 5 months or so–with me going up daily to tend to her. She eats a ton, drinks lots of water and actually sleeps! She comes downstairs sometimes for a visit but it’s brief bc she is cranky with the other pets and she gets very nervous. I still worry about her quality of life. She can’t get up to look out the window like she loved to do. She can’t sleep in my bed. Her blood tests are ok, except for slowly declining kidneys. I’m not sure if I’m prolonging her life needlessly because I don’t know if she is suffering. I do know that she no longer has the life she used to. Is it selfish to keep her alive so I don’t have to make a hard decision? Is it selfish to put her to sleep because it makes me sad to see her declining and I feel awful that she’s not really part of the everyday household anymore? I don’t know what to do.

    1. Hi Lynne, it sounds as if you’re taking wonderful care of her though we know it’s hard to know what to do for the best. Stay in touch with your vet who can advise as to whether she’s likely to be in pain or distressed and can also help you make ‘the decision’ when it comes to it. She won’t be able to enjoy the same quality of life as she once did but that is a fact of aging. Rest assured that you’re doing your best for her and whenever you decide that she is suffering and it’s ‘time’, that you have made the decision in her best interests and because you care. Best wishes to you and her.

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