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Tue Nov 24, 2015, 09:15 AM

Senior cat with dementia anyone?

My beloved, 16 year old Tabby Sophie seems to be loosing her mind. Certainly her memory (forgets her bed and only wants to sleep with or sit next to me), where her food is, etc. She can still jump up on to the sink to drink water (and verbally demands for someone to turn on the faucet), she's eating a lot (and losing weight) and bathing herself constantly. But, she still has moments when she's loving and sweet. Sometimes she just looks so lost however. Anyone else have a similar experience with a senior cat? It does not appear that she's in pain- just a bit confused. Any suggestions on vitamins or natural supplements? Thanks!

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Reply Senior cat with dementia anyone? (Original post)
KaryninMiami Nov 2015 OP
Sanity Claws Nov 2015 #1
KaryninMiami Nov 2015 #2
shenmue Nov 2015 #3
KaryninMiami Nov 2015 #7
ginnyinWI Nov 2015 #4
KaryninMiami Nov 2015 #6
iscooterliberally Nov 2015 #5
KaryninMiami Nov 2015 #8
SheilaT Dec 2015 #9

Response to KaryninMiami (Original post)

Tue Nov 24, 2015, 09:29 AM

1. Oh dear

I have not had a senior cat with dementia but a couple of the symptoms you described really jumped out at me.
Eating a lot yet losing weight -- a sign of advanced diabetes. Another symptom of diabetes is thirst. You mentioned that she drinks water from the faucet but didn't say whether it was more than earlier.
High blood sugar could possibly account for some of the mental confusion. Can you get her to the vet for a check up?

In the meantime, discontinue all dry food and put her on canned food only. Dry food has very high carbs and is very bad, especially for diabetic cats.

Let us know what happens.

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 24, 2015, 10:04 AM

2. Thanks for the quick reply!

She's drinking a lot and has been doing so for a few years. I give her grilled chicken (people food) for breakfast and a wellness pouch (sometimes 2) for dinner. A bowl of organic, grain free dry food is out but she only nibbles on it occasionally.
As for seeing a vet, she won't let the vet near her (we're talking hissing, screaming, biting, etc.). I have a holistic vet who makes house calls- she's great but since she can't get near Sophie to draw blood or examine her, she advised if she's "eating, pooping and purring", not to call her. Putting a cat under for an exam at her age would be too dangerous. Sigh.
Regardless, you've inspired me to call the vet and we can try to schedule an appointment. While I won't do anything drastic, if there's something we can do that's simple to make her feel more comfortable during her senior years, it's worth a try...
Thanks again!

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Response to KaryninMiami (Original post)

Tue Nov 24, 2015, 12:44 PM

3. Hugs

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Response to shenmue (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 07:02 AM

7. Thank you!

Watching our pets age is so disheartening...

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Response to KaryninMiami (Original post)

Tue Nov 24, 2015, 02:31 PM

4. other ideas: kidneys or thyroid

Besides diabetes, kidney failure can cause weight loss, hunger and confusion. Mine was in a kind of fog during his last months. He always peed in his box, but started pooping other places, as if he didn't know where to do it. Behind the couch, by the front door, etc.

Then his hair started falling out. He was on a heart medication at the end and had edema, and we probably let him go on too long. The homemade low protein recipe I made him didn't work (wouldn't eat it). But he'd eat odd things like bits of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Made it easy to give him his pill inside those.

Your kitty really needs her vitals checked, somehow or other. Best wishes.

I had another cat who became hyperthyroid and did other things, like pace around and meow loudly a lot. She also lost weight and we got her on a pill, which helped.



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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 24, 2015, 07:56 PM

6. I think you may be right

My vet thought it might be her thyroid- I'm going to call her tomorrow and schedule an appointment. Her hair is thinning- possibly because of her constant grooming. It's so hard to see her this way- she's changed so much this year. Thanks for your kind response. 😔

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Response to KaryninMiami (Original post)

Tue Nov 24, 2015, 05:28 PM

5. Maybe she's blind now?

I have 5 cats and my oldest is 20 years old. She decided to take over our kitchen counters, and likes to sit on the stove. I had a mobile vet come by since I really don't want to take her out in the car anymore. The vet thinks she is totally blind in both eyes. Sometimes she tracks me when I walk through the kitchen, but she could be hearing me, or seeing shadows. I have two other cats that are in their teens, and both have lost weight. Another vet that I go to says that it's pretty common for older cats to lose weight because their metabolism speeds up a bit as they age. Anyway, I would have the vet check her eye sight. I don't use any vitamins or supplements for my crew. They eat dry cat food and wet dog food (I have 3 big dogs too). They also get chicken scraps when we eat chicken. Anyway, I thought my 20 year old was having dementia problems but now I think it's just her eye sight. Good luck to you and I hope that your cat is healthy.

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Response to iscooterliberally (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 07:13 AM

8. Don't think she's blind

May it's not as sharp as before but she appears that she's ok. She has however, lost a good amount of her hearing. She hears loud noises and feels vibrations.
Interestingly enough she too has taken to the kitchen counters and table although at night she mostly sleeps with me.
5 cats must have been great fun when they were all young and playful but the kitty litter alone must have been overwhelming!

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Response to KaryninMiami (Original post)

Sun Dec 6, 2015, 09:40 PM

9. Some years ago I had a senior cat with dementia.

 

She'd been used to going in and out of the house quite freely, and as she got more senile, she'd do things like sit in the middle of the road. A couple of times she was brought back home to us by kind strangers. It was very hard to keep her indoors, since she was so used to going out, but we finally were able to keep her inside. She could stare at a cube of melting ice with total fascination. It was clear she often didn't know what room she was in, or what she wanted to do there. Fortunately, she continued to use the litter box as needed.

What was really odd was that she suddenly stopped purring. None of the usual things that triggered purring worked. It was strange and almost off-putting, because purring is such a wonderful bonding thing between humans and cats. That lasted for about a year, then, she resumed purring for about a week, but that was perhaps two weeks before she left us permanently. By which I mean we took her to the vet to be euthanized.

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