Arthritis, heart, renal and sight problems are common in elderly cats, alongside brain ageing (similar to Alzheimer’s in people).
Cats with brain ageing may show signs of disorientation, a change in how they interact with you or other animals in the home, hide most of their time, they may start house-soiling, eat less or groom poorly.
There are many reasons why a cat may show these signs other than brain ageing, so it is important to take your cat to see your vet to rule out any other medical causes.
How Does Old Age Affect My Cat?
Older cats may find everyday things more challenging than they did before, especially if they experience a visual and hearing decline.
Cats are known to like routine and as little change as possible. This is even more true in cats with brain ageing, who often become stressed and cope more poorly with change.
The above video advice from our veterinary advisor on older cats and what you can do.
Keep a routine, as this helps your cat predict what is going to happen each day .
If changes are impossible to prevent, try to make them as slowly as possible
Plug in a FELIWAY Diffuser in the room your cat spends most of their time to reinforce confidence and make them feel safer at home
Some cats may be so easily disoriented that they may benefit from having a restricted living area (for example, having access to only a single room), containing all they need: food, water, a litter box, a scratching post and resting and hiding places
Ensure your older cat has easy access to their resources (food, water, litter box): no stairs nor anything to climb to access them. Please also make sure the litter box does not have too high walls as this is often a problem when cats get older and have difficulties to go in, due to arthritis or any other painful condition.
Short interaction / play sessions to still keep their brain active
Other measures for brain ageing can include dietary changes – either a specific food or a food supplement, which provides antioxidants proven to help protect the brain and increase memory and cognition.
If your cat is showing more severe signs of brain ageing please speak to your vet as there are possible medications that could help.
International Cat Care (ICC formerly FABCats) has even more advice on older cat care.
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