There are so many things we have in common with our feline friends, there are certain conditions we may need to be aware of, especially as we are both living longer and longer. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome, or cat dementia, is something we need to be aware of that may affect our cat. And while the initial symptoms are mild, they can turn into what is known as cognitive decline, where they get worse over time. Let us show you what you need to be aware of.
The Signs of Dementia in Cats
If you have a cat aged 10 or over, there are certain symptoms of cat dementia you need to take notice of. The acronym DISHA can help. This stands for Disorientation, (changes) in Interactions with others, Sleep-wake cycle alterations, House soiling, and Activity level changes, and each one could mean cat dementia. You may notice your cat being more confused or irritable. They may show disregard for house rules that they have already learned. There is also so the potential for a lack of appetite, a lack of self-grooming, and a change in their sleep cycle.
The Causes of Cat Dementia
While the exact cause is unknown, it is thought there may be certain genetic factors that will predispose your cat to develop cognitive dysfunction syndrome.
How Can We Diagnose Cat Dementia?
Upon visiting your vet, you need to be prepared to give a detailed history of your cat’s health. It is important to make note of any abnormal activities and any incidents that might show as a precursor to cat dementia. Your vet will perform a physical examination to check their health and cognitive functions, and possibly perform tests, such as X-rays and blood tests, to rule out any potential diseases.
How Can We Treat Cat Dementia?
It is important to remember that cats with any form of cognitive dysfunction need lifelong support and therapy. You have to help slow the progression by dedicating yourself to a specific course of treatment so they can live a happier life. It is also important to remember that your cat needs a stimulating and healthy environment which would consist of a daily routine involving play and exercise, as well as training. The vet may also recommend a diet rich in Omega-3, Vitamin E and Carnitine to improve your cat’s cognitive functions.
Seeing your cat go through a decline like this can be heartbreaking. Much like when a loved one experiences some form of cognitive decline, we may feel that we are helpless to do anything. The most important thing is to provide as much love and care to your cat as possible. By managing cat dementia through observation and regular check-ups at the vets, in addition to a healthy diet, you can monitor any behavioural changes in your cat quickly. This will help them to lead a full life, despite the condition. It is never easy to see anybody go through dementia but this is why we have to take more responsibility if we notice the signs.