Cat Alzheimer’s is just what it means, an aging condition just as the one affecting humans. It is also commonly known as Feline Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. Cats however do not forget their names or forget the faucet running. Rather, they may forget where they exactly are and panic as they wander disoriented in the middle of the night.
What are the Symptoms of Feline Alzheimer’s?
- Inability to recognize owners
- Changes in sleep/wake cycles
- Inability to recognize familiar surroundings
- Getting lost
- Howling and appearing confused and disoriented
- Forgetting housebreaking habits
- Lack of social interactions
- Lack of personal hygiene practices
What Causes Cat Alzheimer’s?
An exact cause is really not yet known. However, it is believed to be caused by loss of normal brain function due to accumulations of beta-amyloid. It is obvious that this condition is gaining popularity due to the increased number of felines living longer. Leading healthier lives, more and more cats are reaching their geriatric years with splendor.
What is the treatment for Cat Alzheimer’s ?
When caught early, cats may benefit from a prescription medication called “Anipryl”. The medication may reverse some of the symptoms or at least, slow them down from progressing. . While this drug is not yet approved for felines it is often prescribed by extra-label.
Home Remedies for Feline Alzheimer’s
Cats with feline Alzheimer’s may also be helped out in several ways at home by making some helpful adjustments.
- Night Light
Some cats feel comforted if a small light is kept on at night, this helps them become less disoriented and less likely to get lost. It is not true that cats see well in total darkenss, and geriatric cats may often have vision problems.
- Feliway Plug-Ins
Feliway plug-ins release pheromones which help cats relax. They are available in some pet stores and may be helpful in cats prone to anxiety.
- Avoid Confusion
Try keeping the furniture arrangements always the same and make sure there are no areas where the cat may get stuck and become disoriented.
- Adjust Sleep/Wake Cycles
It also helps trying to get the cat to stay awake during the day. You can ask your vet about using melatonin, it can be helpful to adjust the sleep/awake cycle.
Feline Alzheimer’s does not translate into a cat aging badly. Rather, it is often a sign of a well cared for cat, that has had the ability to live much longer than it would naturally had.
*Disclaimer: All remedies suggested are not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your pet is sick please refer to your veterinarian for a hands on examination. If your pet is exhibiting behavior problems please refer to a professional pet behaviorist.