can a cat have alzheimer’s

Can cats get Alzheimer’s? Cats suffer from dementia rather than Alzheimer’s. Dementia in cats looks similar to that of human Alzheimer’s, however, as there is a similar effect of the brain.

What Is Dementia in Cats?

Some elderly cats suffer from dementia, also called cognitive dysfunction, which impairs their memory, reasoning, behavior, and sense of reason. This condition is like Alzheimer’s disease in people.

A common term for dementia is “becoming senile,” and it can cause abrupt behavioral changes in your cat.

Over 25% of cats between the ages of 11 and 14 exhibit dementia in one form or another. Cats who are older are more likely to experience it; half of cats over 15 exhibit cognitive dysfunction.

Age-related brain degeneration and the subsequent death of neurons, the brain’s powerhouse cells, result in dementia. Among other things, these neurons are required for memory, learning, attention, regular sleep cycles, and spatial awareness.

Senior cats frequently suffer from a variety of other illnesses that can cause behavioral changes that resemble dementia. See your senior cat’s veterinarian if you notice any changes in their behavior so that common medical conditions affecting older cats can be ruled out. Many of these conditions are manageable with early intervention.

Dementia is not considered a medical emergency. However, get in touch with your veterinarian if your cat exhibits additional symptoms, such as vomiting, lethargy, or lack of appetite, in addition to behavior changes.

Symptoms of dementia in cats include:

  • Acting disoriented or lost
  • Vocalizing, often at night
  • gazing at a wall or corner and looking off into space
  • not drinking or eating until food bowls are placed in front of them
  • Going to the bathroom outside the litterbox
  • shifts in sleep patterns, such as waking up and moving around in the middle of the night
  • Unusual interactions (growing more needy, reactive, or distant) with family members or other pets
  • Asking to eat again despite having just been fed and forgetting to eat
  • Poor grooming habits
  • Sleeping more than usual

What Is the Treatment for Cat Dementia?

Take your cat to the veterinarian if you observe these changes in them to ensure that other factors aren’t the source of their behavior. Your veterinarian will only identify CDS in your cat after all other possible diagnoses have been made, as these symptoms can be mistaken for a number of different conditions. Despite the fact that there is no known treatment for feline dementia, it’s crucial to obtain a diagnosis in order to provide your cat with the best possible care and comfort.

Although there is no cure for feline dementia, there are strategies to help your cat manage Maintaining a consistent schedule for your cat is the best course of action to prevent further confusion or disorientation. To help them avoid mishaps or getting lost, you might need to make a few minor adjustments around your home. Adding more litter boxes without relocating the existing one is one example of this.

Medication. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and free radical scavengers, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM-e), and L-theanine are a few of the options. A drug called selegiline, which increases dopamine levels in the brain, may be prescribed by your veterinarian. This may help to improve their memory. Another option is an anti-anxiety medication. While it won’t improve your cat’s memory, it will help them maintain their composure when they’re lost or confused.

Diet. A diet rich in antioxidants may help enhance memory and brain function, according to research. Aim to include foods high in unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids to prevent further brain deterioration in your cat.

Comfort. Give your cat plenty of attention. If they’ll allow it, give them a hug or a stroke to let them know you’re there. Keep your cat clean and brushed if they are unable to groom themselves. Your cat might be sleeping more, so give them soft spots to curl up in, like pillows or blankets.

Dementia in Cats FAQs

If their quality of life is preserved, cats with dementia can live normal lives.

Featured : knape/E+ via Gettys

Cognitive Dysfunction, Cornell Feline Health Center. 2018.

Gunn-Moore, D. Geriatric Cats and Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings. 2008.

Cognitive Dysfunction, Cornell Feline Health Center. 2018.

Gunn-Moore, D. Geriatric Cats and Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings. 2008.

Dr. The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine awarded Melissa Boldan her degree in 2012. She initially practiced mixed animal.


How do I know if my cat has Alzheimer’s?

Memory loss may become apparent in different ways. You may notice that your cat stops responding to commands that they’ve already learned. Memory loss may also cause them to get lost in familiar places or forget simple things, like where their litter box is.

How long can a cat live with dementia?

How Long Does a Cat Live With Dementia? Depending upon the age at which your cat is diagnosed with dementia, they could live 5-10 more years—each case can be different. That said, some felines may progress faster than others, and your health regimen for them may need to be altered as their symptoms change.

Can my 12 year old cat have dementia?

Dementia is commonly referred to as “becoming senile” and can result in some sudden changes in your cat’s behavior. More than a quarter of cats aged 11 to 14 show at least one sign of dementia. It’s even more common as they age, with half of cats over the age of 15 showing signs of cognitive dysfunction.

What is cat Sundowners syndrome?

This disorder in pets is the analog of Alzheimer’s in humans. Pets exhibit a slow deterioration. Dogs may show anxiety, disorientation, house soiling, confusion, changes in sleeping patterns, and decreased interactions with family. Cats may show aimless activity or pacing and excessive or odd vocalization.