free shipping over $100 (USA & Canada)

1-877-937-4372 the pet expert hotline

free shipping over $100 (USA & Canada)

Dementia Support Kit

Holistic Support for Feline and Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

USD $238.75
Dementia Support Kit USD $238.75 Add to Cart

Aging Pet: Confused Cat and Other Behavioral Changes

Vet Talks 4 min read
Image of a kitty meowing looking like a confused cat

Witnessing a confused cat grapple with behavioral and cognitive changes can be one of the challenges of caring for a senior kitty. You may notice differences in their behavior, physicality, mobility, appearance, and temperament as they approach their golden years. Many of these changes start happening as early as 11 years of age and are entirely normal. Others may be indicative of various health concerns and debilitation of your feline companion’s cognitive abilities. Understanding and addressing these transformations are integral to providing supportive care for your aging cat.

Cognitive and Behavioral Decline: What to Look Out For

Anticipating and understanding the behavioral changes in aging cats is crucial for providing comprehensive care. Some typical changes you may observe include:

  • Reduced appetite and potential weight loss. 
  • Increased thirst and vulnerability to dehydration. 
  • Decreased hunting, outdoor time, and overall activity. 
  • Increased sleep duration and lethargy. 
  • Stiffness, lameness, difficulty in jumping. 
  • Balance problems and potential falls. 
  • Reduced grooming ability and possible hair matting. 
  • Claw issues, overgrowth, and potential injury. 
  • Increased vocalization, potentially sounding different
  • Increased insecurity and dependence. 
  • Uncharacteristic behavior like hiding or aggression. 

Some of these behavior changes listed above can indicate underlying health concerns, which is why it is vital to keep up with your regular checkups with your local vet. Additionally, some changes might point to cognitive decline or dysfunctions, including:

Mental stimulation, adequate nutrition, and a supportive environment can go a long way in supporting your senior and confused cat.

  • Confused cat and spatial disorientation may present as getting lost in the home or aimless wandering. 
  • Memory and learning issues, such as not recognizing people, other pets, or objects. 
  • You may also observe litter box changes and need to move the box closer to their regular hangout. 
  • General anxiety can be a factor and present as increased restlessness, irritability, changes in vocalizations, hiding, or reduced grooming. 

When evaluating cognitive decline, it’s crucial to rule out other health concerns through regular checkups, including a yearly physical, geriatric blood panel, and urinalysis. These diagnostic measures can provide insight into the internal workings of various bodily systems and ensure their regular functioning. If everything returns to normal, your vet will move on to cognitive analysis and test for declines. 

Care Tips for a Confused Cat

Once you discover that your cherished pet is grappling with cognitive dysfunction, there are various proactive steps that pet parents can take to support them on this new journey. Here are some key strategies:

Photo of a ginger tabby cat being massaged by a woman to illustrate ways to support a senior and confused cat.
  • Maintain a Consistent and Familiar Environment:

Providing a stable living space is crucial. Keep their environment clean, and organized, and avoid sudden changes to routines or surroundings. This helps minimize confusion and anxiety.

  • Establish and Stick to a Consistent Routine:

Consistency in daily activities, from waking up and walking to feeding and bathroom breaks, can be immensely beneficial in providing a sense of stability for your pet.

  • Ensure Easy Access to Essentials:

Make sure your pet has easy access to food, water, and their favorite spots around the house. A well-balanced diet, rich in vitamin E, EPA, DHA, and antioxidants, can also contribute to maintaining a healthy nervous system. Adding NHV Multi Essentials and NHV PetOmega 3 to their regimen can also help ensure they receive the vital nutrients necessary for their optimal health.

  • Offer Emotional Support with Patience and Love:

Recognize the potential for increased accidents and be a supportive, safe space for your pet. Providing extra patience, attention, and love is crucial during this time. NHV Matricalm can also help! This natural herbal product was designed to help reduce excitability in your pet, reduce aggressive behavior, and provide anxiety and stress relief for your cat.

  • Proactive Mental Stimulation:

Engage your pet in mental stimulation activities to keep their mind active and enhance cognitive function. Puzzle toys, interactive games, and training exercises are excellent tools for this purpose.

  • Daily Physical Exercise and Socialization:

Incorporate routine physical exercise suitable for your pet’s capabilities. Additionally, ensure proper socialization, which contributes to overall brain health.

Proactive care emerges as a valuable tool, whether applied before or after a diagnosis. By investing time and effort into mental stimulation activities and maintaining a consistent and supportive environment, you can enhance the well-being and cognitive function of your beloved pet during this challenging phase of their life.

Natural Cognitive Support for Senior Pets

Adequate nutrition is also essential for senior pets, especially ensuring they receive a balanced diet supporting brain health. Additionally, addressing mental well-being and stress management is crucial, as these factors can be interconnected with early cognitive decline and various other health issues. These are some natural supplements that can help with nutritional, brain, and stress support: 

NHV Natures Immuno, our mushroom blend, is rich in antioxidants, is a beneficial support for memory loss, has been used to treat various degenerative brain diseases, and can aid in healthy cell growth. 

NHV Old Timer offers restorative action with its rich source of antioxidants, supports healthy muscles and endurance, and can aid in preventing chronic injury. 

NHV Yucca is highly nutritious and can help support many body processes, including nerve function. Its excellent anti-inflammatory properties can alleviate inflammation in the brain and nervous system. 

In conclusion, the journey of caring for a confused cat entering its golden years, particularly one grappling with cognitive changes, requires a holistic and proactive approach. We are here to help you stay attuned to your senior kittie’s needs and address them with compassion and informed choices. Feel free to message us by clicking the link below!

Vet Technician Mel

Vet Technician Mel

Mel completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Science, a minor in Neurological Psychology, from the University of Alberta in 2012 and a Veterinary Technician program at NAIT in 2015. Mel has self-studied herbalism and naturopathic medicine since she was 15 years old and dealing with her own diagnosis, which only enriched her curiosity more. When not working as part of the NHV Pet Expert team, Mel loves cooking and being with her family, including her rescue kitty, Ursa.

Published: December 18, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like