Behavior Changes in Senior Cats
Pet parents may admit that when their kitty is approaching her ‘twilight years’, a few possible changes have been seen in her behavior. Few cat owners, who ignore these facts are likely to get confused, and would try all those not-so-effective treatments on their feline friends.
With age, cats show possible behavior changes. Why age has such significant effect on your cat, what behavioral changes they show and how can you help your feline friend to face these golden years, is what all discussed in this blog. Read on….
How does age reflects on your cat’s behavior?
The increasing age in your cat brings about number of changes in your cat’s behavior, physiology and susceptibility to particular age-related problems such as arthritis in cats, and other chronic illnesses. Among all these, older cats face behavioral problems more intensely.
With age, your cat loses normalcy and experiences varied behavioral mood swings as most women do with age. Her inappropriate behavior surely makes you think whether you are taking her proper care or not. Relate here the symptoms whether your cat is facing the similar symptoms.
Learning and Memory
- Eliminates outside the litter box
- Sometimes seem to unable to remember familiar people and pets
- Litters in sleeping areas or feeding areas
Relationships/ Social Behavior
- Usually avoids interactions, petting, greeting people or familiar pets, etc.
- She requires constant contact or either become over dependent and clingy.
- Grooms herself less than required
- Losses appetite and as such eat less
- Explores less and responds less to things going on around her
Increased Irritability / Anxiety
- Becomes more irritated
- Seems restless or agitated
- Whines or vocalizes more or in a more urgent tone
Sleep-Wake cycles / Reversed day night schedule
- Vocalizes more at night
- Sleeps restlessly, wakes up number of times during night
- Sleeps more during the day
Find about important behavioral patterns, and cat behavioral treatment that help you resolve these issues in your pet.
With increasing age, cats become more aggressive toward people and towards other animals also. Sometimes, this aggression can result into medical problem like hurting herself or having inflammation. In some cases, this aggressive behavior results due to pain in joints (arthritis), hearing or vision loss. Few diseases have direct effects on the nervous system and thus results into aggressive behavior.
Change in Activity Patterns
Cats are usually nocturnal animals being active during the night, keeping you awake and then go to sleep when it’s time for you to wake up. However, with advancing age, this sleep-awake cycle gets disturbs as they neither sleep properly during the day nor are fully awake during the night. In some cases, during nights the cat even vocalizes, which can disturb your sleep.
The sleep pattern also alters due to the need to defecate or urinate more often. Other neurological conditions are also responsible for such behavior of your furry feline.
Before sleep time, playing or grooming with your pet will help her relax and get better sleep throughout the night. You can even try changing feeding habits in order to see whether it makes any difference and help her good sleep.
In case, your cat vocalizes during night, through few pebbles or kibbles to play with but do care that this way you are not making a routine habit for her to disturb you every night.
Fear and Anxiety
Loss of hearing, vision, pain, stress and neurological disease can contribute to fear and anxiety in your cat. Rarely, a cat may also show fear and anxiety without any possible reasons.
When your cat shows fear and anxiety, you’re the best guardian at such times. Find out the reason of the fear or anxiety in your cat. Removing those factors and providing appropriate therapy for any medical condition (if exists) apart from anti-anxiety prescription from your vet all are the part of the treatment.
Older cats face many of the behavioral changes due to aging and medical conditions. However, some felines are healthy without any anxiety problems, if you find some changes in your cat- have your cat examined by your veterinarian. Senior cats are more easily stressed and face fear, try to reduce the stressful conditions and provide effective treatment. Love, care and your quality time is what your older cat needs in those golden years.