Cat sitter and cat momma

by Tracy Flanagan
(Malabar, FL USA)

My neighbor's elderly diabetic cat was acting completely normal one minute and then started sniffing the ground obsessively. He couldn't be lured away with treats, he didn't respond to us talking to him or anything. He walked around in large unorganized circles sniffing the ground. He is usually very friendly and responsive and never passes up a treat.

He is about 16 years old and other than diabetes and a cataract in one eye and some dental issues, he is very healthy. Any ideas? Possible some kind of focal seizure? It went on for about 15 minutes until we picked him up and took him in the house. We live in Florida and it is about 98 degrees today. Any input you could give us would be greatly appreciated.

well it could simply be that there was a very strong strange odor on the ground which this cat found very interesting indeed. My own cats can be like this too when they smell something different. It takes up there whole focus. don't forget that cats use smell and scent as communication and so it plays a far more important role in their lives than in ours.

the other possibility is that the cat may be starting to suffer from age related dementia issues. This is not unusual in older cats and can manifest itself in all sorts of ways. See my page about older cats here

However i would not jump to any conclusions yet. Keep an eye on the cat and see if it happens again and again. If not I would say that my first suggestion may be the right one.

best wishes kate

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