Help for the senile cat

by Nita
(Christiana, PA, USA)

We have an 18 year old cat who was always playful and happy. He loved to get up on our laps and bed at night. About 3 months ago, it all changed and he started to howl at night, stopped jumping up on furniture and has been hiding under a large buffet whenever we are around. We had to move his litter closer to him because he started soiling the hallway rug. He has stopped that since we moved the litter but he still refuses to come anywhere near us. It is like he is terrified of us.

We took him to the vet and had tests done. She just said he was aging and had the beginning of kidney disease which is common in old cats. He has classic signs of senility. She wanted to put him on medication but he is so traumatized by even being near us, we wouldn't be able to catch him to get a pill down his throat. Since he is using the litter, eating regularly (when we are out of the house), grooming and occasionally playing with his toys, we have decided to just let nature take it's course.

Is there anything we can do to get him to become not so traumatized when we are around? When we come home from work, we lay down on the floor and talk to him softly and play with him and he responds. But if we try to pet him he moves away and cowers in the corner. It is so sad to watch. I want my kitty back.

Answer by KaTe
Its so sad to hear your story. I know how you feel our own cat Little Mo is now 17 and is definately slowing down but luckily she still likes to be with us at the moment.

unfortuantely just like humans who suffer dimentia they can often forget who we are temprailry and unfortuantely there is not much we can do about this.

It does sound like you are prividing him with lots of love and care and doing all the right things. I don't lnow how the medication whould help but it may give him more moements of lucidity. Speak to your vet to see if the medication would help in this way. then try to get it into his food by either crushing it into a powder or by hiding it in something really smelly that he likes like a peice of fish or covered in something like marmite (thats works with little mo)

I have a page about senior cats i don't know if you have seen it or not. If not here is the page

I wish you all the best


Comments for Help for the senile cat

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Thanks for your kind thoughts
by: Nita

Thank you to everyone who responded to my help for the Senile Cat posting. As I write this, he is about 3 feet from me peaking at me from the other side of the desk. Some moments he wants to play and other moments he runs to safety. It is sad and frustrating but I am thankful I still have some lucid moments with him.

To Nita
by: Mike O'Brien ( New Zealand)

By what you say,your Cat is one of the best
Perhaps now he's ageing he just wants to rest
He still loves you heaps and you can be sure
That he is quite happy to lie on the floor
He still eats his food and this is just great
And he knows when your there, you are his best mate
I read that he's Senile and this could be true
He's A very lucky cat to have someone like you.
Cheers Mike

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