Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Behaviour changes in your old cat

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


As they age, cats often suffer a decline in functioning, including their cognitive functioning. It’s estimated that cognitive decline-referred to as feline cognitive dysfunction, or FCD-affects more than 55% of cats aged 11 to 15 years and more than 80% of cats aged 16 to 20 years. Memory, ability to learn, awareness, and sight and hearing perception can all deteriorate in cats affected with FCD. This deterioration can cause disturbances in sleeping patterns, disorientation or reduced activity. A common sign of cognitive dysfunction is yowling at night or crying at odd times.

FCD can make cats forget previously learned habits they once knew well, such as the location of the litter box or their food bowls. It can increase their anxiety and make them more clingy. It can also change their social relationships with you and with other pets in your home. Understanding the changes your cat is undergoing can help you compassionately and effectively deal with behaviour problems that may arise in her senior years.

Some effects of aging aren’t related to cognitive dysfunction. Often these effects can contribute to behaviour changes that only look like cognitive decline. Be sure to report all changes you see to your cat’s veterinarian. Don’t assume that your cat is “just getting old” and nothing can be done to help her. Many changes in behavior are signs of treatable medical disorders, and there are a variety of therapies that can comfort your cat and ease her symptoms, including any pain she might be experiencing.

Search Blog

Recent Posts


christmas eye ulcer hard faeces paralysed sucking wool fabric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy carrier cognitive dysfunction competition signs of pain fleas urinating lame holes in teeth rub eyes lymphoma blocked cat vaccination snot training touch tumour hiding poisoning aerokat return home bite pill hunting prey intestine mental health of cats kibble new kitten checkup marking arthritis antiviral biopsy information night ulcerated nose rash skinny strange behaviour house call stare into space vomiting RSPCA diabetes photo competition cat containment fits unsociable salivation rigid head tradesmen new year urinating on curtains or carpet tartar kittens insulin tooth mass cortisone poisons hearing enteritis collapse polish cryptococcosis high blood pressure in season chlamydia cage vocal thiamine deficiency echocardiography whiskers xylitol panamax AIDS bump pain relief snake Canberra on heat heaing unwell toxic weight wool open day skin cancer nose scabs crytococcosus pheromone blindness dental anxiety pet meat drinking more snake bite groom runny nose cranky cta fight gasping heart disease fireworks string appetite FORLS petting cat sneeze urinating outside litter introduction runny eyes off food vaccine sick cat pancreatitis hairball teeth hyperthyroidism spey seizures hyperactive exercise weight control kidney behaviour change examination holidays body language blood pressure toxins sudden blindness physical activity straining fluid pills bladder stones joints snuffle cat enclosures nails cat behaviour desexing check-up holiday urine spraying aggressive weight loss drinking a lot snakebite panadeine dental treatment panadol ulcers spray wet litter feliway African wild cat depomedrol old cat roundworm obesity fever sensitive stomach castration computer inflammatory bowel disease paralysis painful furball twitching cancer fat euthanasia antibiotics yowling holes worming outdoor cat pet herpesvirus aggression advantage prednisolone IBD calicivirus lick train blood test introductions odour panleukopaenia kitten play senior adipokines pet insurance massage catoberfest bed cat enclosure FIV vomit mouth breathing flea prevention ulcer dymadon sensitive activity senses itchy pred furballs Canberra Cat Vet restless change face rub breathing difficult cat fight pain head kitten tapeworm open night hunter radioactive iodine scale hungry constipation best cat clinic virus feline enteritis thirsty lilly flea treatment indoor cats sore conflict food puzzles feline AIDS diarrhoea stiff renal disease scratch feline herpesvirus litter box plants cat New Year's Eve visit jumping meows a lot snakes love ribbon skin obese appointment old best veterinarian plaque learning headache grooming allergy, hospital hole enclosure blood kidneys diet heavy breathing vet visit cat vet brown snake asthma changed tablet health check snuffles free grass abscess scratching post home cough pica blind not eating slow best clinic behaviour discount fear liver blue permethrin microchip foreign body litter annual check award poisonous lily cat worms sore eyes tick enemies paracetamol hypertension sick hunched over anaemia client night goodbye lilies flu decision to euthanase eye infection noisy breathing socialisation sense of smell aspirin blockage fight home visit kidney disease pain killer mince overweight abscess,cat fight comfortis new cat cat flu ACT sun bladder poisonous plants Hill's Metabolic best vet when to go to vet cystitis introduce panleukopenia thyroid urination gifts desex urine hunters poison blood in urine opening hours rolls worms introducing revolution stress vision allergy wobbles sore ears kitten deaths eye breeder cat friendly dental check bad breath spraying moving dementia dilated pupils cat history scratching rough play attack lump birthday paralysis tick diuretics mycoplasma dry food corneal ulcer


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions