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


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


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