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


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


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