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


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


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