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Symptoms of Feline Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

pretty cat sitting editedCognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) is most often diagnosed in older dogs, but that doesn’t mean cats don’t suffer from the disease. In fact, 28% of cats between 11 and 14 years old exhibit symptoms of CDS. Felines may be better than dogs at masking the signs of cognitive dysfunction, so it’s important for pet parents to pay careful attention to their older cat’s behavior.

Watch for the following symptoms of feline cognitive dysfunction syndrome:

  • Sleeping Habit Changes: If a cat has slept during the day and been active during the night for most of its life, cognitive dysfunction may reverse the cycle. Also, sleep may become more interrupted and fitful.
  • Disorientation: Animals with CDS will often sit and stare at nothing in particular. They might also wander around nervously and get stuck in an area of their home because they can’t figure out their way around objects.
  • Behavioral Changes: These changes can vary from animal to animal. Some cats may become less social, while others may stop grooming themselves. If your cat becomes more vocal or stops using the litter box, don’t write these things off as bad behavior. Changes like these can be signs of CDS or other medical conditions.

Any changes in behavior should be discussed with your cat’s veterinarian. CDS diagnosis involves ruling out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. If your cat is diagnosed with CDS, follow your vet’s recommendations. Some cats can benefit from feline antioxidants supplements, while others might be prescribed a medication like selegiline. Also, for cats suffering from CDS, a stress-free environment and sticking to a daily routine is helpful.

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