Can cats have Alzheimer's?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by KTMom91, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Our oldest senior cat is having issues...wandering, yowling for food (though the dish is full), and counter surfing although he KNOWS (as do all the other cats) that that is a no-no.

    He's getting thin, but keeps up with his grooming and likes to be petted. I took him to the vet a few weeks ago for his explosive (and toxic) diarrhea, and the vet said it could be IBS. The diarrhea has stopped, but he still seems like he's spacing out. Thoughts?
  2. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    They can get senile as they get old. My last oldtimer cat was almost 17 when we decided to have her put to sleep. She'd been an inside/outside cat most of her life, and she'd taken to wandering and not finding her way home, so she needed to stay in for the last 15-18 months of her life. Other than the constant whining about going outside, that worked alright for about a year, then she began to forget to use the litterbox. She'd climb up on my wicker chairs or the couch and sit on the headrest and go pee. She'd go inside the kitchen cupboards looking for her litterbox [we have multiple cats and multiple litterboxes throughout the house] but many years ago we had some disguised in free standing cabinetry when I had a cattery, she appearantly remembered that part. Towards the end it got so bad with the accidents [she'd use anything even remotely rectangular for a litterbox - laundry baskets, shipping boxes, luggage, storage crates], that we had her in a large cage and only let her out for petting and smooching sessions, which made us all miserable as she'd ask non-stop to come out if someone was around, and she simply wasn't safe to let wander in the house any longer due to her degrading potty issues...

    How old is yours?
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Did the vet change his food?
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    They can become senile in their old age just like people do. And I know that dogs can have strokes so I'm assuming that cats can have them too. My brother's oldest dog is doing very much like what you describe and we're assuming he's had a mild stroke. As they age too their hearing and eyesight isn't what it used to beand their sense of smell probably isn't as good as it was either.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Cobra's at least 11. The vet didn't change his food; all the cats are eating prescription dry food because one of the panther boys developed crystals in his urine. The seniors had always eaten Meow Mix, and when the panthers came along, because their mama was feral, we started feeding them super-premium stuff. After Hubby was laid off, we couldn't afford the super-premium any longer, and put them all on Meow Mix, then we had to rush Onyx to the ER vet, and change to crystal-dissolving food from our vet. Cobra has always eaten what was in the panther dish, along with the Meow Mix; we just don't want anything around that will have Onyx developing crystals again. He used to be an inside/outside cat, but he's been strictly inside for the past few years due to his habit of lounging in the middle of the street and refusing to move.

    The seniors were all adopted as adults right around the time Hubby and I got married, so I really don't know how old they are.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    So he's hungry but not eating and it's not because his food was changed. Okay. Yes, they can get senile, but this sudden recent change after being sick I'd be looking for a more immediate physical cause. Has he swung from the diarrhea to constipation? Prone to hairballs that could be causing stomachaches? Worms?
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Our vet called it the "wandering meows". Figaro started doing this about a year or so before the end. He'd wander into our bedroom, stand in the middle of it and start meowing (he had the *coolest* meow - not musical at all, more like a creaky roar - makes me smile to remember it). I'd talk to him and I swear he'd look at me like "where did *you* come from?", even though I was sitting at my desk in our room when he came in - he had to walk right past me. Then he'd wander into another room and do the same thing - just kind of wandering and meowing, wandering and meowing. He hadn't really been a meower up until that point, unless he was getting after one of the younger cats. Vet checked thyroid and other stuff- it was all ok. He was just old. He definitely wasn't jumping up on counters, or anything else for that matter, LOL.

    He lost a lot of weight that last year, in spite of us changing diet to soft food with vet's guidance. Loved to be petted thru to the end, and purred like a motor as well. I didn't really see a whole lot of personality change in him as he got older, but, yes, he definitely did the wandering meow thing, a lot. He was 15.
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I don't have any experience with cats but both Molly and before her, Katie, were pups who lost most of their hearing and had senility issues. I don't know why cats would be much different.

    Molly was 15 and Katie was 15 1/2 when they died. Katie used to wander around the house looking for me even if I was right there (similar to Sue's Figaro). Such sweet old girls, I miss them always.

  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Try stinky food - canned food that is fish flavor is the stinkiest. If he's having any kind of sinus issues (since he was having diarrhea, thinking there may possibly be something else going on as well)...well, they won't eat it if they can't smell it. Worth a shot.

    And, yes, they can develop senility. Poor guy.

    I took in an adult - but not old - cat several years ago that was deaf. 2 years later he went blind, too. We have no idea what caused it. He would just walk in circles - cats determine their territory by perimeter. He would manage to get up on the table then be afraid to get down. It was so sad. He would just walk and walk and walk in circles.
  10. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    as others have said, don't know about cats, but certainly it happens in dogs. Wyley (a boxer) was never the brightest bulb in the box, and as he got older, he seemed to lose what little brain capacity he had. You could literally watch his thinking process of "why did I walk into this room? I don't know. Oh, well, I guess I'll lay down". He would walk in to empty corners and not be able to figure out how to get out of them (he could still see and hear). He eventually also had issues with eating (in his case, it was his gums that were horrible, but I didn't want to do surgery on him yet again) so we finally had him put down. He was at least 13 (we didn't know for sure, we guessed he was around 3 when we adopted him).
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    When I was a kid we had many old cats and some of them definitely developed senility, without any other health issues. Just simple senility-just like my gramma who lived with us. It was strange, now that I think back, to the similarities. I believe that my dog Nala may be headed in this direction, and it's killing me to acknowledge it. I can call her two or three times and it's as if she doesn't hear me, then I'll give a short but louder shout and she looks at me in in she wonders when I got there, lol. We know her hearing is okay because she can hear a wrapper being opened from outside and behind closed doors with music going. She's definitely aging, my little love bug, it's going to break my heart when it comes time. I have always told her she can't go before me, aw.
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm going to second the soft food.

    And in this case, not because it's stinky (though it really is). When they get older, their teeth and gums tend to have problems.

    Near the end... AngelKitten (Weasel) had trouble with the canned food because it was cold from the fridge. She'd sit in front of the bowl and guard it until it was warmer... You could tell when she got to the middle, because she'd make a small yow, then back off and wait... I started grabbing all three cats' bowls, tossing hers in the microwave for 5-10 seconds, then putting them down for everyone. She knew what I was doing, she would purr madly.

    Also - Weasel did wander around and meow. This started when she was young, though - when we took Possum to the vet to be fixed, she wandered and complained - WHERE IS POSSUM DANG IT?

    She also would carry around a toy and meow while she did it. Squirrel does this too - only her "toys" are usually LIVE. Crickets, moths, spiders, mice... EWWWW.

    Possum will get stuck in the dark somewhere in the house and yow constantly until we call him - then he follows our voices, stopping to yow again until he finds us. I think he's losing his sight.

    If he had diarrhea, he probably does have sinus issues. (Would you wanna smell that?! LOL)

    Canned food can be expensive when you have multiple cats, so another thing is to put a tiny bit of warm water on dry...