Cognitive decline in your pet could cause a host of cat symptoms, from meowing more to seeming disoriented. Yes, some cats will respond to treatment for senility, but that’s not the only reason to check with a vet. “There are other things that can cause that odd behavior that are not actually senility,” says Dr. Antin. “This other stuff might be treatable.” For instance, your cat might have eaten something toxic or be dealing with kidney disease, but you’ll need to rule those out before trying any medications for cognitive decline. Make sure you know these 11 subtle signs your cat is depressed.
Missing the litter box
A cat that’s stopped using its litter box might be sending a message by marking its territory, but you’ll still want to take it to the vet. What you assume is a behavior problem might actually be a medical issue, such as bladder cancer or a kidney stone, says Dr. Rossman. “It’s always good to rule out the medical things first because those are easier to fix than the behavioral ones,” she says.
“Most neurologic things a human would have, a pet can have as well,” says Dr. Rossman. Especially if your cat isn’t an epileptic, you should be concerned if you see it roll back its eyes, lose consciousness, or lose control of its bowels. Put it in a padded area without getting your hands near its mouth, then call the vet ASAP, she says. Avoid these other 12 dangerous mistakes cat owners should never make.