TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Share your experience with cognitive disorders?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Share your experience with cognitive disorders?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My 13 year old cat Eightball suffered what appeared to be a stroke a few months back. He's always been on the feral side with pretty odd behaviors, but since the stroke episode, he's getting unpredictable. There hasn't been an overnight change with him - it's been slowly progressing to the point that people are beginning to notice. Regardless of whether it was a stroke or not, he has a cognitive disorder.

I have cat loving friends who have visited my home for years and have only actually seen Eightball maybe 6 times in 10 years (he hides under beds when company comes). Last Monday night, we were sitting in the living room when Eightball came into the room and jumped on my lap. My friend who was sitting next to me gave a big "WOW", then reached her hand out to him. He head butted her hand so she just petted him. No one other than DH and I have ever been allowed to touch him in 13 years. He has to be sedated at the vets for them to examine him.

Of late he's become very possessive of me when it comes to the other cats. He normally will move away from me when another cat approaches. But last night he laid on top of me and when any other cat came up to snuggle, he drove them away. He did this to Scarlett which is completely taboo in my household (all cats defer to Scarlett). It's rare when he leaves my side.

Has anyone had a cat with progressive cognitive disorders and how did they advance? What behavioral changes did you see with yours, and did any of them become violent? Last night had me a little unnerved, because it looks like his behaviors are becoming aggressive. Did you try any medications to help with your situation?

Eightball is not a cat that can be medicated very easily. While he hangs close to me, he has always fought me if I try to restrain him to give meds, so medications will be a challenge. I've tried things like rescue remedy with him and they had no effect. He doesn't eat wet food consistently so slipping things into his food is not an option, and he doesn't do pill pockets.
post #2 of 9
A friend's cat did have a stroke. She lives in a neighboring city so I didn't get to see him much and am relying on what she told me over the phone. He began meowing strangely after the stroke and would walk in circles. I don't think he did any of the behaviors you've described. He was laid back before and after the stroke. Thankfully, after about a year all of his symptoms subsided and he returned to normal. I hope that will be the same for you!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by howtoholdacat View Post
A friend's cat did have a stroke. She lives in a neighboring city so I didn't get to see him much and am relying on what she told me over the phone. He began meowing strangely after the stroke and would walk in circles. I don't think he did any of the behaviors you've described. He was laid back before and after the stroke. Thankfully, after about a year all of his symptoms subsided and he returned to normal. I hope that will be the same for you!
My vet and I never found out what actually happened to him, but it was clearly a seizure type episode, and it could have been a stroke, or he could have a brain tumor that could be growing. Eightball's odd behaviors are getting progressively worse, so I'm not sure that he will ever return to "normal". I'm glad you brought this up, because it reminds me that stroke behavior can normalize, which leads me to believe that it might be a tumor after all.

The frustrating thing with his illness is that if it is a stroke, there really isn't any treatment, and if a brain tumor, I wouldn't attempt to put him thru a surgery to remove it and won't make him suffer thru chemo/radiation therapy. I've gone that route with cats in the past and it's very hard on them.
post #4 of 9
They didn't know with my friend's cat if it was a stroke until the behaviors normalized, like you said. I remember her frustration at wondering what to do for Oscar. Were I in your shoes I'd probably leave him alone (as far as meds, and surgery, etc. not petting! ) as much as I could and focus on making him comfy and happy. Whatever is going on with him he'll benefit from low stress. Does Feliway work? I know you said Rescue Remedy doesn't. Maybe it would be helpful to him to have a period of time each day that you spend only with him? It sounds like he loves spending time with you. I know from the animals I pet sit that they benefit and enjoy a good routine. It helps me win over the nervous ones when they know what to expect. I'd think that would translate to an ill animal as well but am interested to hear back from you if you try that.
post #5 of 9
Amy, is an MRI an option just to rule in or out the tumor? Just so you have some idea of what you're dealing with? Unfortunately, they are expensive.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Amy, is an MRI an option just to rule in or out the tumor? Just so you have some idea of what you're dealing with? Unfortunately, they are expensive.
I've run the gamut of geriatric tests on him to rule out other illnesses and he's more or less normal for his age. But I ruled out an MRI. Frankly, if it is a tumor, I wouldn't do anything invasive about it anyway, so why spend the money on the MRI? I do know it's cognitive, whether the cause be a stroke or tumor (or just old age), so I'm going to deal with that. The unfortunate problem with a cognitive disease (as more than one vet has explained to me), is there really isn't treatment unless it is a tumor and you are willing to have it removed. I won't put Eightball thru that.

I can't use Feliway in my house. Stumpy is threatened by them and sprays them. Eightball typically gets a few hours of lap time every day - more so than any other cat in the house. What changed is that he wants it all night long, which interferes with the time that I have with others that sleep on me at night. It's sometimes hard to keep the balance in the house with so many cats.
post #7 of 9
Yeah, I know. We have seven and it can be difficult to keep the balance. Flowerbelle shifted from sleeping on me to sleeping on Gary, and it upset the whole timing and order of things.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I get the sense that not too many people have gone thru cognitive disorders with their cats. If that's the case, I'll post some of what I discover as we go thru this for the benefit of those that are interested.

My Shep was labeled with a cognitive disorder as she aged, and she had classic stroke symptoms (one side was weaker than the other), and she slowly lost her mind on top of it. She just got forgetful, and if anything, nicer to the other cats which she hated her entire life. I fear the reverse with Eightball.
post #9 of 9
My dear Fred, who was with me for 18 years, was sleeping under the hood of the car when DH cranked it, not knowing he was there. Fortunately it was the kind of car that would stop if anything got caught in the belt. He suffered a severe concussion, and the vet said he may exhibit some strange behaviors from time to time. He was mostly ok for many years, but had this odd little hop that he would do, just out of nowhere. He would jump flat footed several feet in the air, sometimes landing facing the opposite direction. As he grew older he suffered a stroke, and then seizures. They were frightening to watch. He was fine for quite some time between them at first, then as he grew older they were more frequent. Sometimes he would just sit and stare, then cry until I came and picked him up.
He grew very ill very quickly, and had to be sent to the Bridge, as he had no good quality of life any more, but the vet thought it was just from old age and possibly FIV, that he lived with for many years, and not from his head injury.
He was the most loving cat ever, and raised every kitten that we got while he was still with us.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Share your experience with cognitive disorders?