or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › IMPORTANT: Cats CAN get "Alzheimer's"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

IMPORTANT: Cats CAN get "Alzheimer's"

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I found out the hard way a couple weeks ago that cats can get a form of Alzheimer's disease. Although the disease has been formally adopted for dogs as "Canine Cognitive Dysfunction", it's not officially adopted for cats. However, take time to read the article posted on this website under the Care section entitled "Love to the Max - Feline Senility."

I was amazed to see that my 15-year-old kitty, Domino, had almost every one of the symptoms described in the article, and some of them are:

1. constant crying or yowling

2. wandering aimlessly

3. litterbox "accidents"

4. not wanting to be petted or cuddled

5. repetitive pacing. For instance, Domino would momentarily stop by me while I was seated on our loveseat, whine for a moment, walk completely around the loveseat, and start the whole process over again, repeating it two or three times - this was only one of the repetitive pacings that she would do.

I was also very interested to learn that there is a drug on the market that can relieve the symptoms (but does not cure the disease). Right now it is only FDA approved for dogs, but some vets will prescribe it for cats.

Tearfully and with a heavy heart, I had Domino put to sleep on May 11. I just could not afford the battery of tests that she would have to go through in order to finally get the prescribed symptom-reliever, Anipryl. Assuming the vet would prescribe it, that is. And it wouldn't cure her, anyway, and the disease would still progress and eventually cause her death. I miss her so much, she was my first kitty and I'd had her since she was a wee kitten. But now she's across the Rainbow Bridge and is free from her restlessness, confusion and upset.

I'm not a vet or even a breeder or cat expert, I just wanted to make everyone aware of this disease.

Thanks for reading,
post #2 of 10
I am so sorry to hear about Domino. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time, I know it must be tough. RIP sweet Domino I think it's wonderful that you are sharing your story in hopes that it will help others save their babies. Thank you so much for doing so, I didn't even know it was possible for animals to get Alzheimers.
post #3 of 10
Our elderly cat is showing classic signs of Alzheimers. She will pace, get "lost" in the middle of a room, etc. We spoke to the Vet about it a month ago, and she basically said that at 20 years old to start her on any new medications (She's on anti-seizure meds) would pose an unacceptable risk. The episodes are usually brief in duration, and she goes right back to being the onery old lady she is.
post #4 of 10
Thank you, Becky for sharing Domino's special story so that we may be more educated about this disease. This must have been such a difficult decision for you to make so that your baby would not have to live in such a state of confusion and upset. She watches over you now from the Bridge with complete clarity of mind know just how much you love her. Thank you so much.
post #5 of 10
Hi Becky. So very sorry about Dominic. Thank you for the warning.
post #6 of 10
I'm so sorry about your kitty, but thank you so much for sharing your story. My beloved cat, Fluffy (13), has been experiencing some of the symptoms. I have been feeling so hopeless by Fluffy's sudden need to avoid my boyfriend and her constant hiding under the bed. I took her to the vet and was assured she was healthy. However, as all of you cat owners know, I know her behavior and there is something wrong. So thank you again for sharing your story. I feel much better and much more equipped to care for her properly.
post #7 of 10
I was very remiss in not offering our condolences on your tragic losss of Domino. I was too wrapped up in the idea that another Vet actually recognized the symptoms of Alzheimers in our feline furry family members.

My apologies...

post #8 of 10
I'm so sorry about Domino! I would like to thank you for breaking out from your grief to share this information with all of us! It's another disease that geriatric cat owners should be aware of!

My Shep has been diagnosed with being senile - whether its alzheimers, dementia, or just old age senility, it doesn't really matter. Her biggest symptom is that she has started trying to do things that she hasn't done for years - almost like she forgot she doesn't do these things anymore but tries to do them anyway (like going outside). She also does things that are totally uncharacteristic of her (like sleeping in places she has never visited before). As the house "pariah", she also sometimes forgets that she hates other cats and sleeps with them. We have to constantly remind her where her litter box is (yes, she has had all the blood work done to rule out physical illness and has monthly vet exams). Her behavior is no longer consistent - every week brings a new surprise (sometimes she eats like there is no tomorrow and sometimes she picks and walks away).

I hate to see her go thru this, cause it's actually harder to differentiate between behavioral changes due to physical illness and behavioral changes due to her mind slipping (thus the monthly vet visits). And it makes it hardest to know when it is time to give her peace. I commend you for getting thru the decision on your part.
post #9 of 10
OMG i never knew this!. Becky i'm so sorry to hear of poor Domino and may he RIP.

Thanks for pointing this out to us.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone, for your condolences. They truly do mean a great deal to me.

It's odd, over the past two years I kept having Domino checked out by the vet, with complete blood workups (the $200 kind) and she would always check out perfectly. The weight loss (even though she was eating as she always had) was the first symptom to appear, about 3-4 years ago, and the constant (and I do mean constant) whining started about a year and a half ago. Because she got around so well, with no signs of physical ambulatory ailments, I merely attributed her whining to age or dislike of the new kitty rescue, Socrates.

In the last 3-4 months she began to ignore her food on increasingly frequent intervals, or she would forget that she gets fed on a table in the basement (to keep the dog out of her food) and I'd have to set her food down in front of her on the floor and watch her eat.

The incessant whining was the worst part of it for me to deal with, first because it was extremely annoying (to the point where I'd feel like screaming at her to shut up, or drop-kicking her) and because I just couldn't figure out how to make her happy. I tried everything from more love, to more interactive play, to different diets. She hardly ever wanted to be petted or cuddled anymore, where before she used to love her evening tummy rubs.

Little did I think that she or any other cat could become afflicted with such a disease as "Alzheimer's". Thank God I found the article on this website and learned that she was actually suffering from a disease and not simply acting like an "old biddy". And now I know what to watch for in Socrates and any kitties I adopt in the future.

Thanks for listening,
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › IMPORTANT: Cats CAN get "Alzheimer's"