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Very worried about elderly cat possible signs of senility?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My 16 (possible 17) year old Male neutered cat has been showing some strange behaviour over the last 4-5 months. He is FIV positive and has been for 7+ years but is otherwise in excellent physical health (he's still climbing trees ). About 4-5 months ago he started spraying inside. Now he has never done this before and it is completely out of character for him, he would rather go outside to urinate than urinate inside and that includes the littertray unless he has no other choice. There have been no changes, major or minor to his routine or environment that would account for this behaviour. He lives with 3 other cats but has done so for over 3 years now and he's been settled in our new home for over a year. Apart from the uncharacteristic spraying behaviour he also stops and stares into space as if he can't remember what he was doing, he'll go to the door to be let out but walk into the corner of the wall and stare up at the ceiling and meow, he loves to drink from the tap in the bath but now he'll sit facing the back of the bathroom wall looking pitiful and then pacing around frantic until I physically showing him where the tap is, he's meowing desperately a lot of the time to be with his Mum..I have to lie down with him and give him a cuddle or pick him up and carry him around like a baby until he settles down and I've found him meowing and scratching at the neighbours door but when I've called him over he runs to me and then stops and looks back and gets the most pathetically bewildered look on his face until I come and pick him up and bring him back to our place.

I love my baby boy so much...I'm very very attached to Puss (that's my precious boys name ) and I don't want to face the prospect of losing him

Can anyone shed any light on what might be going on with my baby boy. I'm so worried about him I haven't stopped crying all night
post #2 of 9
Have you had him in to see his vet recently? If not, it may be a good idea to request a "senior panel" and examination performed.

post #3 of 9
vet ASAP and get a senior panel... senility is not normal for a cat of any age.. my 17 yr old gets around better than me..lol
post #4 of 9
Originally Posted by sharky
vet ASAP and get a senior panel... senility is not normal for a cat of any age.. my 17 yr old gets around better than me..lol

Plus, I would reccomend keeping him indoors only, at least until you figure out what is causing this behavior. You wouldnt want him to get disoriented and wander off, or anything like that.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
He's going to the Vet next week for a full check up and his annual vaccinations. He's not like this all the time though...some days and even some hours he's completely mentally lucid and alert then he just seems to go funny and lose the plot again
post #6 of 9
I have senior moments myself. It is essential that a senior blood panel is done on Puss. Please keep us updated about how he is doing & what your vet thinks might be wrong. I will add Puss to my prayers.
post #7 of 9
My Shep at about 15-16 years old started showing signs of a cognitive disorder, basically alzheimer's type symptoms. The vet suspected either a series of strokes or a brain tumor. She forgot where things were, started going outside the box, changed her sleeping habits every few months, stared off in space, etc. A senior panel is very important to rule out other diseases at that age. Shep's panel would come out fine but that ruled out other causes for her odd behavior changes. They are senior citizens at that age and sometimes their minds just slip for unknown reasons. You just learn to go with the flow of their behavior of the day and adapt your household to their quirks.

Let us know how it goes at the vet next week!
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much everyone

I'll let you know what the Vet says. My biggest fear though is that this is a sign that he is starting to go into the full blown feline aids stage and that his behaviour may be indicative of Feline Aids Dementia. I nursed a feral cat that I tamed through the end stages of Feline Aids (I eventually had her put to sleep) and it was absolutely horrible to see a cat suffer like that. I don't want Puss to go through the same thing I love him too much for that to happen, if it's just normal aging senility I can deal with that, I just hope it's not the FIV moving into Feline Aids

I'll just have to wait and see what the Vet says....he's sitting here with me now purring away with his little tongue sticking out (he's had a jaw and facial reconstruction plus extensive dental work done after being hit by a car so his tongue doesn't stay in his little mouth properly...I sold my car to pay for his vets bills but he's worth it )
post #9 of 9
I don't have any concrete experience with senile cats, though I have seen it in dogs. Our cat's best buddy, a Greyhound, is extremely senile, and exhibits very strange behavior (sleeping in the kitchen sink, jumping out of windows). We had an Airedale who forgot how to turn or back up, and constantly got "stuck" when she encountered corners or furniture. A colleague's Cocker Spaniel suffered from severe separation anxiety, and forgot he was housebroken, during the last two years of his life. I suspect that a neighbor's cat is either senile or going blind, because she seems to get "lost" just a few yards from her front door, and sits down and yowls till somebody picks her up and delivers her at her front door.
Good luck!
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