Cat Dementia Treatments
Feline dementia is unfortunately incurable BUT the good news is that with the right management it is possible to improve significantly the quality of life for cats with dementia.
What Can You Do About Cognitive Dysfunction in Cats?
Cognitive dysfunction in cats, a.k.a. cat or feline dementia, is the result of physical and chemical changes that affect the brain function in cats as they get older. Feline dementia is unfortunately uncurable, but early diagnosis and intervention can really help to delay the progression of the disease. And with the right management it is possible to improve significantly the quality of life for cats with dementia.
Treatments for Cats With Dementia
Treatments for feline dementia usually include prescribed medication as well as SAM-e supplementation. As well as making some dietary and environmental changes and provide physical and mental stimulation.
Think about how you can make changes your cats' environment to make his life easier. For example:
- You may want to keep all the essentials (bed, food, toys, litter box) in one place and easily accessible
- Beds and litter boxes with lower sides will make access easier for older cats
- Extra water bowls around the house may help your cat to remember to drink and stay hydrated
- Leaving stimulating toys around the house may offer much needed mental stimulation
- Offering secure confined space, e.g. crate, may help reduce anxiety, especially when the cat is home alone
- Strict routine, e.g. for dinner time, can also help to provide some much needed stability
Nutritionally balanced diet is always important for cat’s health. As our pets get older their health deteriorates and as a result their diet requirements can change. Owners of senior cats should always liaise with their Vet before making significant changes to their pets’ diet.
Fatty acids and antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, are good for cognitive health so make sure your cats diet includes enough of quality fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Cats with dementia may not want to go out as much as before, or even not at all. It is however important to keep your cat as active as appropriate for his age and physical condition. It is in many ways easier to make sure that dogs get regular appropriate exercise as you can take dogs out for a walk on a lead. This can be more of a challenge with cats, but some cat owners do take their senior cats out for a walk on a lead. You may want to consider that if your dog is anxious of going out on his own.
It is also important to remember that physical exercise is not enough, mental stimulation is as important. Try to encourage your cat to play and be creative in looking for ways to offer adequate mental stimulation for your cat.
Cat dementia affects your cat’s social ability. Previously friendly cats can become tense, anxious, and even plain aggressive. Therefore, you may want to supervise your cat’s social interaction with both people and other animals.
For this reason, this is usually not a good time to introduce a new pet to the household as it may add to the stress for your already confused cat.
Regular Health Checks
Keeping you cat with dementia physically healthy will help to ease his stress and discomfort.
It is therefore good to visit the Vet more frequently for health check-ups. Not only will it help you to follow better the progression of your cat’s dementia, it will also help you to detect any health issues early on.
Feline Cognitive Dysfunction Medication
There are some prescribed medications available for cats with cognitive dysfunction. They will not cure you cats condition, but medication can help to manage, and even slow down the degeneration, of the disease.
The best know prescribed medication for feline dementia is Selegiline hydrochloride (best known brand names are Anipryl in the US and Selgian in UK). Selegiline enhances the amount of chemicals within the brain that act as messengers between individual nerve cells and prolongs the activity of your cat's remaining dopamine.
Propentofylline is another commonly prescribed medication for cognitive dysfunction in cats. It increases the blood flow to the brain and has been shown to improve the cat's energy levels and concentration.