Cat Dementia

aswient

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Hi my 15 year old cat has dementia he is also diabetic but his levels are good. He cries a lot of the night roaming the house. He’s obsessed with water even though his glucose is good. He paces waiting for me while I give him fresh water. He urinates outside the box with all the water he drinks. The howling at night is hard to listen to. I give him food fresh water treats and right after that he's looking up at me meowing like he wants me to do something for him. I'm at my wits end. He's been tested for everything there's nothing physically wrong with him. his ears are in airplane mode and his fur stands on end even when he's sleeping. He's taking gabapentin I don't know if he'd be worse without it. The dr told me to weigh his quality of life. But I don't know how I could bring myself to have him put to sleep especially since there's nothing wrong physically with him. I hand fed him when he was 4 weeks old. He such a gentle cat. Any advise would be appreciated.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi! There are all kinds of conditions that can mimic dementia or cause similar symptoms. My cat has most of them, and has started to howl routinely throughout the day. Arthritis, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and cancer are her conditions and any/all of them can cause dementia type behavior. It is also true of diabetes as well.

What I can't find out is whether diseases that are being controlled, such as your cat's diabetes, can still bring about these same behaviors. Something to ask your vet about. I'd ask my vet, but with all of my cat's health issues, I am not sure there is any 'real' answer for her.

I have read quite a bit of data on supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and carotenoids have been found to support cognitive function in a cat. My cat is on so much stuff already, there is no way to add much more. But, you could give these supplements a try. Mental and physical stimulation is supposed to help too, if your cat still is interested in toys and things like food puzzles. Videos for entertainment and cat music are other things to try.

I am not sure about the effectiveness of pain mads when dealing with dementia, but gabapentin is supposed to help with anxiety as well as pain, so you would think it might be beneficial. Maybe your cat needs a higher dose or more frequent dosing? My cat would not take gabapentin, so we have tried buprenorphine instead, and frankly I don't see any difference in her with that med either. I am going to ask if her dosage can be increased to see if that is the problem.

Despite all of her illnesses, I can't put her down because she howls. Your cat is in better health than mine, so euthanasia would not be an option, IMO, for him either. We generally don't resort to that with humans who have dementia, and I am not one to see why we would treat our family members who are cats any differently.

Maybe the answer is to try other more specific anti-anxiety meds rather than general pain meds. That is what a lot of human dementia patients receive.
 
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aswient

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Hi! There are all kinds of conditions that can mimic dementia or cause similar symptoms. My cat has most of them, and has started to howl routinely throughout the day. Arthritis, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and cancer are her conditions and any/all of them can cause dementia type behavior. It is also true of diabetes as well.

What I can't find out is whether diseases that are being controlled, such as your cat's diabetes, can still bring about these same behaviors. Something to ask your vet about. I'd ask my vet, but with all of my cat's health issues, I am not sure there is any 'real' answer for her.

I have read quite a bit of data on supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and carotenoids have been found to support cognitive function in a cat. My cat is on so much stuff already, there is no way to add much more. But, you could give these supplements a try. Mental and physical stimulation is supposed to help too, if your cat still is interested in toys and things like food puzzles. Videos for entertainment and cat music are other things to try.

I am not sure about the effectiveness of pain mads when dealing with dementia, but gabapentin is supposed to help with anxiety as well as pain, so you would think it might be beneficial. Maybe your cat needs a higher dose or more frequent dosing? My cat would not take gabapentin, so we have tried buprenorphine instead, and frankly I don't see any difference in her with that med either. I am going to ask if her dosage can be increased to see if that is the problem.

Despite all of her illnesses, I can't put her down because she howls. Your cat is in better health than mine, so euthanasia would not be an option, IMO, for him either. We generally don't resort to that with humans who have dementia, and I am not one to see why we would treat our family members who are cats any differently.

Maybe the answer is to try other more specific anti-anxiety meds rather than general pain meds. That is what a lot of human dementia patients receive.
[
I appreciate your response. I feel the same way. They're members of the family. I will see about starting him on anti-anxiety meds. I do feel that the constant water drinking is due to diabetes.I want my boy to have every chance. Thank you so much for the advise.
 
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mrsgreenjeens

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Have they checked his thyroid levels? That howling at night and excess thirst and urination AND fur issue are signs of hyperthyroidism, very common in older cats. I would think if his diabetes is under control, he would NOT be drinking excessively, which makes me think it's something else causing it.
 
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aswient

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Have they checked his thyroid levels? That howling at night and excess thirst and urination AND fur issue are signs of hyperthyroidism, very common in older cats. I would think if his diabetes is under control, he would NOT be drinking excessively, which makes me think it's something else causing it.
Yes he’s been checked for thyroid all levels are normal
 

neely

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We generally don't resort to that with humans who have dementia, and I am not one to see why we would treat our family members who are cats any differently.
I completely agree with this statement. :agree:

Our dog had Sundowners and it was more difficult than our cat because he constantly thought he had to go out to pee at night. I ended up sleeping downstairs to keep him company and let him out. He'd circle the patio, come back in and then ask to go out again. I was told it's important to keep a consistent routine which I did plus prescribed medicine by the vet. Perhaps trying a consistent routine with your cat might help too.
 
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aswient

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We did have a routine but he cries through the night so I’d get up and give home food to try and quiet him down but that doesn’t work either because he starts crying again. The vets keep telling me his sugar levels are good I don’t understand why he’s drinking all this water. I even had the glucose monitor on him for a week and his levels were good.
 

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I had my Redman from a time in which he was probably too young to leave his mom. As a grew old and feeble, I promised to take care of him until the time came.

Though I don't know what is going on with your cat (bless you for your kindness, BTW), I can tell you a bit about Redman that I discovered. He lost his eyesight. That seemed to be the the main reason for his howling. He was afraid.
 
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aswient

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Awww poor Redmond it must be scary for them when they can’t see. I’ll look into that. It could be part of it for dill. It’s a good idea thank you for the suggestion.
 
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aswient

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[I'm sorry Redman and he's pretty lucky to have you too. His eye sight seems to be alright but I'll have it checked out. Thank you.
[
 
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