Senility in cats will begin to affect all cats as they age, and as a result, their habits will change as well as their behavior.
But as they reach this senile part of their life span, there are several signs and symptoms that you will start to see.
Senility is often described as a pathological condition that is represented by several behavioral signs and symptoms that are very abnormal for your cat.
They will be totally out of character and as a result, seem to be totally out of context for this loyal friend of your for so many years.
There is no one signal sign that is an absolute proof, but rather several signs that will start to accumulate in cluster like affects and as they start, they will grow in the number of signs.
There are very few actual reported studies about senility in cats.
However, it is estimated that between the ages of 11 and 15 over 50 percent of all cats will start to show at least one sign of senility.
As your cat reaches the 16 to 20 year barrier, it is estimated that over 80 percent of all cats will start to show these signs.
But what is very interesting, is that cats seem to age much more gracefully than dogs do.
Dogs will show very similar symptoms, but usually much earlier in their lives.
Senility in cats will not show any one sign first, as all cats are as individual as each of us, so there is no real documented order of these signs.
However there is some consensus that among the following signs will be the first to appear.
One of the first signs of senility in cats is disorientation. Once this starts, it grows in frequency and there will be times when you will not even recognize your cat.
They will appear as if they are lost at times, or totally confused at other times.
They also may not recognize you or other members of your family at times as well.
As it progresses, there will also be times that they will not recognize places or objects such as their own bed, or their favorite room or chair.
Decreased and Altered Interactions
Not always, but usually right before or right after the disorientation signs of senility, will come a very sharp decrease or very strange set of interactions.
A cat that used to love attention and absolutely love to be stroked will very gradually start to seek much less attention and may develop almost a zero tolerance to be petted at all.
The cat that used to eagerly wait for you and greet you at the door, while also gradually become a lot less enthusiastic and some cats will no longer seem to either care or bothered to greet.
This is very discomforting to an owner, but it is a natural process.
Changes in Sleeping Cycles and Activity
Senility in cats will also bring about an almost complete change in their sleeping cycle, and the more you understand this, the better prepared you will be as it may become extremely annoying.
As your cat arrives at this stage in their life, they will start to sleep much more than normal.
However, there will one a catch to this. They will sleep a lot less at night and as it progresses, they will make you fully aware of this change.
Once this sleeping cycle does change, your cat will also start to change their activity levels.
This beloved cat of your that now sleeps most of the day will begin to aimlessly start to wander at night.
They may also reach a point that it almost becomes pacing, and they will not seem to understand that you are not paying attention to them at this time slot.
And this seems to trigger what can become extremely irritating; hyper vocalization.
They will now not only be pacing, but they will also be crying or whining excessively, which will than develop into the next signs, separation distress.
Nocturnal Separation Distress
This sign of senility in cats will go come almost in tandem with the change of sleeping cycles, and no one can really seem to explain it.
Your cat either cannot sleep at not or physiologically does not want to, and they will become extremely stressed simply because it seems to them like you have abandoned them.
This now will become very confusing; they do not want to bet stroked, they will no longer greet you, but as soon as you go to sleep, they suddenly get stressed.
This is one of the most difficult on all the processes to deal with.
If a cat is hyper vocalizing under normal circumstances, placing them in other room and ignoring it curses this condition in about 99 percent of all case.
But you are now dealing with senility and it is an entire different game so to speak. Their advanced age causes this irrational distress.
Loss of House Training
In these signs of senility in cats, it will be both troubling and irritating.
However nothing will compare to what you are about to go through when they lose control of their bladder.
In some cases it may actually be a medical condition, but this is just a normal part of becoming senile.
They will at times seem to forget where their litter box is at, while at other time it will be like they just do not care.
As frustrating as this will become, there is one thing that you can try that usually helps.
As cats hit this advanced age, they also become much more sensitive to temperature changes as they are losing the ability to properly regulate their body temperature.
This is especially true as the temperature turns much colder.
Monitoring their environment and placing your older cats bed as well as their litter box next to heat sources, can psychologically make them much more comfortable, even in this stage.
It may drastically change this very uncomfortable condition for both of you.
Senility in cats will bring about an entire litany of other conditions, and it will be very important to treat this special friend of your much like you would your parents in their final years.
They are losing mobility, control of their gastrointestinal tracts, their hearing, and their sight.
Their kidneys are becoming much less functional; their heart is nowhere as strong as it once was.
Their kidneys, liver, as well as most all of their glands are starting to change and become much less effective.
But even if their heart is weaker, and even if they do not show it like they used to, you are still the most important thing in their lives.
This is where the true definition of patience needs to be fully utilized for your companion and best friend.