Feline Aging & How it Affects Your Cat's Brain

Unfortunately, symptoms of old age are inevitable in both humans and our feline friends. In fact, according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, 50% of cats at 15 years of age (85 in humans) exhibit signs of brain aging. The impact of brain aging illnesses in senior cats can be significant not only on your cat, but on your entire family as well.

Senior Cat ImageSigns of cognitive brain disorders in senior cats can include:

  • Decreased interaction with humans and other pets
  • Less desire to eat
  • Urination or defecation outside the litter box
  • Decreased problem-solving skills
  • Less awareness of their surroundings
  • Inconsistent sleep-wake cycles
  • Loud crying – especially during nighttime hours

Just as humans can take steps to fight the signs of brain aging, so can your senior cat. In fact, this is when your cat needs you the most. With certain safety precautions, the right nutrition and mental stimulation, you can help your cat adjust to any behavior problems and keep them mentally fit as your cat grows older.

At mealtime, choose a food that’s rich in antioxidants and omega fatty acids to help improve your cat’s cognitive function. Incorporate a puzzle ball or maze into feeding time to encourage your cat to hunt and stimulate brain activity.

At night, make sure your cat’s sleeping area is both quiet and safe. Be sure to keep a light or night light turned on to help with declining vision, and to better accommodate your cat’s altered sleep-wake cycles and added propensity to wander.

At all times, be sure to apply nonskid surfaces throughout the house, and add ramps or steps to allow your senior cat to reach places without having to jump. Increase the number and size of litter boxes to help with your cat’s increased waste elimination – another common behavioral change in senior cats.

Related Pet Care Articles

  • Having trouble with your dog's bad behavior? Learn how to effectively discipline your dog with this helpful list of do's and don'ts.
  • Learn the proper technique and supplies you can use to clean your dog's ears, including some tips to make it as smooth as possible for him.
  • From daily exercise to routine grooming, learn some helpful everyday dog health care tips to keep your pup healthy and happy.
  • Socializing an older dog is usually more challenging than socializing a puppy. Learn how to overcome the challenges to safely socialize an adult dog.
  • Check out this list of accessories you should consider getting for your senior dog to help care for him in his golden years.
  • Read about how to keep your dog safe on a boat, so that you both can enjoy a day out on the water.