I fear my darling old boy may have dementia...

(18 Posts)
cozietoesie Tue 13-Nov-12 02:39:10

He's got his problems with arthritis and is getting meds for those but over the last week I've started to notice some things different about his thinking.

He started getting scared of some bookmarks (yep - ordinary long cardboard bookmarks) that I'd got from the local library. I only had to lie in bed and lift a bookmark to put it in a book and he'd be rocketing down the stairs in panic.

Then that extended to books. Which originally, I guessed, might have bookmarks in them so were mentally contaminated by association - except that this evening, I tried to calm him by putting on a DVD and he was panic stricken by the remote control that I used. So it looks like he's scared, really scared, by anything that I have in my hand - in bed, in the bedroom, in his safe and warm place.

He's also been trying to get outside the inner front door. Two weeks ago he wouldn't have gone near it because he's a house cat and hated the outside.

So - he's snoozing under the throw now and the DVD is playing. (He finds telly soothing; it was what he was used to as a kit from my Mom.)

He's due to go to the vet in 10 days anyway to get his blood etc checked but I may advance that a bit if I can.

I can cope with most anything in the 'poo or pee in the wrong place' or 'being sick on the best Persian rug' line but the thought of him being frightened comes close to breaking my heart.

sad

theresafire Tue 13-Nov-12 10:53:37

Hi cozie , sorry to hear about your cat's new behaviour, it's saddening when you realize the possible reality stemming from that.

My DFather tells me today that our lovely old girl kelpie may have dementia. She's suddenly barking half the night at nothing, she's quite hearing and vision impaired too, sooo the time may have come. The vet said he may be able to give her something to calm her as an alternative. She is 17yo. My DF is distressed at the thought so I will take her if absolutely necessary. What a heartbreaking thing to have to do voluntarily.

See your vet maybe 'something to calm them' would be better for an indoor cat, good luck, my thoughts are with you.

How about Zylkene? it really calms them down and makes them chilled.

Poor senior boy. How's he been this afternoon?

JustFabulous Tue 13-Nov-12 19:26:51

Oh poor little mite sad.

Have you tried Feliway?

SecretNutellaFix Tue 13-Nov-12 19:29:11

Could it be his sight that's going?

Because he can't quite make out what you have in your hand, is he scared it's something that he thinks is closer to him than it is and that you will drop it on him?

cozietoesie Wed 14-Nov-12 02:56:04

Sorry that I was not in a position to post yesterday.

His sight's not of the best Nutella but this is way different. When you live with an animal day in and day out for years you just know their behaviour. I'm just going to have to amend my own ways to keep him calm I think. He's an old, old boy so these matters happen.

cozietoesie Wed 14-Nov-12 03:18:19

Thinking about it - my Darling Dad, the most formidable intellect I've ever known, went the same way in his last few months. Back to toddlerhood. I guess I should treat Seniorboy as a new kitten and see how that goes.

JustFabulous Wed 14-Nov-12 08:46:19

How is he today?

Both are cats are causing worry today sad.

I am meant to be seeing a friend today but might have to postpone. I don't want to leave her.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Wed 14-Nov-12 08:57:12

Big hugs to you and your kittie cozie.

My darling boy is 18.5 and almost totally deaf; I worry about dementia.

cozietoesie Wed 14-Nov-12 14:44:21

He's asleep and gruntling under the throw.

SpookTheCat Thu 15-Nov-12 11:29:47

My 11 year old cat has been showing signs of Dementia for the last 2 years so i sympathise with you, it is a worry when thier behaviour changes like this.

One of things my cat does is like yours will get totally freaked out by nothing in particular and start running round the house like he has a rocket up his backside and will launch himself at the closed windows trying to get out.
It is horrible to see him do this as he has hit his head several times with force.

My cat is also completely deaf (born deaf so not due to age) and its like his brain signals get all confused and telling him to get outside now but he doesn't know why. It could be that your cat has suddenly forgotten where he is which does make them scared.

If your cat likes to be picked up then then pick him up and comfort him when he has an episode until he calms down, this is usually enough for my cat to snap him out of it. Also dont make any sudden movements in his presence.
If he's not one for being picked up then soothe him with your voice and try to contain him in one room if you can until he seems a bit calmer. If he knows you are there then it helps to reassure them.

My cat has lots of different behaviours that he does which made me take him to the vet in the first place. There is a drug that can be given to calm them down and help with the dementia but i cant remember what it is called. It takes about 2-4 weeks to start working but not guaranteed to work for all cats suffering dementia.
I have decided to hold off giving it, as my cat also has other health issues that we have to control.
My cat has good days and bad days, on the bad days we just try extra hard to calm him down and keep him calm.

Try not to worry too much, as hard as that may be, have a chat with your vet and see what they advise. you just need to know how to deal with it, you and your cat will learn to muddle through the best you can.

It will be ok i assure you!

JustFabulous Fri 16-Nov-12 07:55:44

How is he today, cozie?

cozietoesie Fri 16-Nov-12 10:49:21

Sorry - not been around for a day or two.

He's sort of OK, JustFabulous. I'm actually wondering whether, rather than Alzheimer's, he might have had a wee stroke. He's ultra nervy and panicky about any sudden movement, doesn't seem to like pale coloured things (so my hands are doomed on two counts, there) has become louder than usual and is desperately clingy. I mean some Siamese are right at the end of the spectrum for attention seeking but even so, it's noticeable.

So - we're on a very calm and rigid schedule. Lots of slow movement and TV on all the time (he likes that because he had it as a kit), no hardback books - I haven't tried paperbacks yet - and lots of talking so that he hears my voice all the time. And he's eating like a horse and still using his tray fine so that's something.

I think he's adjusting a bit but my big worry is that he has to go to the vet in just over a week and unless he calms down, I fear he's going to panic himself desperately. (He doesn't like going outside the house at the best of times.)

Ah well. sad

JustFabulous Fri 16-Nov-12 11:59:07

Oh dear sad.

My vet thinks FABCat had a stroke last year but just adapted. I hope your can too.

Thats very sad. Poor senior boy.

If you get some dark cotton gloves would hands be less scary?

cozietoesie Fri 16-Nov-12 16:21:36

I'm trying to give him a lot of 'hands' at the moment in a slow and non-threatening way to see if he adjusts. Just as well I have a lot of DVDs in the house because I have no TV reception up in my bedroom which is his safe room.

cozietoesie Thu 29-Nov-12 20:51:02

Well he's a lot better. I can now read a book in bed without cat hysterics and the vet said his BP is fine. (Poor lad didn't much like his tail being BP'd but there you go.) I do think he had a little intra-cranial problem but he's adjusted.

Thats good, it's horrible to see them distressed.

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