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Feline Dementia

Ugh. My cat was a stray when I got him. He was not a kitten. I've had him for a little over 14 years now, so he's probably at least 15, possibly older. His behavior over the last couple of weeks has become more and more bizarre. Picture a cat in the terrible twos. He was acting out in such a way that he never had done before, and he's an elderly cat now. That didn't stop him from jumping on top of sinks and furniture like a kitten though. His back legs are a bit poor if he does anything drastic. He hasn't had a problem in that regard for quite a long time now. Anyway, in the past two week he's started this howling routine. When I say howl, I mean HOWL! He starting to do it off and on beginning a few months ago, but it nothing too extreme. He would do it early in the morning, trying to wake everyone up in order to eat. Now, it's as loud as a newborn, and it goes on for hours, non-stop. He does in the daytime and nighttime. He gets everything he seems to want and need, but he's still acting bizarrely. He was attempting to climb up the walls, opening cabinets, trying to get to a high counter top, was attempting to climb up my side in the bathroom to get to the sink -- and he's one of those breeds that's really big. He's not eating now. He's drinking a lot. He seems to go to places where he wants something, like to get on top of the counter top, and then you put him up on it, and he then wants to get right down. It's like he doesn't remember what was doing. I wish I took a video of this, because I can't really paint an accurate picture. It is just so weird, so over-the-top, and so out of character. Remember, I've had him for over 14 years. I know him. Back in October, I took him to the vet because he was drinking up a storm. I was prepared then to tell me he had diabetes. Everything came back fine. This is a really good vet too. The one thing he hasn't done 'yet' is miss the litter box, but he was doing this thing, where he walked in and then out of his litter box, almost like it was in his way. He wasn't going to it to use it. I know he has cataracts, but he's been checked for that a lot, and the vet doesn't seem to think it's that bad yet. Either he has dementia, or he's going blind, or perhaps he's lost his hearing, and is howling to hear himself, I don't know. He's not acting as though has some physical illness, like a fever, or anything like that, because he's not acting lethargic. It seems more neurological, IMO. He's also eating very little. Almost like he may be forgetting to eat. We were trying to get him to stop meowing on top of his lungs by using a water bottle. He stands there and let's you use it on him. He used to run from it. Then we tried to get a Dustbuster out, and vacuum the doorway where he was sitting. We showed it to him first, seeing if that would make him stop. Nothing. Nothing deters him. This doesn't seem to be a behavioral problem, like acting out of defiance. It just doesn't make sense. He's apparently at that age where 50% of cats develop dementia. He's being tested at the hospital now. I'm ready to hear that he has dementia, or maybe feline leukemia. It's heartbreaking. So there's my tale of woe so far. Has anyone else been through this -- a cat with dementia? What behavior were they exhibiting? How did you treat it? I'm more so interested in what you did about the howling, if your cat was doing that. I'm waiting for my neighbors to call CPS, thinking we're neglecting an infant.


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