cognitive dysfunction

The Sad Truths About Feline Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

feline-cognitive-dysfunction

Guest post by Ingrid R. Niesman, MS PhD

If you start your day wondering where your car keys are, think how your cat feels when they can’t find their favorite toy anymore? Humans with cognitive decline, be it Alzheimer’s disease or any number of Lewy Body dementia diseases, have resources such as memory care facilities to aid families in care-giving. Cats with symptomatic cognitive dysfunction syndrome (fCDS) are sadly considered disposable.Continue Reading

From Cells to Siamese: Advancing Our Understanding of Cognitive Dysfunction

siamese-cat

Guest post by Ingrid R. Niesman, MS PhD

Anyone who has lost a beloved relative or cherished pet to dementia knows the tremendous personal cost. My phone and computer screens still display 19-year-old Mr. Spock, although he left us in October of 2013. His last years were marked with curious Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms, most notably tremors, loss of appetite and a pronounced head tilt. However, he maintained his dignity and profound loving nature to the end. It was the beginning of my personal journey to understand feline cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), although I had no concept that such a clinical condition even existed.Continue Reading

Feline Dementia

senior_cat

Can cats get Alzheimer’s and dementia? As cats are living longer, they get diseases that are commonly associated with aging.  If your senior cat seems to be a bit forgetful at times, meows loudly or seems anxious for seemingly no reason, or appears to get lost in the house, he may be showing signs of the feline version of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Can cats get Alzheimer’s?

In 2006, scientists at the University of Edinburgh identified a protein that can build up in cats’ brain nerve cells and cause mental deterioration. “We’ve known for a long time that cats develop dementia, but this study tells us that the cat’s neural system is being compromised in a similar fashion to that we see in human Alzheimer’s sufferers,” says Danielle Gunn-Moore, one of the researchers participating in the study.  “Recent studies suggest that 28 percent of pet cats aged 11-14 years develop at least one old-age related behavior problem, and this increases to more than 50 percent for cats over the age of 15,” adds Gunn-Moore. For more on the study, please read Cats Can Get Alzheimer’s on the Washington Post website.

Symptoms of dementia

The following symptoms can be indicators for feline dementia:Continue Reading