Just like humans, more and more cats and dogs suffer from a form of dementia called cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) when they’re already in their senior years. The syndrome is associated with age-related changes in the brain, leading to distinct changes in an animal’s responsiveness, memory, and learning. It can even cause anxiety in pets as they age. More animal care tips here.
Signs of CDS in pets
- Disorientation—A senior cat or dog may appear confused or get lost even in familiar environments.
- There are changes in the interaction between humans and other pets as mental changes result in irritability
- There is a distinct change in the sleeping patterns of affected pets. Some sleep more during the day or are awake most of the night.
- Learned behaviors, such as housetraining, may deteriorate and the senior pet may start committing potty accidents around the home.
- Affected pets may engage in wandering aimlessly or develop compulsive behaviors, such as excessive grooming or licking.
- There are also changes in the activity levels of affected pets.