Older cats can be agitated and irritable as they age. This article will explain the cause of this attitude and what to do.
Is your senior cat agitated? Most older cats show agitation and irritability as they age.
Old age in cats often leads to cognitive decline, the latter, indicated by the acronym FCD (feline cognitive dysfunction) affects just over half of cats aged 11-15 years and more than half of cats aged between 16-20 years.
Cats with cognitive decline can worsen the sense of sight, hearing, learning ability and memory. This can cause behavioral changes in older cats and increase their anxiety and aggression.
In fact, some of the effects of aging in a cat suffering from FCD are behaviors linked to anxiety and irritability, increased vocalizations during the night and reversed sleep cycles. If your cat exhibits these behavioral changes, it may be advisable to have him examined by the vet.
Agitated senior cat: causes and remedies
As we said earlier, a cat suffering from cognitive decline can have problems with the sleep-wake cycle.
But it should be noted that there may also be other reasons why the cat has increased activity during the night, for example the cat who sleeps more during the day can become agitated at night.
Sensory changes, such as hearing and vision loss, also affect the importance of your cat’s sleep and cause it to wake up during the night.
At this point it would be advisable to ask the veterinarian to carry out precise tests to identify the medical problems that could cause agitation in the elderly cat, and to try to restore its sleep-wake cycle.
Anxiety in cats is another cause that could cause your cat to be agitated during the night. It could be an anxiety of separation from family members while they sleep, or the cat‘s worry about wandering around the house in the dark.
The cat may walk around the room keeping you awake, or paw and purr to ask for your attention and thus disturb your sleep as well.
You should consult your vet to see if drug therapy could help your cat cope with FCD anxiety.