Cognitive Dysfunction in Senior Cats

Crowell-Davis, S. L. (2008). “Cognitive dysfunction in senior pets.” Comp Contin Edu Pract Vet 30(2): 106-110.

In recent years, improvements in veterinary care for cats has led to a steadily growing population of senior cats. This compels us to improve our understanding of and treatments for behavioral problems associated with this age group. Cognitive dysfunction (CD) can cause changes in behavior secondary to declining mental function. There is no specific test for CD; rather veterinarians must evaluate owner observations of changes in behavior and rule out other possible causes for these changes. Once CD has been diagnosed, treatment is multi-factorial. While several medications have been approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimer’s disease in humans, only one approved drug exists for CD in animals and it is approved only for dogs (Anipryl; Pfizer). Other treatments include dietary therapy, and environmental and behavior modification. The goal is to improve the quality and prolong the duration of life in senior cats with CD.
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Related articles:
Landsberg, G. (2006). “Therapeutic options for cognitive decline in senior pets.” J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 42(6): 407-13.
>> PubMed abstract