My 17 1/2 yr. old cat is slowing down. Lately he has been acting a little senile. I saw him eating

He has been eating litter for days and I just found out. I wondered why he had litter on his face! He is still eating some of his food and his output equals his intake in the litter box. He is a cancer surgery survivor, but has been relatively healthy up until now. He is just acting like a totally different cat. He doesn't seem to be in pain. Can cats get senile? Some days he sits in the middle of the room and looks lost. He is doing things he never has in almost 18 yrs. I can't get off to take him to the Vet for a week! I'm panic stricken. Thanks for any input.- D. Roberts

Best Answers

  • sherry LaRosa-Silvestrisherry LaRosa-Silvestri willow groveMember Posts: 888
    Accepted Answer
    My cat, Tippy, did this when she had chronic renal failure and cancer. In my opinion (only from experience) I think it is because they are anemic. Since your cat has had cancer, he may be a little anemic. You could try using puppy pads instead of a litter box. Clumping litter will obstruct their bowels if ingested. My veterinarian did not know why my cat ate cat litter, but I think that anemia is a logical answer. I am glad that your cat is a cancer survivor and has lived a long life. Unfortunately, my Tippy passed away at age 11-1/2 years due to her illnesses. Hope I have helped you and that kitty gets better!
  • ALLEYCATANGELALLEYCATANGEL Member Posts: 536 ✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    Hello I think age could be part of the reason he sometimes sits and looks lost I know we saw that in my kitty cat skids as she got older around 18 yrs she also had CRF about then so it might be a combination of an illness along with the age. I understand it is really bad for them to eat the litter because of the clumping maybe you could change to plain sand until he sees the vet. Seems like the vet did say they sometimes do that when they get anemic. So glad he is a strong survivor but it sounds like he migh be at the age when CRF starts there are lots of things your vet can help you do to make them more comfortable in their older years.
  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    Cats can absolutely get "senile" and suffer from dementia just like humans do. And, the symptoms are much the same. Could you call your vet and ask for an after hours appointment? Since your cat obviously needs to be seen quickly, if you've been a loyal patient of their's, they may be willing to see you after you get home from work. There is medication he can be given for the felina dementia. And, as the other have said, he should really be tested for Chronic Renal Failure. Until you cat get him to his doctor, you'll need to supervise him closely. Is there anyone who can come during the day to visit him?
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