Cat health Tip: give this supplement to your old, senile cat

Due partly to improved nutrition, domestic cats are living longer. Some people argue that humans live too long! I am one of those people but this is about cats and as they live longer there is a greater possibility that they will become senile. Feline senility appears to be increasingly common. In many cases this is just a manifestation of old age and not the result of an illness of some sort such as a brain tumour.

Pops an elderly rescue cat
Pops an elderly rescue cat. Photo: in public domain. Pops is also partially-sighted.

Incidence of senility

A study found that more than 25% of cats in the age bracket 11-14 had signs of true senility. In cats older than 15, senility affected around half. It's caused by reduced blood flow to the brain and damage caused by free radicals. Arteriosclerosis and other health conditions causing high blood pressure, blood clotting, anaemia or reduced blood flow can contribute to senility.

Aktivait

Aktivait for cats.
Aktivait for cats.

A health tip from the esteemed veterinarian and author Dr. Bruce Fogle is to provide your elderly cat with a supplement called Aktivait. He is enthusiastic about it. He said that when it was given to older dogs for two months it resulted in a "significant improvement in signs of disorientation, social interaction and house soiling".

It contains omega-3 fish oils, vitamin E, vitamin C, L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q, phosphotidylserine, and selenium. You can buy Altivait for cats although at the time that he wrote his book Complete Cat Care there were no similar studies on the product for cats. He recommends it nonetheless and he warns cat owners to not give canine Aktivait to your cat as alpha lipoic acid is toxic to cats.

It gets a five star rating from 32 reviews on petdrugsonline.com. I am not being paid to promote this supplement. The information is provided to try and improve the lives of elderly cats.

Signs of senility

Signs of senility can be subtle but when combined they are pretty clear. You might see a combination of the following: a blank expression, repetitive or stereotyped pacing continuously, poor grooming, disorientation, a delay in recognising people they know or places objects they know, becoming lost in familiar surroundings, "going to the wrong side of a closed door when asked to go through" (Bruce Fogle), increased sleeping during the day, decreased night-time sleeping, disturbed sleep, decreased enthusiasm when greeting you, slow responses when you request they come to you for example, decreased interest in playing, increased irritability and incomplete social interactions.

Please tell me in a comment if you are giving your cat Aktivait. I'd be interested in hearing from you.

My elderly cat has dementia and I feel that he is better since taking these. - Lesley Harston Wednesday, 1 September 2021

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