What is the strange behavior of older cats?

You may start to notice a few modifications in your cat's health, look, and temperament as they get older. Of course, growing older is a perfectly normal process. Senior cats, like people, may lose some of their vitality, develop new interests, and develop age-related illnesses like arthritis. These changes are normal, and with a few care modifications (and routine veterinary checkups), they should fully enjoy their senior years.

Some senior cats, though, could also experience behavioral changes. They might no longer enjoy playing, resist being touched, or even act aggressively. Others could appear abnormally perplexed, especially if there are sudden changes in the environment. But how much of this is simply a natural aspect of aging, and at what point should I consult a veterinarian?

1 - Litter box changes

Senior Cat

It may be due to aging-related changes if your cat, who is typically meticulous, starts eliminating outside of the litter box. Although many people mistake this for a sort of "cat dementia," old cats may appear to have forgotten the years of training they have undergone. This is referred to as "cognitive dysfunction."

Your cat can become disoriented or forget that they are meant to pee or urinate when this occurs. You can only really help your cat find their litter box by making it as simple as possible for them to do so. Try shifting the litter box there, for instance, if they consistently urinate there. Patience and empathy are essential if they still refuse to use their litter box.

Yet, urine or feces in unexpected locations may be a symptom of a number of other illnesses, including feline UT, constipation, and even vision loss. Because of this, you should never assume that your cat's strange behavior is the result of aging-related disorientation but instead always take them to the veterinarian for a checkup.

2 - Getting either less or more sleep than normal

Senior Cat

A shift in a cat's sleeping patterns is another indication of aging behavior. Older cats may sleep more than they did in the past. They typically have somewhat less energy, which is why. Ensure they have a calm, quiet place to sleep, and allow them to nod off whenever they feel like it. It's crucial to adapt an elderly cat's diet to suit their fluctuating energy levels in order to prevent them from consuming excessive amounts of calories.

Alternately, some senior cats can seem to sleep less and even act restless during the night. They frequently sleep more throughout the day, which explains this. There is nothing to be concerned about if they are generally getting enough sleep. However, always consult a veterinarian if in doubt.

3 - Not answering when called or when loud noises are made.


Your senior cat may be suffering from hearing loss if you notice that their ears no longer react to loud or strange noises or if you call their name. They most likely haven't 'lost' their name or developed an immunity to strange noises; instead, they simply have poor hearing. It is easy for deaf cats to go unreported because of their ability to compensate for their hearing loss with their other senses. Loud meowing or any form of disorientation may also be signs of deafness brought on by natural hearing loss.

Take your elderly cat to the doctor to make sure they are not suffering from an ear infection or another treatable ailment if you believe their behavior is unusual and they are experiencing hearing loss.

4 - Less playing

Senior Cat

The diminished interest in playing is another typical senior cat trait. Perhaps they no longer seem to be interested in their favorite toy, or they grow tired easily and would rather take a nap. It can be upsetting or even alarming, but it's very natural for senior cats to gradually lose interest in play. Younger cats, especially kittens, use play to learn about their surroundings and exhibit their natural impulses. Senior cats have fewer reasons to do this, and when you add in their fluctuating energy levels, they might not even want to play. In older cats, a decline in play interest is frequently natural. However, if the habit change is extremely abrupt or drastic, visit a veterinarian to ensure everything else is right.

5 - Switching up your diet


Generally speaking, cats are pickier eaters than dogs; it's a fact of life. Yet, if your elderly cat is particularly unwilling to eat, it can be an indication that their appetite is being affected by aging-related changes.

Lack of curiosity about food may result from a variety of common dental issues that make chewing painful, or it could be a sign that they are ill. It is therefore recommended to speak with a veterinarian who can conduct additional research. Your elderly cat, on the other hand, can have a bigger hunger or thirst. A veterinarian will be able to look into it. In some cases, this may be caused by a condition like diabetes or hyperthyroidism.

6 - Aggression

Senior Cat

It's possible that an underlying age-related factor is to blame if your elderly cat has started acting more aggressively towards people or other animals. They could be less tolerant of regular alterations or intruders in the home if they have developed strong habits. On the other side, their aggression might also be brought on by a medical condition; if you suspect anything is wrong, bring them to the doctor.

Sometimes, taking care of elderly cats can be very stressful and upsetting. If you see any strange or out-of-the-ordinary behaviors, don't be afraid to talk to your veterinarian.

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