PDA

View Full Version : Bandit Becoming Senile?


CatNipped
February 26th 07, 04:49 PM
I will never, *EVER* understand the way cats think - *IF* that's what you
can call it!

Bandit is 17 years old and totally blind (she's been blind for a little over
a year now - see below). She manages to make her way around the downstairs
of my home quite well using the walls and familiar "landmarks" to figure out
where she is and where she's going. I have a ramp for her to make her way
on and off my bed (the place she spends most of her time):

http://www.possibleplaces.com/CatNipped/Bandit24/100_0307.jpg

But even if she is comfortable roaming around in the dark I can't see why
she would do something like this!

In my garage there is a 4.5 foot tall workbench that runs the entire wall
that abuts the house:

http://www.possibleplaces.com/CatNipped/House/DCP_1667.jpg.

Since this picture was taken (but, after thinking about this I recalled,
before Bandit became blind) we moved the coffee table that we're refinishing
(lower left-hand corner in this picture) right next to the workbench.

The other day, Bandit went into the garage (I'm presuming to use her litter
box) but decided to jump up onto the coffee table. From the coffee table
she jumped up to a box that was butted up to the coffee table and the
workbench. From there she jumped up to a higher box, and from there jumped
up to the workbench. Well, getting up there was a breeze, she just put her
paws on the next higher surface and jumped up. However, she didn't consider
how she was going to get down again! She tried reaching out to feel for the
last surface she jumped from but couldn't stretch far enough down to reach
even if she hadn't moved from the spot where she first jumped from the
top-most box.. She was afraid to just jump down blindly, and was well and
truly in a pickle!

I was upstairs when I heard a terrible yowling - it sounded like a banshee
in torment! I rushed downstairs to see who was being tortured and killed
and found Miss Bandit standing in the middle of the workbench waiting for me
to rescue her. All that would have been fine except the little bit*h had
the nerve to bite me when I picked her up to put her back safely on the
floor!!!

OK, I suppose in her mind it was all my fault for having moved the coffee
table. However, I have not moved the stool in my bathroom since we moved
into this house three years ago, yet while I was in the shower yesterday
Bandit came into the bathroom and jumped up to my stool then onto my sink,
and found herself in the exact same predicament! [At least this time I was
prepared for her "gratitude" and kept my fingers, hands and arms out of
reach of her teeth!]

I'm worried that she may be growing senile or that her brain is
malfunctioning (see below re cause of her blindness), I can't figure why
else she would start doing such stupid things! I'm afraid she might do
something like this when I'm not home and either be stuck or try jumping
down and hurt herself. I hesitate to keep her confined to one room where
she can't jump up on anything, I'd rather see her keep as active as possible
for as long as possible.

I've already talked to her vet and she didn't have any advice except to
suggest keeping her confined. Her last check-up was just a few weeks ago -
she is in great health for a cat her age (BUN and creatinin levels are fine,
blood pressure is great, she's eating heartily and drinking enough water).

The vet said that the blindness is probably caused by a tumor growing on the
front, underside of her brain (her retinas are not detached and all the
blood vessels in her eyes look healthy). I didn't take her for further
testing to confirm or refute the brain tumor theory since, if it's there,
there is nothing that can be done for her and at her age I didn't want to
put her through the stress of more poking and prodding for no good reason.

Anyway, does anyone have any other suggestions about how I can keep her
safe?

Hugs,

CatNipped

bookie
February 26th 07, 06:53 PM
On 26 Feb, 15:49, "CatNipped" > wrote:
> I will never, *EVER* understand the way cats think - *IF* that's what you
> can call it!
>
> Bandit is 17 years old and totally blind (she's been blind for a little over
> a year now - see below). She manages to make her way around the downstairs
> of my home quite well using the walls and familiar "landmarks" to figure out
> where she is and where she's going. I have a ramp for her to make her way
> on and off my bed (the place she spends most of her time):
>
> http://www.possibleplaces.com/CatNipped/Bandit24/100_0307.jpg
>
> But even if she is comfortable roaming around in the dark I can't see why
> she would do something like this!
>
> In my garage there is a 4.5 foot tall workbench that runs the entire wall
> that abuts the house:
>
> http://www.possibleplaces.com/CatNipped/House/DCP_1667.jpg.
>
> Since this picture was taken (but, after thinking about this I recalled,
> before Bandit became blind) we moved the coffee table that we're refinishing
> (lower left-hand corner in this picture) right next to the workbench.
>
> The other day, Bandit went into the garage (I'm presuming to use her litter
> box) but decided to jump up onto the coffee table. From the coffee table
> she jumped up to a box that was butted up to the coffee table and the
> workbench. From there she jumped up to a higher box, and from there jumped
> up to the workbench. Well, getting up there was a breeze, she just put her
> paws on the next higher surface and jumped up. However, she didn't consider
> how she was going to get down again! She tried reaching out to feel for the
> last surface she jumped from but couldn't stretch far enough down to reach
> even if she hadn't moved from the spot where she first jumped from the
> top-most box.. She was afraid to just jump down blindly, and was well and
> truly in a pickle!
>
> I was upstairs when I heard a terrible yowling - it sounded like a banshee
> in torment! I rushed downstairs to see who was being tortured and killed
> and found Miss Bandit standing in the middle of the workbench waiting for me
> to rescue her. All that would have been fine except the little bit*h had
> the nerve to bite me when I picked her up to put her back safely on the
> floor!!!
>
> OK, I suppose in her mind it was all my fault for having moved the coffee
> table. However, I have not moved the stool in my bathroom since we moved
> into this house three years ago, yet while I was in the shower yesterday
> Bandit came into the bathroom and jumped up to my stool then onto my sink,
> and found herself in the exact same predicament! [At least this time I was
> prepared for her "gratitude" and kept my fingers, hands and arms out of
> reach of her teeth!]
>
> I'm worried that she may be growing senile or that her brain is
> malfunctioning (see below re cause of her blindness), I can't figure why
> else she would start doing such stupid things! I'm afraid she might do
> something like this when I'm not home and either be stuck or try jumping
> down and hurt herself. I hesitate to keep her confined to one room where
> she can't jump up on anything, I'd rather see her keep as active as possible
> for as long as possible.
>
> I've already talked to her vet and she didn't have any advice except to
> suggest keeping her confined. Her last check-up was just a few weeks ago -
> she is in great health for a cat her age (BUN and creatinin levels are fine,
> blood pressure is great, she's eating heartily and drinking enough water).
>
> The vet said that the blindness is probably caused by a tumor growing on the
> front, underside of her brain (her retinas are not detached and all the
> blood vessels in her eyes look healthy). I didn't take her for further
> testing to confirm or refute the brain tumor theory since, if it's there,
> there is nothing that can be done for her and at her age I didn't want to
> put her through the stress of more poking and prodding for no good reason.
>
> Anyway, does anyone have any other suggestions about how I can keep her
> safe?
>
> Hugs,
>
> CatNipped

i have not advcie unfortunately but I think it is true that cats can
go senile intheir old age, and there has been reserach recently into
cats developing a form of alzheimers later in life too which does
cause memory loss. certainly in the human form of alzheimers there is
impairment of spatial working memory and other memory (visual but that
won't affect bandit obviously) needed to remember where things liek
tabels and boxes etc are and since she can't look for these things she
probably depends more than most cats on her spatial working memory to
recall a sort fo 'mental map' of the area she lives in.

I remember in the last 6 months of jaspers life, if I was upstairs and
he was downstairs (me having just a few minutes previously gone
upstairs ansd him watching me do it usually) i would hear a pitiful
cry and yowl of an abandoned cat who had been left all alone in a
house, cruelly abandoned by his heartless owners, with no food or
water, cold and alone and unloved.....Then i would lean over the
bannister, call for jasper and he would run up the stairs as fast as
he could with little chirrups of joy as if to shout "there you are!!!
I thought you had abandoned me forever!!!". A long session of fuss and
reassurance and cuddles and purrs would then follow as jasper settled
down to a snooze on my bed after his awful scary experience of
apparantly being left all alone in the world.

it was obvious that he had forgotten seeing me go upstairs and because
he could not see me at all he probably thought he had been abandoned
as before (his previous mum had died and he gad been left alone in her
house for 6 months by himself, fed every day by her son who visited),
he probably even forgot there was an 'upstairs' where i could have
gone until I called his name. At first it was kind of funny but I hate
to think how stressed he must have been during these episodes and how
confused and frightened too. He had to be PTS as the bladder tumour he
had got too big to be operated on, and he was too old to survive the
op anyway, as far as we knew he did not have a brain tumour but he was
not scanned for one and it is possible he could have had one linked to
the bladder one.

sorry i do not know what to suggest exceopt to say that what you
describe is not uncommon in older cats, if I find a link to the news
article about alzheimers in cats i will post it

best of luck, bookie

Rene S.
February 26th 07, 11:00 PM
>
> i have not advcie unfortunately but I think it is true that cats can
> go senile intheir old age, and there has been reserach recently into
> cats developing a form of alzheimers later in life too which does
> cause memory loss. certainly in the human form of alzheimers there is
> impairment of spatial working memory and other memory (visual but that
> won't affect bandit obviously) needed to remember where things liek
> tabels and boxes etc are and since she can't look for these things she
> probably depends more than most cats on her spatial working memory to
> recall a sort fo 'mental map' of the area she lives in.

Yes, there is a form of "alzheimer's" for cats. It's called Feline
Cognitive Disorder. My parents late cat. Berries, had this for about
the last two years of her life (she lived to 19). She would forget to
use her litterbox (despite it not being moved/changed), meow in
corners for no reason, etc. It was quite distressing to see. Their vet
put her on an antidepressant, which helped greatly, especially with
the litterbox problems.

I've done research on this disorder, but there's very little to be
found. I did read that a side effect of FCD is also deafness, which
Berries did have.

Hugs to you. I'm sure this isn't easy. If it were me, I'd close off
some rooms to the house I was leaving for a while, (rooms with high
boxes or other stuff she could get into) to prevent any possible
accidents.

Rene

CatNipped
February 26th 07, 11:41 PM
"Rene S." > wrote in message
ups.com...
>
>>
>> i have not advcie unfortunately but I think it is true that cats can
>> go senile intheir old age, and there has been reserach recently into
>> cats developing a form of alzheimers later in life too which does
>> cause memory loss. certainly in the human form of alzheimers there is
>> impairment of spatial working memory and other memory (visual but that
>> won't affect bandit obviously) needed to remember where things liek
>> tabels and boxes etc are and since she can't look for these things she
>> probably depends more than most cats on her spatial working memory to
>> recall a sort fo 'mental map' of the area she lives in.
>
> Yes, there is a form of "alzheimer's" for cats. It's called Feline
> Cognitive Disorder. My parents late cat. Berries, had this for about
> the last two years of her life (she lived to 19). She would forget to
> use her litterbox (despite it not being moved/changed), meow in
> corners for no reason, etc. It was quite distressing to see. Their vet
> put her on an antidepressant, which helped greatly, especially with
> the litterbox problems.
>
> I've done research on this disorder, but there's very little to be
> found. I did read that a side effect of FCD is also deafness, which
> Berries did have.
>
> Hugs to you. I'm sure this isn't easy. If it were me, I'd close off
> some rooms to the house I was leaving for a while, (rooms with high
> boxes or other stuff she could get into) to prevent any possible
> accidents.
>
> Rene

Yep, that's what I'm going to do, thanks. And thanks for the info!

Hugs,

CatNipped

-L.
February 27th 07, 09:06 AM
CatNipped wrote:
> I will never, *EVER* understand the way cats think - *IF* that's what you
> can call it!

I would suspect that she will start having neurological signs before
she shows signs of senility, if it is a tumor. Pressure from the tumor
will affect her brain and/or nerves and body functions will start
being disrupted. Senility is more a symptom of an overall
deterioration of the brain.

I'd keep her in familiar territory and just keep an eye on her as much
as you can. Ya gotta love the old ones - I have such a soft spot in
my heart for them!

-L.

CatNipped
February 27th 07, 02:53 PM
"Cheryl" > wrote in message
...
> On Mon 26 Feb 2007 10:49:16a, CatNipped wrote in
> rec.pets.cats.health+behav
> >:
>
>>
>> Anyway, does anyone have any other suggestions about how I can
>> keep her safe?
>
> Aw, bless her heart. Sounds more like she's getting just more
> acclimated to her lack of sight and trying to be more like a normal
> cat. I agree with one suggestion to close off areas where she can get
> in trouble when you're not home, or seclude her during those hours.
> Heck, cats sleep so much that she'll likely not miss being able to
> explore during the times you're not home.
>
> --
> Cheryl

I've gone through the downstairs again with an eye to things she might climb
on that would be dangerous for her to fall off of. I've moved any "stepping
stones" away from high places and am closing off the bathroom when I'm not
home. Hopefully that will keep her safe but still let her roam as much as
she wants (I really want to keep her as active and interested in life as
possible - I think even in cats that makes a difference not only in quantity
of life, but quality of life as well).

Hugs,

CatNipped

CatNipped
February 27th 07, 03:05 PM
"-L." > wrote in message
oups.com...
>
> CatNipped wrote:
>> I will never, *EVER* understand the way cats think - *IF* that's what you
>> can call it!
>
> I would suspect that she will start having neurological signs before
> she shows signs of senility, if it is a tumor. Pressure from the tumor
> will affect her brain and/or nerves and body functions will start
> being disrupted. Senility is more a symptom of an overall
> deterioration of the brain.

Yep, I think she's probably still way too canny yet to be labeled senile -
and Ben tells me she only pulls these adventures when *I'm* home, so it's
very possible that it's only an attention-getting ploy (in which case it
will still work - at 17yo and blind she can have all the attention she wants
from me!). And if it is a tumor, it's not exhibiting any other physical
symptoms besides the blindness. She's still as feisty as ever - when Sammy,
the dufus, tries to give her nose kisses she starts yowling and swatting at
the air in front of her (Sammy having wisely moved away after the quick
kiss), then sits back with as huff as if to say, "Yep, I showed that young
whipper-snapper a thing or two!" ;>.

> I'd keep her in familiar territory and just keep an eye on her as much
> as you can. Ya gotta love the old ones - I have such a soft spot in
> my heart for them!
>
> -L.

You're right, I've moved away all "stepping stones" from places that could
be dangerous for her to fall from and I'm closing off my bathroom now when
I'm not at home.

Cats are so amazing in the way they deal with adversity. Even at her age
she has taken her blindness in stride and continues on as if nothing were
the matter. She will walk across the floor, briskly, until she bumps into
something face-first, and then turns and continues on as if nothing
happened. How many humans would venture forth into the dark without
hesitation??!!!

Hugs,

CatNipped