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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20580
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My 13 year old rag doll Tom cat has started to wonder around

Resolved Question:

My 13 year old rag doll Tom cat has started to wonder around the house meowing then he scratches at the door or window ,it seems to go on for ages pacing then howling then scratching .he seems lost a little ,lights are on no one at home kinda thing he dosnt seem in pain and after the 1st episode I took him to the vet he didn't think he was ill ....any ideas ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help. Now when an elderly cat develops the behavioural signs you are reporting with Moocat, this raises 2 concerns. Specifically, this vocalization/disorientation/pacing behaviour can be seen with cats suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) or feline dementia. With these in mind, to get to the root cause for him, we tend to need to focus on ruling out the high blood pressure since there are no specific tests for dementia. Therefore, often we will start by checking their blood pressure. This is something that is done conscious and can often be performed during a consult (or sometimes we will admit stressy cats to let them settle before taking a reading). If it is high, there are treatments that can be used to bring this down and the vocalizing usually declines with the blood pressure. At the same time, since high blood pressure can be precipitated by underlying kidney issues, heart issues, or metabolic conditions (ie hyperthyroidism); we'd want his vet to perform a full physical and check a geriatric feline blood panel. If anything found amiss, then we can treat that (usually treating the underlying condition helps the blood pressure or that can be treated itself) and the behaviour should settle.Though if he is tested and found to have a normal blood pressure, then we can breathe a wee sigh of relief and turn our focus on the 'harder to diagnose' conditions that can be associated with older age. In older cats, any change in environment and coping with his own older age (ie. sight deterioration, mental confusion, etc), can be daunting for kitties. And in these cases, a cat may be vocalizing because he is struggling to get used to a change. And there are things we can do to help support him with that situation as well. To give him the feeling of a peaceful safe environment, you might want to consider some de-stressing tools. Feliway, (also known as Comfort Zone in the US pet stores) is a synthetic cat pheromone that helps to soothe kitty anxiety. This can be used as a spray (that can be used on furniture or his cat bed) or a plug-in diffuser (that can be used in the room Moocat is in most often). This may just be enough to soothe him and help him cope with being in this aged situation. As well, there is also a diet on the market called Calm by Royal Canin. This contains a number of supplements that have been found to provide stress relief to cats. As well, there are nutritional supplements like Kalmaid or Zylkene, which use a casein protein to soothe anxious cats. Overall, I would advise ruling out hypertension/high blood pressure if he has started to show these signs. If that is normal for him, then we'd have to consider feline anxiety/dementia being the cause of his signs and could take the above steps to ease his anxiety and help him cope with aging.Please take care, Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is the only way I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
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