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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32747
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Hi, I am very concerned about my 19 year old cat (bonnie)she

Customer Question

Hi, I am very concerned about my 19 year old cat (bonnie)she is acting very strange. Every time she eats her meals she runs out of the kitchen and runs up the stairs like she has been shot out of a cannon, once up the stairs into the bedroom she starts talking and sits and looks at the wardrobe doors wanders around as if she is looking for something and all the time talking this could last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. She then runs again from the bedroom to the bathroom and it starts again. Is this normal or is something spooking her.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
My first thought was that eating causes acute pain prompting her running from the kitchen as you've described. Her not understanding that pain would then prompt her behavior change upstairs. At 19 years of age there's likely to be advanced periodontal disease in her mouth and a painful tooth is likely. Similarly, our geriatrics are prone to oral cancers and so it would be prudent to have Bonnie's vet carefully examine Bonnie's mouth at this time.

We should also conjecture that cognitive dysfunction (senility) is a possibility. Any abrupt change in behavior in a 19 year old such as you've described might arise from senility or an organic brain problem such as tumor or degenerative disorders or an encephalopathy (brain disorder) resulting from failure of Bonnie's liver or kidneys. This would be a challenge to confirm without biochemical testing and possibly MRI. Blood and urine tests might be suggested by Bonnie's vet. I understand that an MRI, however, isn't reasonable.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.