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Cat Tips

Assemble a feline first-aid kit. Be sure to include hydrogen peroxide, hydrocortisone ointment, absorbent cotton, a pair of tweezers, sterile eyewash solution, and a syringe for giving oral medications.

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Expert Q&A

My older female cat seems to stare into space and meow to herself for no apparent reason. What could explain this puzzling behavior?

My older female cat seems to stare into space and meow to herself for no apparent reason. What could explain this puzzling behavior?

BY: The Daily Cat experts

Meowing in the quirky way you describe can be explained in many different ways. Certain breeds tend to meow more than others. Siamese cats, for example, often seem to have a lot to communicate. Individual cats may just vocalize more. Your cat could also be hard of hearing. However, something else may be going on.

First, have your cat’s thyroid checked out by a veterinarian. Sometimes a condition called hyperthyroidism will cause excessive meowing, along with weight loss and other symptoms.

If your cat receives a clean bill of health, then she might be suffering from feline dementia. Danielle Gunn-Moore, a specialist in feline medicine at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal School of Veterinary Studies, and colleagues investigated cats to see if they suffered from an Alzheimer’s-like disease and, if so, to see what might cause it. They indeed found that cats could succumb to feline Alzheimer’s disease, with elderly cats more susceptible. “As with humans, the life expectancy of cats is increasing, and with this longer life runs the greater chance of developing dementia,” explains Gunn-Moore. She added that studies “suggest that 28 percent of pet cats aged 11 to 14 years develop at least one old-age-related behavior problem, and this increases to more than 50 percent for cats over the age of 15.”

Even if your cat has this problem, she may have many good years of living ahead. Not all elderly cats suffer from dementia, so she may just have a lot to tell you -- and the universe.

Tags: cat behavior


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