More than a quarter of cat owners don’t know their pets may have dementia

Early signs of dementia in pets include sleeping more and eating less – but many owners just ignore this as their dog and cat will age

More sleep could be an early sign of dementia - but pet owners assume it's simply getting older
More sleep could be an early sign of dementia – but pet owners assume it’s simply getting older

More than one in four cat and dog Owners don’t know their pet can develop age-related dementia.

A study of 2,000 cat owners found that many are unaware of the early signs, such as confusion, anxiety, restlessness and decreased desire to play – and half won’t be confident enough to recognize the symptoms. in their pets.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) will cause their pets to change their behavior significantly as they age.

For people who currently or previously have an older dog or cat, loss of appetite and decreased desire to play are the most common changes they’ve seen in their aging pets.

Although many people have previously considered changes in sleep cycles to age – rather than the onset of dementia.

More than half admit they will do whatever it takes to support their pet if it is diagnosed with dementia, as they consider them part of the family.

Dogs and cats can also lose their appetite due to dementia


Auscape / Universal Image Group / Getty Images)

The study was commissioned by Vets4Pets, to mark the first time Pet’s amnesia daytakes place on Monday, March 7.

The day is likely to shed light on conditions and raise awareness of symptoms, so many pet owners feel confident in their ability to spot early warning signs.

Dr Huw Stacey, Clinical Services Director at Vets4Pets, said: “Sadly, age-related dementia is a degenerative disease that can affect many of our beloved pets throughout their lifespan and we believe there may be close to a million elderly cats and dogs. in the UK living with an undiagnosed condition.

“We want to help raise awareness about the condition of dogs and cats so pet owners feel more confident knowing what symptoms to look out for – like early diagnosis and the right treatment, there are many ways owners can help with this. Pet ownership can help alleviate symptoms for their pets.

“Both improving the diet and increasing mental stimulation can help improve brain health, possibly slow the progression of dementia in pets, and there are drugs and substances Specific supplements can also help.”

Of those surveyed, more than a third (37%) had at least one cat or dog diagnosed with dementia.

And more than a third of these diagnoses come after they take their pet to the vet for what they suspect is something else.

In fact, one in five respondents had no idea it could be dementia before they even visited where the condition was diagnosed.

Giving their pets lots of love and care ranks as the top way owners will seek to support their four-legged friend if they are diagnosed.

And two out of five people realize that keeping their home and surroundings as friendly and close as possible is an important way to help their cat or dog.

During the survey, as panelists learned more about the condition, more than eight out of ten said they would then make sure they looked for signs of dementia when their pet grow old.

Dr. Huw Stacey recommends that pet owners take their animals to the vet more often for checkups.


Huw Stacey / Vets4Pets)

While 80% wish they had known more about pet dementia before they could make a diagnosis for their pet.

Research conducted through OnePoll has further found that 35% of pet owners have or will increase the number of routine veterinary visits as their pets get older.

Slowing down, getting more sleep, and changing appetite are the most common changes owners associate with their pets getting older.

More than three out of five admit they can feel confused about the signs of when they should take their pet to the vet.

And up to a third have even delayed taking their pet to the vet because they worry they might get bad news.

Dr Huw Stacey added: “It’s obvious that many pet owners may be apprehensive about bringing their pet to the vet, it’s just a testament to how much they care. .

“And while there is much we should be doing at home to keep our pets happy and healthy – such as making sure they get enough exercise and a safe, comfortable environment to live in – Routine check-ups are also important if you suspect that your pet may have dementia.

“Our ultimate goal is to help pet owners care for their pets so they live longer, healthier, and happier lives.”

For pet owners worried if their pets may have dementia, Vets4Pets has created online dementia symptom checkers for cats and dog.

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Fry Electronics Team

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