Potential Causes of Increased Vocalisation in Elderly Cats with Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome as assessed by their owners

Petra Cerna, H. Gardiner, Lorena Sordo Sordo, C. Tornqvist-Johnsen, Danielle Gunn-Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Abstract: The objectives of this study were to explore owner perception of thecauses of increased vocalisation in cats diagnosed with cognitive dysfunction syndrome(CDS), and consider what impact this vocalisation may have on the cat’shousehold. Owners of cats diagnosed with CDS that presented with increasedvocalisation were invited to complete an online survey. The survey consisted of28 questions including the cat’s signalment, its medical history, and questionspertaining to the owner’s perception of what motivated their cat´s increasedvocalisation. This was determined by looking at the cat’s behaviour whenvocalising, where it was looking when it was vocalising, and if thevocalisation stopped when the owner interacted with it, e.g. petting it, orfeeding it. The owners were also asked how stressful they found their cat’svocalisation. There were 37 responses. Themajority of owners reported that the main cause of their cat’svocalisation appeared to be disorientation (40.5%) or attention seeking (40.5%). Seeking a resource such as food wasreported in 16.2%, and pain was perceived to be the cause in only 2.7% ofcats.  However, the majority of owners(64.8%) believed there was >1 cause of their cat’s increased vocalisation. Importantly,when owners were asked how stressful they found their cat’s increasedvocalisation, 40.5% scored ≥3 (where 1=not stressful; 5=significantly stressful). This study provides novel insight intoowner perception of feline CDS, as well as potential causes for increasedvocalisation; this will allow veterinarians to better advise owners on how tomanage their cat with CDS.

Original languageEnglish
Early online date24 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • feline
  • dementia
  • CDS
  • geriatric
  • crying


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