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Hearts break as 20-year-old cat with dementia begs grandma for cuddles
2024/01/14

A heart-wrenching moment captured the attention of viewers worldwide, as a 20-year-old cat suffering from dementia longed for affection. The emotional video, shared on TikTok by user @drharriet, showed the elderly feline gently seeking attention from her owner's mother. The accompanying text overlay explained that despite not recognizing her surroundings, the cat adored her owner's mom more than anything in the world.

Within a short period of time, the video went viral, amassing over 560,000 views and eliciting a flood of emotional responses from viewers. Many commenters expressed surprise and empathy towards the cat's condition, shedding light on this lesser-known feline health issue.

Just like humans, cats can experience cognitive problems as they age. Feline dementia, also known as cognitive dysfunction syndrome, shares similarities with Alzheimer's disease and is characterized by behavioral and cognitive changes. Symptoms of dementia in cats include a lack of interest in play, disorientation, wandering away from home, confusion, changes in appetite, and disturbances in sleep patterns.

Senior cats are more prone to developing dementia, with approximately 25% of cats aged 11 to 14 displaying at least one sign of the condition. The likelihood increases in cats over 15 years old.

Although there is no cure for dementia in cats, there are ways to manage the condition and enhance the pet's quality of life. Suggestions for helping cats adapt to life with dementia include ensuring easy access to basic needs, maintaining a consistent environment, using night-lights to regulate sleep cycles, and providing mental stimulation.

The heartwarming TikTok video resonated with viewers, triggering hundreds of comments. Many shared their own encounters with senior cats, while others acknowledged the challenges of dealing with dementia in pets while emphasizing the joy and love they bring.

One comment perfectly encapsulated the empathy viewers felt: "It's so sad that animals go through this; poor angels don't understand."

Another viewer expressed surprise at learning that cats could suffer from dementia, admitting that the video brought tears to their eyes. They concluded by stating, "All cats need their person. I need to go find my cat now for cuddles."

This heartbreaking moment is not the first of its kind to tug at the heartstrings of online audiences. Similar stories have emerged, such as the cat who mistook slippers for her kittens in 2006 and the senior cat plagued by nightmares, seeking comfort.

Fortunately, it was revealed in the video's caption that the cat's request for affection was granted, and she received a comforting cuddle shortly after the video was taken.

Newsweek has reached out to @drharriet via TikTok for further comment on the touching video.

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