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Changes in behavior

Behavior changes in your pet can serve as the first indicators of aging. These changes might be due to discomfort or pain (arthritis, etc.) or worsening sight or hearing, but they may also be due to the normal aging process. Some behavior changes in older pets may be due to cognitive dysfunction, which is similar to senility in people.


Common behavior changes in older pets that may be signs of cognitive dysfunction:

  • easily disturbed by loud sounds

  • unusually aggressive behavior

  • increased barking/meowing

  • anxiety or nervousness

  • confused or disoriented behavior

  • increased wandering

  • house soiling (“accidents”)

  • changes in sleep patterns

  • less interest in playing

  • repeating the same

  • not responding to voice commands

  • more grouchy or irritable than usual

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