Ask US Anything: Cat Dementia?, Ragdoll Kittens with Ongoing Diarrhea, Cat with Strange Odor

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Our “Ask US Anything” is a series of posts on the site where I share the questions/concerns/ideas that readers have sent in and then the responses from our readers about those questions/concerns/ideas.

Dementia in Senior Ragdoll Cat?

Lynn wrote in:

“My question: I have two senior rag dolls – 16 and 17. The male, Max, who is 16 is demonstrating really strange behavior. He howls frequently – where before he was the quietest cat on the planet. He seems confused at times and appears to have dementia. My vet has checked him thoroughly and we have changed up his diet because of Urinary issues but she gave him a clean bill of health otherwise. I guess my question is this: Do cats get dementia? I’ve researched this on the internet and am getting mixed reviews.

Max has been the most perfect cat I’ve ever owned. He has never hissed once is his life and is so sweet. But, I find myself reminding him that he does still have food and I and still around. Then, other times, he’s back to his normal perfect self.

I live in a area that does not have great cat care and would just be interested if there is anything I can do to make him more comfortable because it appears to me that he’s frightened at times. Heartbreaking.”

I replied:

Thank you for writing.

I have posted your concern on our Facebook page:

Please do check that link again in 24 hours as more people around the country have had a chance to respond.

My suggestion would be to have his blood drawn and have his kidneys checked.


Ragdoll Kittens with Ongoing Diarrhea

Rebecca wrote in:

“We got our first Ragdolls kittens this summer, and we are obsessed with them!

They are 2 of the best cats/kittens that I have ever had in my life.

Since we have gotten them, we have been dealing on and off with diarrhea. Their breeder (also a vet) had them on Royal Canin dry food. I prefer them to eat wet food, so I switched them to the Royal Canin wet food for kittens, occasionally supplementing them with the dry kibble. They love(d) the wet food. Then the loose bowels began. This has been a regular occurrence since the beginning of September. I contacted the breeder who suggested only giving only dry kibble, and then I took them to a different vet. The new vet treated them for worms, three different times. Seemed a bit extreme in my opinion, and they suggested a probiotic and different food. I was feeding them Nulo (different flavors) with the probiotic and that seemed to solve the issue for about a week and a half. So I contacted the breeder again who said it is what they are eating (I agree) and again suggested Royal Canin adult dry or Purina One dry. 🙁 They are currently eating Purina Pro Plan Kitten, and it has been a week with no loose bowels, but I hate the idea of them being on dry kibble but I think we are all thankful for no loose bowels. They hate baths and grooming sessions. Hahaha Anyway, I am also concerned about switching their food up so much, but I really prefer them to be on wet food. I have done a lot of reading, but it just gets to be overwhelming trying to figure out the right thing to do. I guess this is what people with children feel like!

I just want them to be happy, healthy kittens with long lives ahead of them. Maybe I am being overly protective, but I love them so much.”

I replied:

I posted your inquiry on our Facebook page and there looks to be some ideas:


Cat with Strange Odor

Lydia wrote in:

“I have a lovely big cat that my vet thinks has a large portion of Norwegian Forest Cat in his gene pool. He has subtle tabby markings, is predominantly black and gray and is quite furry with a long fluffy tail. He purrs almost constantly if humans are close. He was given up for adoption by an elderly person. I got him through the MaineCoon rescue people. He is about 4-5 years old.

My question is about an odor that wafts about him, sometimes it is annoyingly strong. It is the odor of sulphur or rotten eggs. I can’t figure out where it is coming from, but certainly not from poop or thow-up. It is so strong that it is hard for me to hold him on my lap, which he intensely desires.

I feed him canned Purina cat food (four different flavors) and Purina cat chow (dry). He has plenty of water to drink. He is troubled with fur balls now and then. I brush him fairly often. There are three other cats in the family, none of which has this problem. He is indoors most of the time (his choice).”

I replied:

Hi Lydia,

I am wondering if he is passing gas.  That what is sounds like to me, but I posted your question on our Facebook page to see if readers had any other ideas.

Please do check the link again in 24 hours after it has had a chance to circulate the globe.

Thanks, Jenny


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  1. Whoa! What a trio of very interesting issues to address this week, Jenny!! I am clueless on any of these situations. Liked your replies and reaching out to your FB readers for their inputs, though. Hoping that poor kitty Max does NOT have dementia! Hoping the kittens with diarrhea issues get their diet issue resolved with some healthy wet food that will sit well with their systems. And, I hope the odor issue with the Norwegian Forest Kitty gets resolved soon! Yikes! THAT has got to be hard for that poor kitty parent! <3

    Big hugs & lots of love!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

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