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Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on August 27, 2006

Question

My cat is 15 years old and no longer grooms herself. Lately, she has been putting her legs in the toilet bowl and in the mutual bowl of water for our pets. Why?We are now keeping the covers down on the toilets, but we can''t cover the water bowl for the pets. She is also doing a lot of "prowling," even though she''s strictly an indoor cat.

O.H.D., Pleasant Valley, NY Aug 27, 2006

Answer

Like dogs and people, when cats get old, they sometimes do unusual things, such as your cat''s obsession with water. Sometimes they will covet a particular toy or wander compulsively from room to room, often yowling, as though they are searching for something.For hygiene''s sake, keep your toilet lids down. If the hand basin or sink is easy for your cat to reach, let her dabble in a little water. She is probably developing senile dementia, or dysphoria, as I prefer to call this common condition. Give her a warm pad to sleep on and a full-spectrum grow light. She may have arthritis or some other painful condition that makes her restless, so a veterinary appointment is warranted. Analgesics and a warm place to sleep might help if this is the problem.

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