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October 27, 2022 – Keeping our cats mentally sharp as they age is a big concern for pet parents, and evidence suggests that more cats than previously suspected suffer from cognitive decline.

Surveys of cat owners suggest that roughly 28% of cats aged 11 to 14 years show signs of cognitive decline, a number which jumps to over 50% in cats aged 15 years or older. Some experts believe the actual number is even higher – that’s a lot of cats and their people affected by this problem!

Most veterinary research on cognitive decline has focused on dogs, but the Foundation is taking steps to correct this imbalance.

Last year, the Foundation granted the prestigious Mark L. Morris Jr. Investigator Award to Dr. Carlo Siracusa, animal behavior expert and Associate Professor of Clinical Behavior Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Siracusa is looking at how chronic inflammation influences behavior and cognition in older cats. He hopes to identify factors owners can modify to keep cats mentally fit as they age.

Feline cognitive dysfunction is a special interest topic in our latest call for research proposals as well, and we hope that this targeted funding initiative can help scientists uncover new information to help our feline friends live their best (nine) lives ever!