Home Politics & Debate
At The Mix, we want to make our services as helpful as we can. To do this, we’d love to ask you a few questions about you, your visit to The Mix and its impact. It should take only about 5-10 minutes to complete. Take this survey and get a chance at winning a £200 Amazon voucher​.
Come and join our Support Circle, every Tuesday, 8 - 9:30pm! Sign up here
Read the community guidelines before posting ✨

Animals and their sense of self

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Piccolo and I have an elderly cat called Millie. She's 17, and her back legs are a bit stiff and she's not as fast as she used to be.

Picc and I also visited my cousin slagface, who owns two cats, dave and stan. I played with stan, who is a 5yr old tom, and he left me a lot of scratches to show for it. It's exactly what Millie would have done to me, if she were 10 or even 5 years younger, but she doesn't even try.

Do you think Millie (and other older animals) know they're getting old, and stop trying to be young?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My spaniel is 13 in a few months and almost totally deaf. We noticed in the last few years she's been less crazy (but she still has her moments) and is enjoying coming for cuddles more often. And she retires to her bed earlier and refuses to move all night. I'd say they do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you think it's an acceptance of their new physical limitations, or that they understand age?

    Millie still gets confused by "the other cat" who spends a lot of time in the garden and stares at her through the window. So they don't have the self-awareness to recognise a reflection.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not sure, she used to jump onto her kennel, onto the wall and then jump off the other side onto the path rather than waiting for you to open the gate to go on a walk. But she doesn't do it any more, when we've tried to encourage her onto to the kennel to shave her (it puts her at perfect height so we don't have to bend down) she hesitates and refuses to do it so we now have to lift her up. She must know that she's not physically capable, I don't know if she understands that she's getting old - but I think she's aware she's not as physically able as she was.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, Millie is much more hesitant to (for example) get up on her back legs for treats, and she climbs up onto the bed slowly because her back legs aren't springy enough to do the jump regularly.

    I don't know how much she understands, but she behaves in a way that shows her limits.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i dont think people or animals stop doing things because they know theyre getting old. They just genuinely arent as interested in the childish/kittenish/puppyish stuff in the same way.

    I dont play with dollies anymore but its not because im too old. Im just not interedsted
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I dont play with dollies anymore but its not because im too old. Im just not interested

    Yeah that's more-or-less what I said when we were talking this morning. She just doesn't care to scratch or play any more. Harass her as much as you like (please don't!) and her most violent objection will likely be a loud meow. She can barely be bothered to use the litter tray, frankly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Since shes really old, if shes in discomfort when she does certain things, or gets tired a lot quicker, then this will discourage her, but it doesnt necessarily mean she is aware of her own mortality especially or puts any real thought into it
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yea my cat isn't as playful as she used to be, she's about 8 or 9 now. She'll play sometimes when you wind her up but mostly she'll ignore you and sleep all day and enjoy her fusses. Still physically capable though, just not as interested, she's a grumpy middle aged woman
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Since shes really old, if shes in discomfort when she does certain things, or gets tired a lot quicker, then this will discourage her, but it doesnt necessarily mean she is aware of her own mortality especially or puts any real thought into it

    Well, no, indeed. I think it's all about making things easier or just doing what she damn' well wants. Weeing on the carpet is easier than getting into the litter tray. She doesn't express discomfort often but she clearly finds things like stairs problematic. She still does them for now, but I guess as she gets older she'll be less active because she'll lose mobility.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i wouldnt say its easier. I wonder if its loss of bladder control, or whether its a form of kitty dementia? Is she otherwise well in herself?

    have you taken her for a check-up?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    She was checked out about 5 months ago, she's a very healthy, if extremely old, lady. She knows exactly when 6:20am is for example, and so do I...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i wouldnt say its easier. I wonder if its loss of bladder control, or whether its a form of kitty dementia? Is she otherwise well in herself?

    have you taken her for a check-up?

    Yeah she's good. We had to move her (far from ideal) for the first time about 3 months ago and she weed by the front door in panic. Now we can't make her not do it, she interchanges between that and the litter tray.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    try putting loads of bicarb of soda where she peed and leave it there overnight or as long as you can before hoovering it up
Sign In or Register to comment.