Can Cats Get Sundowners? Discover the Surprising Truth!

No, cats cannot get Sundowners. Sundowners syndrome is a condition that affects older humans, causing confusion and restlessness in the evening.

What Is Sundowners Syndrome In Cats?

Sundowners Syndrome is a condition that affects cats, typically older ones, causing confusion and anxiety as the day turns into night. It is characterized by a range of symptoms and behavioral changes that can be distressing for both the cat and their owners.

Sundowners Syndrome in cats refers to a condition where the cat experiences increased confusion, anxiety, and agitation during the evening and night hours. It is similar to the condition observed in humans, often associated with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. However, the causes of Sundowners Syndrome in cats are not fully understood.

Symptoms and behavioral changes associated with Sundowners Syndrome in Cats:

Symptoms: Behavioral Changes:
Restlessness Pacing or wandering aimlessly
Confusion Disorientation or getting lost in familiar surroundings
Anxiety Increased vocalization or clinginess
Agitation Excessive grooming or aggression

If you notice any of these symptoms or behavioral changes in your cat during the evening or night, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian. They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend appropriate management strategies to help alleviate your cat’s distress.

Causes Of Sundowners Syndrome In Cats

Possible physiological reasons for Sundowners Syndrome in cats Environmental factors that may contribute to Sundowners Syndrome in cats
Cognitive dysfunction Changes in routine
Pain or discomfort Environmental stressors
Sensory decline Lack of stimulation
Hormonal imbalances Limited social interaction
Neurological disorders Unfamiliar surroundings

Sundowners Syndrome in cats is believed to have various possible physiological reasons. Cognitive dysfunction, pain or discomfort, sensory decline, hormonal imbalances, and neurological disorders are factors that can contribute to this condition. On the environmental front, changes in routine, stressors in the cat’s surroundings, lack of stimulation, limited social interaction, and unfamiliar surroundings can also play a role in the development of Sundowners Syndrome. Understanding these causes can help pet owners identify the symptoms and provide appropriate care and support to their cats.

Risk Factors And Prevention

Factors that increase a cat’s risk of developing Sundowners Syndrome:

  • Advanced age (e.g., 10 years or older)
  • Underlying cognitive decline or dementia
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Changes in routine or environment
  • Physical or medical conditions

Tips and strategies for preventing or mitigating Sundowners Syndrome in cats:

  • Keep a consistent daily routine for feeding, playtime, and interactions
  • Create a calm and safe environment with familiar objects and quiet spaces
  • Provide mental stimulation through puzzle toys or interactive games
  • Use natural remedies or pheromones to reduce anxiety
  • Consult with a veterinarian for medications or supplements that may help
  • Avoid sudden changes or disruptions to the cat’s routine or environment

Diagnosing Sundowners Syndrome In Cats

An accurate diagnosis for Sundowners Syndrome in cats can be challenging due to the lack of specific tests available. Veterinarians rely on a combination of clinical signs, medical history, and ruling out other potential causes of the symptoms.

During the diagnostic process, veterinarians will conduct a thorough physical examination to check for any underlying health issues. They may also perform blood tests to evaluate organ function and detect any abnormalities. Imaging tests, such as X-rays or ultrasounds, may be used to further investigate any potential underlying problems.

In addition to these tests, behavior assessments and observation of symptoms become important tools in diagnosing Sundowners Syndrome in cats. Tracking the cat’s behavioral changes over time and ruling out other possible explanations for the symptoms are crucial steps in forming an accurate diagnosis.

Diagnosing Sundowners Syndrome in cats requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account all aspects of the cat’s health, behavior, and medical history. With the right combination of tests and assessments, veterinarians can provide an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan for affected cats.

Treatment Options For Sundowners Syndrome In Cats

Behavioral modifications and environmental adaptations can be effective in managing Sundowners Syndrome in cats. It’s important to create a calming and consistent environment for your cat. Establish a routine that includes regular feeding, playtime, and quiet time. Provide a comfortable and safe space for your cat, with a cozy bed, toys, and a scratching post. Keep the environment well-lit during the day and dim the lights in the evening to mimic natural lighting patterns.

Additionally, you can try using pheromone diffusers or sprays to create a soothing atmosphere. These products emit synthetic pheromones that help reduce stress and anxiety in cats. Playing soft, classical music or using white noise machines can also help create a calming environment.

If these behavioral modifications are not sufficient, medications and alternative therapies may be considered. Consult with your veterinarian to discuss potential options such as anti-anxiety medications or natural supplements that can help manage Sundowners Syndrome in cats.

Living With A Cat With Sundowners Syndrome

Cats, like humans, can experience a condition called Sundowners Syndrome. It is characterized by confusion, disorientation, and agitation, predominantly during the evening and night hours. Understanding and coping with the challenges of living with a cat with Sundowners Syndrome is crucial to ensure their well-being.

Creating a safe environment: Provide a secure and allergen-free space for your cat to navigate without obstacles. Consider using nightlights to minimize disorientation during darkness. Keep a consistent routine and avoid changes in their surroundings that may cause stress.

Structured feeding and medication: Stick to regular feeding times to help regulate their sleep-wake cycle. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if any medications or supplements can help manage the symptoms of Sundowners Syndrome.

Interactive play and mental stimulation: Engage your cat in interactive play sessions during the day to keep their minds active and prevent boredom. Puzzle toys, scratching posts, and hiding spots can provide mental stimulation.

Monitoring and veterinary support: Regularly monitor your cat for any changes in behavior or health and seek professional help if needed. Your veterinarian can provide additional guidance and support.


While sundowner syndrome is primarily associated with humans, there is limited evidence suggesting that cats can experience similar symptoms. It is important to pay attention to changes in your cat’s behavior, especially during late afternoons and evenings. Consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and guidance on managing any potential sundowner-like symptoms.

Being proactive about your cat’s well-being can help ensure a happy and comfortable life for your feline companion.

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