There are limited data on the prevalence of catatonia in the elderly. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of catatonia in elderly patients (=/> 65 years) acutely admitted to the psychiatric unit of a general hospital. All patients aged 65 years and above admitted to a general hospital psychiatric unit over a 4-month period were screened for catatonia with the 14-item Bush-Francis Catatonia Screening Instrument (BFCSI). Patients with a minimum of 2 symptoms on the BFCSI were rated with the 23-item Bush-Francis Catatonia Rating Scale (BFCRS). Catatonia was simultaneously evaluated according to DSM-5 criteria. Clinical diagnoses were established using the validated Hungarian versions of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Disorders, the Mini Mental State Examination and the Clock Drawing Test. Ninety-eight (28.1%) of the 342 patients admitted to the psychiatric unit during the study period were above 65 years of age; 11 (11.22%) and 6 (6.12%) patients were classified as having catatonia according to the BFCRS and DSM-5 criteria, respectively. The majority of the patients had catatonia due to a medical condition. A significant minority of gerontopsychiatric inpatients present with catatonia. Dementia was not a risk factor for catatonia.