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Old 21-04-2013, 20:09
Sonnystar
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Hello, I wonder if anyone can offer advice/tips on how to deal with my cat. She has taken to howling/crying all night. She woke me up about 10 times during the night and when I got up to see what she wanted she ran down the stairs. When I went down the stairs she ran back up them

She had food in her bowl, access to her litter box. The bath was running just the way she likes it for her water(she will only drink running water) with the light on, so she could see.

She is 15 years old, but in great health, I just don't understand why she has started this and I have no idea how to get her to stop

She will sleep on my bed and get some rubs just before I go to sleep, then I am awakened to a cat banshee. This has been going on for a good few months now, but I think because I am getting up to see what is up with her, she is getting attention so keeps howling.

Anyone had any experience with how to deal with this?
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Old 21-04-2013, 20:15
bazaar1
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Is she using the tray at all? Maybe she's not wanting to use it and wants to be let out?
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Old 21-04-2013, 20:22
MarellaK
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I haven't had any experience myself but my cousin's elderly cat did this for a while and I have also read of this behaviour in cat advice books.

It's apparently relatively common in elderly cats and could be a sign of 'dementia' insofar as the cat panics when it wakes at night, unsure of where it is and needs the reassurance of familiar and comforting people and attention. During daylight the cat acts fairly normally.

With my cousin's cat she started to bring her upstairs to her bedroom at night so that when she woke she could see the person she felt most secure with. However, you say that your cat is already on your bed when she starts yowling. Perhaps just say a few reassuring words and don't get up because this probably reinforces the behaviour.

It might be worth getting the vet to give her a check-up just to exclude any medical problems. I know you said your cat was healthy but I believed my 16 year old cat was very healthy too - she had her annual vet check-up but less than 6 months later she had died from cancer. The annual check is, after all, fairly cursory.
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Old 21-04-2013, 20:24
Sonnystar
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Is she using the tray at all? Maybe she's not wanting to use it and wants to be let out?
Yes, she uses it, she hasn't really wanted out as the weather has been so rubbish. And she tends to use her litter tray even when she has gone out.
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Old 21-04-2013, 20:29
Sonnystar
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I haven't had any experience myself but my cousin's elderly cat did this for a while and I have also read of this behaviour in cat advice books.

It's apparently relatively common in elderly cats and could be a sign of 'dementia' insofar as the cat panics when it wakes at night, unsure of where it is and needs the reassurance of familiar and comforting people and attention. During daylight the cat acts fairly normally.

With my cousin's cat she started to bring her upstairs to her bedroom at night so that when she woke she could see the person she felt most secure with. However, you say that your cat is already on your bed when she starts yowling. Perhaps just say a few reassuring words and don't get up because this probably reinforces the behaviour.

It might be worth getting the vet to give her a check-up just to exclude any medical problems.
Hi there, I should have added that she only howls at night time. It usually starts about 10pm, until I go to my bed, then I fall asleep and she gets vocal.

I do think I will need to take her to the vet and get a check-up as I can't continue with this, she has woken me, my husband and two younger kids, but not my 17yr old, he can sleep through anything
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Old 21-04-2013, 20:47
bazaar1
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Sonny, definitely get her to the vets, any change in behaviour could indicate problems. Do you know what she would usually be doing at that time? Would she be asleep, in the tray,outside etc? Is there anything going on the might upset her? Building work nearby, new furniture, new cat in the area?
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Old 21-04-2013, 21:02
miaow
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Yes I would definitely get her checked out by the vet, I was reading about this recently and it can be a sign of thyroid problem (which can be treated, and hopefully it won't be anything wrong anyway and your kitty will be fine).
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Old 21-04-2013, 21:18
Sonnystar
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Thanks guys. She does seem to be less energetic, but it has been very gradual and I have just put that down to her age. My daughter is 3, has only started taking notice of the cat, and just wants to cuddle/kiss her constantly, Molly(my cat) has a great nature and seems to put up with it, but I know that she doesn't get a minutes peace when she is in the same room. That is the only thing I can think of that has changed.

I will definitely make an appointment with the vet. I will let you all know how I get on.

Many thanks for the replies.
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Old 21-04-2013, 21:25
bazaar1
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I'd also keep an eye on how often she's weeing, cystitis is a common problem in elderly cats. My daughters that same age and its really hard to teach them to leave the cats alone, but keep trying, for both their sakes, cat scratches are never fun
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Old 21-04-2013, 22:10
moomsie
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Our 19 year old cat started doing this about a year ago. The noise she makes sounds like someone is being murdered. She started doing this at night after we were all in bed and would sometimes come up on the landing and howl so loud it used to make your heart jump.

Now she does it after every meal as well and we think she`s calling her imaginary kittens to come and eat.

It is definately age related. We`ve had her checked at her six month health assessment and apart from her thyroid being overactive and the occasional bladder infection she is still reaonably active for her age. Oh yes, she also howls if the sun takes too long to get round to her spot on the settee. And comes upstairs in the morning and sits in the bedroom doorway howling until one of us gets up (usually me!!)
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Old 22-04-2013, 13:42
CRTHD
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Hi I'm not sure if the howling is the same as what I refer to as singing?

Ours is now 24 and totally blind but she still finds her way around ok (she knows where the fridge is).

She has been singing now for 6/7 years (I actually like it). Usually it starts when she comes in thru the cat-flap (sort of "I'm home!"). But she does occasionally sing at night.

If we speak or make any noise she stops immediately, so perhaps she just wants to know if someone is there?

Doesn't sound as though your's stops though?
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Old 22-04-2013, 17:20
ruthiebabie
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Another one with an older lady here. We get
'yowl - I've had a poo/done a wee' followed by thunderous running around the living room
'Yowl - it's dark where are you all?'
'Yowl - why can't I go downstairs' - we live on 3 storeys and ground floor is secured and alarmed on a night.

Vets checked her and apart from same issues as other old cats says its just age.
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Old 22-04-2013, 17:39
Oliver Loxton-P
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If my cats howl during the night it's usually because they want out to do the toilet.
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Old 22-04-2013, 18:59
Pandora 9
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I have owned several cats and they rarely complain unless they they have something to complain about ... I would get it checked out by the vet if I was you.
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:01
Pandora 9
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I have owned several cats and they rarely complain unless they they have something to complain about ... I would get it checked out by the vet if I was you.
Recap ... so you have had her checked by the vet so perhaps she is lonely or bored? Cats are nocturnal so its not unusual for them to be active during the night.
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:02
dollymarie
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I have owned several cats
Course you have. Why not share some pictures of them with us maybe?
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:05
Pandora 9
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Course you have. Why not share some pictures of them with us maybe?
My son is going to take some pictures for me because he tells me my camera is crap. I did have some on my old pc but it blew up before I could transfer the pictures. You will see him before the end of this week I promise you
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:08
dollymarie
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My son is going to take some pictures for me because he tells me my camera is crap. I did have some on my old pc but it blew up before I could transfer the pictures. You will see him before the end of this week I promise you
Haha course it did, convenient that. And I live in a castle with the 7 dwarves. What fairy tales you tell
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:11
avasgranny
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Recap ... so you have had her checked by the vet so perhaps she is lonely or bored? Cats are nocturnal so its not unusual for them to be active during the night.
I have had a fair few cats throughout my life, all have gone to bed with me at bedtime not wanted out to play or stayed up all night prowling about and playing.
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:13
avasgranny
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I hope your wee cat is ok Sonnystar, they really are such a huge worry. Let us know how things are.
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:39
Pandora 9
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I have had a fair few cats throughout my life, all have gone to bed with me at bedtime not wanted out to play or stayed up all night prowling about and playing.
That is not true at all ... I used to have 2 tomcats and they would be out all night. When I got up in the morning I would find a couple of dead voles or mice on my doormat because they had been hunting all night.
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Old 22-04-2013, 20:19
MarellaK
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That is not true at all ... I used to have 2 tomcats and they would be out all night. When I got up in the morning I would find a couple of dead voles or mice on my doormat because they had been hunting all night.
That's quite surprising because my neutered tom sleeps on my bed all night and he's never caught as much as a moth.

Females tend to hunt more than males, in my experience - I think it's instinctive behaviour in that in the wild they obviously need to hunt but they also need to teach their offspring these essential skills. At the moment, both my females are spending a lot of time outdoors, one of them even brought in a live mouse at 3am the other morning (rescued) but my dopey male won't go further than the back garden.

As for your response to the OP, howling at night is a well recognised phenomenon in older cats. As I said, they can get confused and distressed when they wake in the dark and often just need comfort and reassurance. It doesn't necessarily mean anything is physically wrong but it's always best to get cats vet checked to be on the safe side - which the OP is doing and I am sure she will update us in due course.
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Old 22-04-2013, 20:26
avasgranny
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That is not true at all ... I used to have 2 tomcats and they would be out all night. When I got up in the morning I would find a couple of dead voles or mice on my doormat because they had been hunting all night.
I can assure you that it is true, NONE of my cats went out to play at night. Seeing as you didn't live in my house I can't see how you can say that.
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Old 22-04-2013, 20:29
Pandora 9
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All cats are different ... just like people but I have found that tomcats are much more affectionate and much more naughty
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Old 22-04-2013, 22:09
bazaar1
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Cats are carpuscial not nocturnal.
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