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Old 01-05-2010, 01:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default older cat yowling -- both at night and during day

I have an older female cat, who turns 18 years old here in January 2010. She is a calico tortoise shell, orange and black and white, and very personable and talkative in general. Not too "skittish" like some cats typically are, but very friendly and outgoing. We live in Minnesota, where its ridiculously cold right now, and she is an indoor apartment cat.

A few years back, maybe about 3-4 years ago, she started to develop a problem with picking out clumps of fur, and I took her to the vet for it, they ran some blood tests to check her thyroid and some skin tests, and everything came back okay. The problem with "fur picking" seems to have faded away and is not really an issue anymore.

My current question (or problem) stems from her yowling. Not just at night, but virtually anytime during the day, when anyone (myself particularly) is around to listen or pay attention. Sometimes it seems to just be a clever ploy for attention, because she'll start yowling (sounds like she is "screaming bloody murder"), but then as soon as anyone takes notice and says "what's wrong?" to her in a soothing voice (or something like that), she quiets down and everything appears normal. Due to her old age and arthritis (I think?) she is unable to leap or jump like younger cats do. She cannot make it onto the bed or couch, so sometimes she'll yowl -- not just meow, but yowl like "screaming bloody murder" -- while sitting next to the bed. Then I'll go in there, ask her what's wrong in a soothing voice, and everything seems fine. I'll lift her up onto the bed, and usually she takes a nap and everything is fine, stops yowling.

She does not appear to be in pain or favoring any particular part of her body that might be bothering her. She has some very occasional diarrhea in the litter box, but nothing that seems too frequent or too abnormal. Her appetite does not seem to be a problem -- she eats regularly (used to be just dry food, but now we feed her canned wet food also, she's lived this long, so I want her to enjoy her golden years).

I guess that my confusion is I'm not quite sure what she is yowling about so much (at night and during the day), aside from wanting to be placed up onto the bed, and she does not appear to be in pain or having any real major problems, so I'm hesitant to go into the vet and spend $200+ (money that I do not have) for them to say "nothing wrong with her, she's just an older cat who likes to yowl".

Are there any other things or remedies or whatever that I should be doing with her to make sure everything is okay? I want to make sure she is okay, but I want to avoid a hefty vet bill at the same time.

Thank you very much for any input or suggestions.
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: older cat yowling -- both at night and during day

A cat this age should, IMO, be having geriatric labwork (CBC, blood chemistry including T4, and urinalysis) every 6 mos. I start geriatric labs at 11 annually and go to every 6 mos at 14 or so.

There are MANY things that could be causing this problem, some of which are treatable if caught early. But you will not know until you go to the vet and get the labwork done. The reason for doing it every 6 mos prophylactically is to catch problems before they become severe.

Please take her to the vet. And insist on labwork.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: older cat yowling -- both at night and during day

Just a quick answer as I am on my way out the door: sometimes, animals become insecure or disoriented due to issues of senility - i.e. loss of hearing, poor eyesight, etc., especially at night. Things that can help, if it seems that this is the case: soft radio playing or other noises, your frequent reassurances (in case kitty suddenly feels lost or whatever- seems like this is already helping ) or possibly using a plug-in pheromone dispenser such as Feliway, to sooth and comfort. Hope this helps you and your calico girl. And, welcome to the Cat Forum!

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Old 01-11-2010, 07:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: older cat yowling -- both at night and during day

This interests me too, My cat is a 9 year old Female and is the same breed as the OP's. We recently took Jasmine (our cat) to our home from my parents home, about 2 months ago now. Originally we put her upstairs in the bedroom next to ours, nice and comfy, let her have her own bed! Unfortunately she kept going to the toilet in the middle of the night and scratching the skirting boards and carpet instead of in her litter, she would then sit and yowl until someone came and took it away. Then we would go back to bed and she would start again and kept messing around every night keeping us up.

In the end I had the alarm adjusted so we could keep her in the kitchen downstairs, now she yowls all night sometimes just a few times but sometimes wont shut up! She is driving us a bit mad at the moment but I wont do anything to discipline her, I wouldnt do anything to a crying baby but comfort it so its just the same. She also yowls during the day when we are in the next room which I think is just for attention. She didnt do this when she lived at my parents house and im a bit baffled by it. She still wakes us up but its not as loud as it was before at least!
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