deaf senior cat howling at night - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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deaf senior cat howling at night

Willy is 18 years old with kidney disease. He howls at night and gets REALLY loud. I think because he can't hear himself unless he gets that loud. (He seems to hear in one ear when I clap or yell.) This has gone on for years. And some nights he will sleep the whole night or others (like last night) wakes me up every 2 hours. He seems to be wandering and I wonder if he gets lost a little. When he comes in the bedroom, he seems to "get stuck" in the corner by a bookshelf. He cries until he notices me and then will usually come to bed. I've tried spraying him with the water bottle, bringing him to bed and petting him, playing with him before bed, but none of these last. Some times I get a few days of peace, but it always starts up again. Ignoring him won't work because I live in an apartment and don't want the neighbors to hate me or call the land lord on me.

I've talked to the vet about this, who just thinks it is Willy's age and hearing loss. I've expressed concerns that it may be his kidney disease getting worse, but his kidney values have actually gone down. He is in the high normal range now.

I've thought about locking him out of the bedroom, but I have 2 other cats who would cry and play by the door. (They don't keep me up at night unless there is a big pounce/crash.) I've thought of closing the door to the bedroom with Willy in the room, but the 2 other cats come and go & sleep with us and would starting crying themselves. Plus the litter box is in another room. I wouldn't want Willy to have an accident if he is stuck in the bedroom. (so far he is VERY good about using the litter box and grooming. I know this could change due to his age and condition.)

I've heard that the night howling in cats with kidney disease can be indigestion or stomach acid. So I will start feeding him right before I go to bed, so he can something contstantly in his belly.

I know I have my ideas, but I wanted some second opinions. If you have any advice on this, I would greatly appreciate it.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 01:52 PM
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Re: deaf senior cat howling at night

I think LaurieF would be able to answer you best about the kidney issues.
My own childhood cat was becoming senile/alzheimer-ish as she grew older. It started at about age 19 and continued until she passed away at age 21. She would go outside my bedroom and yowl mournfully, as if she were dreadfully lost. As soon as I would call her name or poke my head around the door, her entire demeanor would change from head/belly/tail low and mournful crying, to standing up with tail raised and a happy "Oh, *there* you are!" meow.
It was very easy to reassure her, and she didn't do the wandering and crying thing very often, so I'm sorry, but I don't have any advice I could give you on how to reassure your old Willy kitty.
Best of luck,
h



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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 02:08 PM
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Re: deaf senior cat howling at night

Try a couple of night lights, as night vision tends to go first as we age. They don't bother me, but my husband has resorted to a sleeping mask even though he thinks it's goofy.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 03:47 PM
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Re: deaf senior cat howling at night

I think this is like kitty demensia. I watched my sisters cats go thru that. They are confused. Dont spray her. Shes trying to communicate with you cuz she is lost and confused. Just let her see you or bring her to bed with you. That usually settles everything. I know its an inconvience to be dealing with this but its a part of having a senior cat. Just treat her the way youd want to be treated when your old and confused. You may not have many years left to cherish her.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: deaf senior cat howling at night

I know, I know. I feel so bad being upset with Willy. I realize he won't be around forever. But when I have to be up at 5am, I'm not thinking rationally. I'm just mad at him.

Now during the day when I've had caffeine I can think of how to help my little guy.

I will try the night lights. Because I used to leave the oven light on, but that is only in one room. I should have one for every room. Maybe that's why it didn't work so well.

If he wasn't deaf, I think this would be so much easier to deal with. So I could call him from any room and he wouldn't have to yowl as loud as he can. Now I have to run to him and get his attention or touch him, which can startle him or he thinks he is in trouble. I feel bad for my crazy old man kitty.
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