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Help my cat, I'm desperate


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27 replies to this topic

#1 BadCat

Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:28 AM

My cat is almost 18 years old.  She is arthritic and deaf as a post but has decent quality of life.

But I'm horribly afraid that if we can't get her night time yowling under control she may not have a life to have quality of.  sad.gif

Every night she hops up for a feed in the middle of the night and then yowls at the top of her lungs as she wanders around the house looking for attention.  She'll sit at the foot of our bed and yowl even though she has a step to help her onto the bed and her own heated pad sits on my bedside table so she can sleep right beside me in a warm place.  She claws her way around the bed base and then yells some more.

She has been like this for months and while I am suffering the sleep deprivation largely in silence it is taking a major toll on DH and he is at breaking point.  We both love our cat dearly but it's getting to the point where we are skirting around the suggestion of putting her to sleep for the good of our own health.

I really don't want to lose my cat but I'm at my wits end.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help my cat settle quietly at night?


PS:  We've tried adjusting her feeding times but no matter how much she eats during the day she always gets up at night and woe betide if you haven't put out fresh food for her.  Leaving a light on so she can find us doesn't help.  I've slept in the loungeroom to encourage her to stay out of the bedroom so DH can sleep, with patchy results (she still yells and wakes me but sometimes DH sleeps through).

Edited by BadCat, 07 January 2013 - 07:30 AM.


#2 Missy Shelby

Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:34 AM

One of my cats has started doing this as well for the last couple of weeks by she is about 7 years old and as far as I know in pretty good health.

I must admit if all the kids are sleeping and she wakes me up she gets told to BE QUIET pretty damn quickly!!

Will be stalking this thread...

#3 MintyBiscuit

Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:39 AM

Is she actually eating the food in the middle of the night, or is it just the routine of getting you up to give her food? I only ask because our old cat used to yowl and carry on during the night, and while feeding him would shut him up, he wasn't actually that interested in the food, he just wanted the attention. We ended up having to suffer through a few nights of basically ignoring him when he did it, and then he eventually got the hint that we weren't going to get up to him through the night. We also introduced a new place for him to sleep that was just his, but by the sounds of it your cat already has this. He was also a lot younger, so much easier to break a habit.

Will she eat dry food through the night, or can you put her food out before you go to bed? I know our cat is very finicky with food and won't eat it if it's been left out, but not sure if yours will. Would it be worth chatting to your vet about her diet? Or could it be pain from the arthritis waking her?

#4 Tarantara

Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:39 AM

Poor puss. I assume you have spoken to the vet and considered a mild dose of whatever is equivalent to Valium for cats? And feliway?

My guess is she is looking for comfort and attention more than food, coz she forgets that night time is when people sleep.

One of my older cats occasionally comes and yells at our door, but it's not every night, and the cats haven't been in our room in this house. He also has three moggy friends to go to instead of us.

#5 BadCat

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:00 AM

She eats the food most niights.  I do put food out before I go to bed and sometimes she is happy with that and doesn't require you to get up to feed her but she will still yowl when she's done in any case.

She's on drugs for her arthritis and is moving quite freely so I don't think it's pain that's causing her to be noisy.

I've not heard of Feliway?  Is it a drug?

Edited by BadCat, 07 January 2013 - 08:01 AM.


#6 Carmen02

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:06 AM

my 12yr old cat drives me nuts doing that, we find that if someone moves around during the night it sets him off his seeking the attention (we shut him out of bedrooms have all his life his used to it) his getting worse I hope he doesnt keep it up! we find after about half an hour of no one moving and no noises in the bedroom he calms down..he has his 10yr old mate to keep him company too

#7 ubermum

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:08 AM

Mine does this. She is fine once I get up and put her on the bed with me. Her eyesight is not what it used to be and I think that she is nervous getting up on her own. A nightlight in my room seems to have helped. She was still occasionally wandering down to the other end of the house and youwling because I think she got disoriented in the dark, so I put some battery operated candles in the loungeroom (another night light) and this has helped too.

#8 Tarantara

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:11 AM

Ive not had to use feliway for anything, but have heard good things about it. The idea is that it's meant to soothe them by putting a calming scent in the air. Essential oils for cats, I suppose.

http://www.feliway.com/au/How-Feliway-R-ca...at-is-Feliway-R

#9 Literary Lemur

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:16 AM

We have a 20 year ofl cat that does this.  Our final solution was to lock her away in another part of the house overnight.  She has been fine under this arrangement and if she does howl as least it is less noise (behind a closed door and a distance away)

#10 blackcat20

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:25 AM

My cat does this as well, but was born deaf, so its more of a "I cant find you" situation. She does it every night once we've turned out the lights but then heads to bed after a few minutes. She also sometimes gets up during the night and meows for a bit (loudly!), but we always make sure there is food available and she settles pretty quickly. Probably not much help, sorry.

#11 Dylan's Mummy

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:26 AM

Have you taken her to the vet for a check up? When my 16 year old cat's temperament changed a year or so ago, I took her to the vet and they fiund a decent sized cancer in her stomach area. She sometime yeowls/cries just before being sick so I'm figuring that she has some pain from the cancer. If your cat has an illness that hasn't been picked up on yet it may be causing her distress when she wakes during the night to a quiet dark house. They can be good at hiding these things when they aren't feeling well.

Edited by Dylan's Mummy, 07 January 2013 - 08:28 AM.


#12 WhimsicalDragonfly

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:28 AM

Our cat is 6 years old, so I don't have experience with the older cat issues but I can tell you about Feliway.
We've used Feliway to help our cat adjust to change - moving house a few times & renovating. It appears to keep him calm & settled. The one time we didn't use it he developed a urination problem ie he kept weeing over the drain in the bathroom floor. Drove us crazy & we really wished we'd used the Feliway beforehand!
The vet also has Feliway running in their boarding room for cats. Our cat seems quite happy & calm when we've visited him there during his stays. Of course that could also be because the staff love him and dote on him!

You plug it into a power point and can buy refills. You need to have it running for a month which is a whole refill container.  We buy it from the vet, it's not cheap, but maybe worth chatting to them about trying.
PS 18 years is quite an achievement!!

#13 BadCat

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:32 AM

She has been to the vet recently and is in decent health.

Oddly, we were so worried when we took her to the vet last time we didn't even think to ask about her nghtly noisefest.

Sounds like Feliway might be worth a shot.

Edited by BadCat, 07 January 2013 - 08:45 AM.


#14 ~ppp~

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

-

Edited by knowsnotmuch, 01 March 2013 - 04:23 PM.


#15 Apageintime

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:08 AM

Have you thought about putting the radio on during the night for her? It doesn't havent to be too loud, just something she can hear so it comforts her?

My old girl used to night wake and shout too, I think she just wanted attention, we started putting the radio on at night for her (radio national is good). I think it's just the voices that she likes tbh.

also - we had to go through a couple of nights NOT getting up to her at all, no feeding or anything.



#16 BadCat

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:32 AM

The radio wouldn't help.  I'm pretty sure she can't hear anything at all anymore.

Interesting article on cat senility.  I'm pretty sure that's her problem.  She has had radioactive thyroid treatment and also has mild kidney issues but the vet doesn't think the kidneys are bad enough to cause any problems right now.

I've been trying to find info about whether the Feliway can help with senility behaviours.  I suspect that since it is designed to reduce stress that it may help, since it seems the yowling is about confusion, which is presumably distressing for her.

Eeek.  Just called the vet.  $100 for Feliway and then nearly $50 per month for refills.  Sigh.

#17 TopsyTurvy

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:42 AM

The feliway is much cheaper on EBay. original.gif

#18 BadCat

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:45 AM

Oooh,  will check ebay.  original.gif

#19 WhimsicalDragonfly

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:57 AM

Yep it's expensive, but you may be able to experiment after the first month with turning it off periodically. I turn ours off every now and then as the unit gets quite hot and I worry about these things!
Maybe you can buy the refills in a pack online at a discounted price? I should look into this too!

Yep it's expensive, but you may be able to experiment after the first month with turning it off periodically. I turn ours off every now and then as the unit gets quite hot and I worry about these things!
Maybe you can buy the refills in a pack online at a discounted price? I should look into this too!

#20 BadCat

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:07 AM

Just ordered a 3 month pack off ebay for slightly less than the one month the vet offered me.  Just hope it helps.

#21 mummabear

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

I would urge anyone with an elderly cat who howls uncharacteristically for food in the night or any other time to have them checked out. Don't be like me, assuming it is senility. I have to wear the guilt of that assumption now.

(Badcat, I can see this doesn't apply to you, but there are others here that have mentioned the same happening with their cats.)

#22 password123

Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

QUOTE (mummabear @ 07/01/2013, 04:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would urge anyone with an elderly cat who howls uncharacteristically for food in the night or any other time to have them checked out. Don't be like me, assuming it is senility. I have to wear the guilt of that assumption now.

(Badcat, I can see this doesn't apply to you, but there are others here that have mentioned the same happening with their cats.)


Agree with this. Get it checked out.

Badcat - how "bad" are the kidneys? Build up of the urea and creatinine due to kidney failure can be toxic to brain cells and cause symptoms similar to senility.
Hope the feliway does the trick.

#23 Oriental lily

Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

Not a cat but our dog behaved similarly. Barking and whimpering in the middle of night for no apparent reason.
Wanting to be constantly fed at night and asking to go out for the toilet?

She was totally deaf  and nearly fully blind by this stage.

The vet said it was dementia nd she was stressed by her confusion and loss of senses.
The poor old dear was nearly constantly anxious.

She went from a bubbly happy little maltese from a couple of years ago to a miserable little bundle.

We tried sedatives tht made her sleep but it took away her appetite so she lost a heap of weight.

Her quality of life become poor so we put her to sleep.

Very hard thing to go through.

#24 *Ker*

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:22 AM

I am a mean cat mummy and my cats are shut away at night. It's not because of yowling, it's because they decide to have jumpy races across me or the kids in the middle of the night! I was sick of being woken, so I set up a sleeping spot for them. They have baskets, food, water and litter trays and i don't get woken.

Feliway is supposed to be very good.


#25 (feral)epg

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

Has she had her thyroid levels checked?
Hyperthyroidism is a common hormonal disease of older cats - main symptoms include behavioural changes (including increased activity, anxiety) increased appetite and drinking with some weight loss.




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