Cat howling

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susan_1981
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Cat howling

Post by susan_1981 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:35 am

My cat (Poppy) is 14 years old. We also had another cat who was her sister (Daisy) and she died just over a week ago. They never particularly got on, I'd say they more tolerated each other. Daisy was a very timid, shy girl and Poppy was always more feisty and would often take a swipe at Daisy, but on the whole they were ok with each other.

Since Daisy died, Poppy keeps howling at night. It's a really, really weird sound. It doesn't even sound like a cat. We have CCTV in our house as well and I've noticed when I check back, that she's doing it when I go out, so when she's left alone. She only does it for a minute or so then stops, and rarely starts up again. Is this normal? She doesn't do it if we're home and up and about, she just does it when she's home alone or in the middle of the night. We do have another cat (my brother moved to another country so we took her in - we've had her for about 2 years now). This cat and Poppy don't get on at all, so just tend to stay out of each other's way. My brother's cat always sleeps on our bed at night so Poppy won't come in. When she does this howling, I often will get up and bring her into bed with me, but she rarely stays, and then she's fine.

Any ideas on what I can do? I don't think she's ill or anything like that. She's absolutely fine when I'm home. It's just when she's on her own.

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Kay
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Re: Cat howling

Post by Kay » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:59 am

I've had a female cat do this around the same age as Poppy - a sort of loud Waa Waa noise - she did it mostly when she was in the enclosed garden, and as her blood tests were normal for HT, I put it down to early onset feline dementia, when she got a bit disorientated

howling for no reason can be a symptom of HT though, so maybe Poppy should be checked out for that

susan_1981
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Re: Cat howling

Post by susan_1981 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:38 pm

Thanks for your reply. What's HT? Hypertension?

She's always been a bit prone to this howling and it's always been of a night, but back then it was generally because she was playing with something (or brought something in).

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Kay
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Re: Cat howling

Post by Kay » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:23 pm

HT as in Hyperthyroid - the other signs can be increased appetite coupled with weight loss, staring coat and restlessness, but every cat is different, and ageing alone can bring such symptoms, hence the need for a blood test

My girl didn't have it, and her yowling gradually decreased as she got older, I suspect because she became more and more indifferent to the world around her

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Mollycat
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Re: Cat howling

Post by Mollycat » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:21 pm

My girl has always howled and as far as I know always with a toy in her mouth, inviting someone (anyone??) to come and play. She was diagnosed hyperthyroid 10 months ago and treated 6 months ago, her voice has changed slightly but the night time yowlies continue unabated. She also does it for a minute or two when I leave the house, and sometimes when I'm in the bath.

One of the cats I left with my ex started doing this for a completely different reason, in her case most likely senility, though she was never checked for thyroid function, but it's not the only cause by a long way.

Yours though, having started to do it when her sister died, I would guess calling and searching or suddenly finding herself alone. You say they weren't close but that doesn't matter, often cats that seemed indifferent actually go through grieving just the same. We can too, a complex grief when for example an abusive ex or neglectful parent dies, there is still a loss even if there is also some kind of relief. But cats don't have to cuddle up or mutual groom to be family to each other. Often the remaining cat can take up sitting around or sleeping in the the favourite places of the one who is gone, or pining, or show any other signs of grieving for a close friend, to our surprise if there was no sign that we could see of attachment while they were still here. I guess it's like us losing a family member we didn't spend much time with but actually cared about, or who lived in the same house but we never went out or did anything with, it's still a big loss.

When my old senile yowly cat died peacefully in her sleep one night, my boy who had respect for her but never showed any sign of affection was deeply affected. He would sit on her grave, he refused to go into the room where she died for months, refused affection from us and really only got back to a new kind of normal after more than 8 months.

susan_1981
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Re: Cat howling

Post by susan_1981 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:30 pm

That's really interesting you say that because I have noticed that her meow (when she's not yowling) has changed a bit. Well not everytime, but sometimes when she meows, it's almost a bit croaky. She's definitely more hungry, every time I go to the kitchen she's meowing to be fed, but she doesn't seem to have any of the other symptoms. Like she's not lost any weight. If anything, she's heavier now. I think I'll book her in at the vets to get her checked out.

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Kay
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Re: Cat howling

Post by Kay » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:36 pm

it's always useful to have a reference point when they get older, even if nothing is amiss at the moment - annual or even 6 monthly blood tests can alert to a problem whilst it's in its early stage

I had a cat who had HT - he never lost any weight, but neither did he gain, and he certainly should have done given the amount he was eating, so I had my suspicions before a blood test confirmed it

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Mollycat
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Re: Cat howling

Post by Mollycat » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:28 pm

My Molly was a really fat hyperthyroid and has only come down to something like a normal weight after treatment. It's as if her appetite was hyper and her metabolism was hypo. Just because more than 90% of them lose weight doesn't mean they all do, it's just the most common symptom.

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