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Elderly cat yowling during the night

(15 Posts)
CinnabarRed Wed 17-Apr-13 13:28:00

Our cat is coming up for 15. Over the past month or so he's started yowling and prowling during the night, for no obvious reason that I can fathom. He has permanent access to food, water, his litter tray and his cat flap. He doesn't want to be fussed, but will purr when I love him.

Unfortunately it's getting worse, to the point that he's waking up the children. Is there anything I can do? I would prefer not to shut him in the kitchen as he's slept on my bed all his life. However, it's getting towards that stage if I can't find another solution.

I've put all the background info I can think of below, in case any of it's relevant.

He was one of three litter brothers, but has outlived the others by 3 years now. When the others were alive he was definitely at the bottom of the pecking order, but was content with his lot and we made sure that he wasn't picked on by the others.

He spends his day sleeping on our bed, pottering outside occasionally if the sun is shining. We live on farm land, and he's free to explore, but prefers not to nowadays. He has a litter tray if he doesn't fancy going outside. He doesn't much play with toys any more when offered some string or a feather.

We have three DCs. He doesn't like them very much, and we take care to ensure that they don't tease him in any way. TBH, he doesn't encounter them much because he's upstairs and they're downstairs for most of the time. That said, I think he'd be happier without them in his life sad. He's just started letting DS1 (5.4 years) stroke him; he's fairly tolerant of DH but at heart he's mine through and through. DS2 (3.0 years) and DS3 (19 months) don't get to go near him - if he sees them coming he runs under the bed; if he's asleep we prevent them going into whichever room he's in.

He sleeps on our (mine and DH's) bed at night. Always has done, from when he was a kitten (and long before DH).

He is a ragdoll/bermese cross.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.

cozietoesie Wed 17-Apr-13 13:35:36

It's an age thing, I suspect. They can start to get a bit confused and frightened at night, especially if they wake in the dark.

I really don't know what you can do apart from actually taking him into bed with you for comfort and/or ensuring that you leave a nightlight on so that if he wakes up he can see where he is and can orient himself.

Might be worth taking him for a vet check/phoning the practice and asking if the vet can help with any meds.

CinnabarRed Wed 17-Apr-13 13:49:22

Thanks. He's already in bed with us, and we already have night lights on so I can stumble to the DCs when if they cry for me in the night.

I'll give the vet a call tomorrow (I'm at work today).

cozietoesie Wed 17-Apr-13 13:50:24

Good luck with him. A real difficult one. I don't know if there are any feline meds available but it will do no harm to check out.

cozietoesie Wed 17-Apr-13 13:54:17

PS - you might also try changing his food routine a tad so that he gets a number of small meals including a late supper. That food timing might help him to sleep through a little better. (Rather than constant food available.)

Just a thought. I don't know whether it would work.

CinnabarRed Wed 17-Apr-13 14:08:07

Anything is worth a try!

He generally has a pouch of wet food in the morning, and IAMS to snack on always available. I'll try putting another pouch down before I go to bed.

cozietoesie Wed 17-Apr-13 14:11:33

'twas just thinking about the full belly thing - makes them sleepy. If you, say, withdraw the IAMS in early evening and then put down some pouch at bedtime, they normally nosh, pee and then hit the hay.

GemmaTeller Wed 17-Apr-13 14:18:44

Our old cat is 16 and wanders round yowling endlessly. She sometimes sits in the corridor at night and yowls, so we get up and put her on the bed until she settles on the pillow behind me (I pull a pillow forward for me and she has the one behind).

We did take her to the vets a few months ago who gave her a clean bill of health and said she probably has a bit of dementia due to her ago.

CinnabarRed Fri 19-Apr-13 10:41:23

Hi both

Just wanted to let you know that we've moved his main meal to the evening time for the past two nights, and he hasn't yowled! Too early to be conclusive, but looking very hopeful.

Thanks once more.

QueenStromba Fri 19-Apr-13 12:49:38

That's good news smile

If he starts up again then it might be worth trying a feliway diffuser in your room.

CinnabarRed Fri 19-Apr-13 13:13:26

I can get a diffuser from the vet, presumably? He's been such a faithful friend to me, I'd do anything to make him happy in his old age.

cozietoesie Fri 19-Apr-13 13:47:47

That sounds hopeful CinnabarRed. Early days and all but ......


QueenStromba Fri 19-Apr-13 14:25:48

The vet should have it but it's probably cheaper on Amazon.

CinnabarRed Mon 22-Apr-13 08:41:39

Still only good news to report - thank you for your help.

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 09:02:03

Excellent - and at least you and the family have got a few nights of decent sleep under your belts.

Don't worry, by the way, if you get the odd backsliding yowly night. Just keep trying with the new regime.

Pleased it's working so far.


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