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Cat howls all the time

I have a 15 year old cat that for the past year and a half has become a real howler.  He has always been a vocal cat but it has gotten to the point where it we are not patting him or sitting with him, he howls day and night.  It is definitely affecting our sleep.  We tried Rescue Remedy and it does absolutely nothing.  We have talked with our vet about this and he was the one who suggested Rescue Remedy.  We are at our wits end.  We love him and he is the smartest cat I have ever known but I am thinking that it is senility/old age and he is slowly losing it.  I'm really not sure and I am open to suggestions as to how to deal with this problem.
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541150_tn?1306037443
Have you tried calling him see if he can hear you or hear anything at all? Many cats lose their hearing when they get old, and start yowling because they can't hear themselves. Also, it could be a matter of orientation. He is old, so his senses may not be working very well. If an animal feels disoriented and lost, it will cry/howl until they feel safe. Seeing you makes him feel safe because you’re the owner. He knows that howling gives him attention, so he does it again to keep getting what he wants. I know it is hard to overlook, but if he is fine then try ignoring him and see if it stops.

Lastly, talk to the vet again and ask if he/she can recommend something else since Rescue Remedy isn't working.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you very much for responding.  It looks like it will have to be another trip to the vet because there is definitely nothing wrong with his hearing.  LOL  This cat is more like a dog than a cat as many people have told me.  Actually he is smarter than any dog I've ever met.  He can open doors, turn on clock radios, he walks well on a leash and will follow without a leash.  If I call him, he comes running.  He was an outdoor cat at one time but always stayed close to home.  He was known in the neighbourhood where we used to live because he would go for walks with me and my dog.  I do think you are right about the disorientation.  As I said in my initial post, it might have something to do with senility.  Sometimes I wonder if he just forgets where we are or which room he is in.  At night, he sleeps either around my husband's head or mine.  He has his own bed but only seems to use it during the day when he is not howling.  At night, he is fine when he sleeps with us, but if he gets up in the night to either use the litter or drink, he will start howling again.  It usually takes one of us to call him back to bed before he stops.  He really is a great cat and it is sad to see him be this way.  I truly have never know a cat as smart as he and probably never will.  
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541150_tn?1306037443
Well, hopefully somebody else will be able to give you tips on how to control his behavior. To me, it all seems age related, like he forgets where he is and gets easily disoriented. Poor kitty. You see, my cat is leash trained, and he sleeps by my side, but he isn't as smart as your cat. I mean he fetches but I think he does that to defeat boredom. Your cat seems very cool. Don't give up on him. I'm sure he doesn't mean to stress you and I’m sure you know that.

I know, when my cat cries, I feel like my head is going to explode of how loud he gets. Hopefully, the vet will be able to help. You can talk to another vet. You know how they each have their own tricks? Well, maybe another veterinarian will be able to help you cope with this situation. Good luck sweety.
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609884_tn?1227333003
It could be an issue with his vision, as well.  Cats have their own kind of spacial recognition and if his sight is failing, then he could be howling because his can't find his way back.  Then when you call him, he fixes on your voice and gets back to you, using his remaining limited vision.

Just a thought, but I'd have his vision checked, as well.

I'd have him checked for hypertension (high blood pressure), due to a thyroid condition, possibly.  This could cause neurological issues that might be effecting his.

The vet should do a bloodwork panel to check for anything out of the ordinary.  An inner ear infection could cause disorientation and he might not feel anything, so he might not be shaking his head or having any other of the usual ear infection symptoms.

And, if he's totally fine physically, then, well it could be an older cat thing.

Much luck!  Let us know how he's doing, ok?
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Avatar_f_tn
I never thought of it possibly being a vision issue.  I will definitely have that checked.  We did have a blood work up etc. and everything looked OK, but I honestly can't remember the vet checking his eyes.  I'll let you know what the results are of the next vet visit.  Thanks for your input.
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609884_tn?1227333003
No problem!  I'll keep a good thought for both of you and I'll look out for your next post.  


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Avatar_m_tn
Hi my cat Kitty is 18yrs old she howls all the time driving me crazy non stop during the day ,now she has started to howl at night! i have watched her when she is howling she looks at the wall very strange! she wont go out anymore so its back to the litter tray which she misses quite often, not nice cleaning up the mess she has medication for pancreaties which is hard to get down her as she wont eat much food tried putting it in the cat milk but she knows its there and wont drink the milk, i know too much milk isnt good for her but what else can i do she is such a lovable cat had her from 6 weeks old  any thought would be much appreciated
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874521_tn?1375890587
I am sorry to read abt your dear senior kitty.....pancreatitis is a very painful condition, no wonder she is howling day and night..Is she on a good pain medication for this condition? I will include a helpful site for you to study and hope it gives you some answers.

first of all stop putting the medication in the food or water, b/c this will stop nearly ALL cats from eating and drinking and its very important we never discourage this. get a pharmacy thru your Vet clinic to make up the medication in a liquid or gel and so you can give directly and not need to administer in the food ( a NO NO)

with pancreatitis as with any disease its most important we keep these kitties eating and hydrated. feed small meals 5-6times throughout the day and yes if she can tolerate milk thats fine too...but don't allow it to replace her CANNED food...

http://www.idexx.com/pubwebresources/pdf/en_us/smallanimal/education/dx-consult/managing-pancreatitis-and-concurrent-conditions.pdf

best of luck and keep us updated....♥
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681148_tn?1285160820
I watched a show on Animal Planet called My Cat From Hell that features a cat behaviorist expert called Jackson Galaxy.  He also has his own website.  The one episode that comes to mind involved a senior cat that suddenly started howling all the time.  It was a dramatic behavior change for the cat.  It turned out that senior cat was starting to have thyroid issues.  The cat was 23 years old, which was remarkable in of itself.  Clearly, the cat wasn't going to live many more years at that age, but just getting him on thyroid medications turned him into a happy cat that started acting more like himself.  This was an important thing to the cat, as the cat's owner had a different girlfriend who wanted to give up on the cat.  With him acting more like himself, she started to like him and wanted to keep him for the rest of his life, however long that might be.  Jackson Galaxy made this a priority case of his, because of the cat's age.  Putting the cat out or moving him to a new home would kill him at such an advanced age.  That's like moving a person of advanced age to a whole new environment.  Sometimes that kills the person sooner, too.

I realize you're talking about pancreatitis, but you may want to check the cat's thyroid as well.  As with humans who get to an advanced age, our cats' bodies will start to break down and not work as well as it used to, so I would get the thyroid checked for sure.  Thyroid conditions can affect the cat's appetite as well.  Usually, cat owners notice the cat has a ravenous appetite when the thyroid condition is first noticed, but it can also have a significantly decreased appetite as well.

I totally agree with Opus about not putting kitty's medication in her food or water.  This doesn't work as well with cats as it sometimes does with dogs.  Cats eat and drink differently than dogs, and they have a very keen sense of smell.  I sometimes have to administer medication to my cat, but it is in pill form and she is a much younger senior.  It's actually better to pry the mouth open and force the small pill to the back of the cat's throat, so the cat has to swallow it.  Then, give the cat a syringe full of water, since the cat isn't like a human and isn't prone to drinking the water to chase the pill down the throat.  And, yes, if it seems like the cat is too old to be dealing with pills, then I would certainly try liquid medications, too.
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