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Author Topic:   yowling!! is it a pain?
posted 01-29-2003 07:05 AM           Edit/Delete Message
help me!! my beloved 18 year old cat has started loudly and distressingly howling day and night on the middle landing under the radiator! His mother died last year with no problems, but dog he always fought with has died recently. It's very upsetting to hear him, as I don't know if it's because he's ill or has a pain. any ideas much appreciated...

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posted 01-29-2003 06:45 PM           Edit/Delete Message
I also have an 18 year old cat who will make that howling noise from time to time. At first I thought he was possessed, the noise was so bone chilling. (kidding) But, I talked to the Vet about it, and he said that it is common with older cats, and that it might be his thyroid. So, he is now on Taposale, which seems to be helping.
Good luck.


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Posts: 8
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 02-05-2003 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sabrinasmother     Edit/Delete Message
The howling can be quite disconcerting. I have spoken to a vet about it and she said that in older cats it can be the early signs of hearing loss. Don't panic - that's only one opinion. She said they howl to hear themselves and will pick places where the sound echoes or carries farther (as if we couldn't predict that cats are that smart anyway!)

Mine do it (12 yrs. old and 14 yrs. old), but usually after chasing "invisible" bugs - my phrase for when they run around in circles meowing for no apparent reason. This activity is usually punctuated with them sitting in the hallway letting out sounds that curdle my blood.

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posted 02-06-2003 04:26 AM           Edit/Delete Message
thanks bill and sabrinasmother! Both these were very helpful, as they've put my mind at rest. I can book him in for a check with the vet without worrying he worn't come home again!

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From:Los Angeles, California
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 03-05-2003 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for seabiscuit     Edit/Delete Message
Hi- If this helps...I had a 22 year old cat in New York years ago (twenty to be exact) who, shortly after the death of her sibling, also 22, one day started to howl. At first I thought it was some indication of grieving. Vet checkup was A-OK and in fact the vet commented how amazingly healthy this cat was for 22. But she continued to howl incessantly, day and night, unless she was either asleep or on my chest cuddled up.
Saw an animal behaviorist on the Today Show
one morning and called the show to get his name. And they actually gave me his HOME phone number in Connecticutt. (THOSE days are long gone, aren't they?) So, I CALLED HIM and he actually was available to talk to me (free-of-charge too!) about what is now considered a "howling syndrome". As previous poster indicated, they are seeing this in older cats a lot (never used to because most cats didn't used to live as long as they do now). I was told that, ruling out any disease process that may be going on, these cats howl to "stimulate" themselves. Another poster mentioned hearing loss. Old cats start to lose everything...sense of smell, sight, hearing...all matter of sensory deficits.
In my case, the loss of her sibling who was her main STIMULUS had died. So she howled ,as I said, to stimulate her waning physical senses.
It drove me crazy but as long as I knew it wasn't grief or illness or pain, I just did the best I could to give her lots of attention. I thought of adding a new kitten into the fray but she was not a "nurturer" and vet concurred it would be a mistake and make things worse. I'll never really know. Anyway, she lived three more years, died at 25!!!
Three years of sleepless nights for me that's for sure! But vets, and behaviorist assured me she was not in any discomfort at all.

[This message has been edited by seabiscuit (edited 03-05-2003).]

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posted 03-06-2003 05:14 AM           Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for taking to time to reply. I appreciate it. I think you may be right about this. It's been a while now - and he doesn't seem to be waning physically, although he's become really fussy about his food. Prbably due to the lack of his senses - taste and smell etc.

Thanks everyone. I feel much better about it all!

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