|If your elderly cat is waking you in the wee hours of the morning with his mournful yowling, the first thing you should do is take him to the vet. Illnesses such as hyperthyroidism can case excessive vocalization.
There are other possible causes for your feline’s midnight arias. Cats have changes in their vision, hearing, and other senses as they age. If your cat can’t see or hear well, he may get anxious and start crying out for reassurance. Geriatric cats can develop feline cognitive dysfunction syndrome — basically, they get senile. Signs of CDS include disorientation, forgetting to use the litterbox, and anxiety behaviors like tremors, yowling, and pacing.
To help your older kitty rest easy, try allowing him to share the bedroom with you. If you don’t want him to share your bed, give him a warm, soft bed of his own. Close the door so your cat doesn’t get lost and provide him with a litterbox.
Cat expert and animal communicator JaneA Kelley is the webmaster and chief cat slave for Paws and Effect, a weekly cat advice column by cats, for cats and their people.
December 7th, 2009