Cat howls

Dianne18February 6, 2012

While many have posted regarding a screeching cat I still have no idea what's wrong. I have had cats, usually old, who punctuate their days with a howl or two but this cat seems different in that what starts out as a howl becomes a gut wrenching, guttural cry of what appears to be pain; she sometimes looks as if she is trying to run away from the pain Her labs and her exam reveal nothing abnormal. She is twelve years old. She will not allow being picked up, never has. She had a litter years ago; one of the kittens had the same beyond skittish characteristics. She likes affection on her terms,, standing at arm's length, always has. I have pain drops to use once or twice in order to determine if the howls are caused by pain. Weeks later I have yet to get one drop on her gums. It has been suggested I catch her and let the vet give her one analgesic shot and then see if she howls during the following hours. If she doesn't howl then I will have to go to a teaching state of the art vet hospital for further testing that is not available in the average practice. Anyone out there with this problem? Could it be dementia? Thank you.

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I didn't see the previous posts, so have to ask if the cat has had any ultrasounds or xrays done?

IMO the vet should be able to give you pain meds other than something that has to be put in her mouth. I suggest visiting another vet or talk to your current one and ask for more options. There are too many pain meds available that can be put in food, so there's no reason your cat should have to continue suffering.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 1:23AM
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Interesting question - hope more will respond.

I have a 21 yr. old F cat that does that - started as an occasional thing, now maybe once or twice a day. I don't get the impression she's in physical pain but maybe she is - being an elderly cat it could be things are hurting.

On the other hand, most cats Ive had who I've known to be in pain from injury or illness haven't ever howled - they just get real stoic and go hide somewhere in the dark where you can't find them.

To me it sounds more like she's in heat although that's not possible. She was in heat a few times and then got spayed.

I've thought dementia because it's almost like she's in a trance - doesn't hear me if I come in - but then when I start petting her she's all purrs and cuddles.

On the other hand, I do know she is partly or all deaf, and may be somewhat blind, so it may not be a trance, it may be she just can't hear or see well.

My friend's old cat also does it and she thinks it's because the cat just can't hear herself and doesn't know what a ruckus she's making.

I have to put her in the bedroom sometimes during the day because she doesnt get along with the other cats so maybe she gets lonely.... and with her limited vocabulary all she can do to express it is to howl? She never does it if I'm in the same room with her.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 1:47PM
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yowling is a common behavior in aged cats and is not necessarily associated with any medical problem, other than possibly going deaf. Senility is sometimes suspected, but hard to actually diagnose in a cat. But if you have looked at all the major possibilities, it may be just 'old cat yowling'. Seems more common in really old siamese and Himalayans.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 3:10PM
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