Moaning 16 yr. old cat

booboo60February 15, 2008

Katie, our 16 yr. old spayed female cat, has developed this "habit" of moaning right when dh and I get into bed! She seems fine all evening, usually sleeping, but as soon as we get in bed and turn out the lights we can hear her in the living room moaning. It is not a meow but a mournful moan or howl. I usually get up and turn on the light, go over to her in the living room and pet her and talk to her and she just sits there. This happens almost every night! Her health seems good except for the usual progression of kidney problems, meaning drinking more and urinating more. She has had her teeth cleaned and some pulled, her appetite is good. She is even playful at times. Why do you think she does this?


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Hi Twotogo,

I have an almost 9 year old cat, Timmy. I got him when he was 10 weeks old. He always done this mournful sounding cry when I turn off the lights and go to bed. My mom was spending the night one time and Timmy did it - she hollered in to me "what's the matter with him!" I don't know why he does it - he always has. After about 10 minutes or, he comes in and hops on the bed and goes to sleep.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 11:56PM
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We've had several cats who moaned/howled as they got old. I don't know why. Disorientation? Fright? Pain? It's disconcerting, to say the least.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 12:56AM
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Have there been any changes in your household or routine lately that could explain this new behavior? Sudden changes in behavior for no apparent reason get our attention, and for good reason. It couldn't hurt to make sure the cat is healthy with a vet checkup if it's been a while.

Beyond that, I never behavior I don't like. If you run out there and baby her when she does it, you're making it rewarding for her to do. If you ignore her and she's doing it for your attention she'll give up (but you may need earplugs in the meantime). If she's doing it for her own satisfaction, she'll continue until she decides she's tired of it. In that case you might try changing the routine in some way, experimenting until you figure out what works -- like maybe keeping her in your room?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 1:42AM
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She is current on her check-ups and there is no change in her routine or ours(shows what an exciting life we lead :) It sounds just like what 'sephia' said about her cat. I don't always go to her, sometimes I yell at her from my bedroom and so does my husband! But when she first started to do it I went to her a few times to make sure she was ok plus she has been checked by a vet and her health is good. I tend to lean towards what 'jcin' said about disorientation maybe, who knows but she is loud!! Thanks for the input!!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 10:42AM
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We have had cats live to 14, 17, 18 and 22. All very long-lived, even for indoor cats.

Two of them started that "wow, wow" wailing in later years. Both were having kidney failure and both benefitted from switching to k/d kibble (most cats dislike the wet k/d) and subcutaneous fluids to hydrate them.

We got the fluid bags & needles from the compounding pharmacist and learned how to administer them at home 2-3 times a week. Giving a treat after the treatment helped the cats put up with it and they were happier a couple of extra years.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 12:12PM
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I adopted a 10 year old cat this past summer who starts doing this mournful meow when I go to bed at night. I think her being on a different level of the house makes her think she is alone. I don't have a big house, so she can't possibly be lost. I'll call out to her and she comes running upstairs. My 13 1/2 year old cat will also yowl occasionally. Possibly as they get older they forget?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 12:52PM
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My brothers cat, who is also in his teens, is doing something similar - he meows, though, instead of moaning. The vet says he is going pretty much deaf and it is probably the stress of not being able to hear that is causing it. Cats really rely on their senses, it makes sense that they would be a little upset if they were losing them. Has you vet checked the cat's hearing?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 11:14AM
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The cat we had growing up was NEVER vocal until he got old. Then he'd meow all the time during the night. This was especially when my parents would go out of town and he was home alone with me, a teenager at the time. He hated the change in routine, my mother being gone.

My friends still remember sleeping on my living room floor (party - parents out of town!) and the cat keeping them up all night with his crying.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 12:38PM
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