Why do cats yowl?

todancewithwolvesSeptember 25, 2008

I know what ever there is to know about dogs but I have no clue about cat behavior.

I adopted a rescue cat when he was 6 months old. Sweet, friendly, playful and would lick my hand. I've had him for a year now. He's completely changed. If I reach to pet him he swats me or tries to bite. He doesn't like to be held but rubs up against my leg. Several times he's just about killed me by walking between my legs. Now he's taken to yowling. He'll walk around the house or the yard and yowls, like he's looking for something or wandering aimlessly.

I rescued another cat 4 months ago so Fergus would have company. They get along great. Both are neutered and in good health.

Is Fergus an unhappy cat? or is he just mean?


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So this behavior started with the introduction of another cat? Very often that changes the chemistry between the original cat and owner, because the cats play differently with each other than they should with people.

Or, a change of behavior could indicate a medical problem. As crying does. So maybe it's time to visit the vet to check for stuff like urinary tract infections, or other common problems.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 6:08AM
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Also is he fixed? The stray toms around our neighborhood act like this when either in heat or approached by a female.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 8:49AM
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I had a male cat the I had nuertered. One of his testicles was not decended. The vet advised to wait as long as possible because it would be more complicated surgery to try to find both testis. Also advised he may not beable to get both/all so may not end up completely fixed. Waited until he was 1 1/2 years old and couldn't take it anymore. He started getting what is called stag tail, his back by tail and his tail would get a waxy smelly secretion. He was a persia so had long hair and was impossible/knotted/waxey mess. He was able to get both, but one was mid-way on his belly area...But maybe your male still has some testosterone secretions even though fixed. Can the vet check those levels? Do you have any records on his nueturing surgery? Maybe he is jsut being territorial with the new cat.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 8:56AM
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One of my older cat (male, close to 12 years old) started howling/crying like this and it was a sure sign he was very sick, but vet could not find anything wrong with him until it was too late. One of his problems was that he had become blind.
Now, my older calico has started howling, but it is pretty obvious when she does it: it is when she does not see us and wants re-assurance of our presence.

In your case, Fergus is too young to do this. I can think of several reasons.
There may be another cat roaming around (I know he is neutered but he may have some 'male instincts' left in him!).
He may want re-assurance that you are around.
He may need a visit to the vet (if you have a good one!). It could be a BP problem or UTI (as Elly mentioned)in which case other signs would be present.

He doesn't like to be held but rubs up against my leg. Several times he's just about killed me by walking between my legs.
That really is a sign of affection.. One of my newly adopted cats does the same thing. And not many cats like to be held!!!

Hope someone can shed some more light... Good luck, and keep us posted.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 9:10AM
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Wish I knew why my neighbor's cat yowls - he has woke me up several times at night with sounds so alarming that I had to go outside to investigate. Every time, he is just sitting there - no foul play having taken place.

During the day, he makes a different noise, like a mournful child's cry.

He appears to have a comfortable life - not sure what all the noise is about. (I suspect he is intact.) Maybe your cat is just extremely vocal.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:46AM
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I think each cat/kitten is different, it's really hard to pin point something like that and the last posts have had some really good information.
I have 3 inside cats, 1 is very vocal when she 1st gets up, 1 never says a word, just purrs very, very loud but our lone male, makes the most noise...I think, he's just spoiled..If he doesn't get his way with something, he'll yell, if you feed him something he doesn't like, he yells, if 1 of the girls gets in his way, he yells and takes a swat.And he will argue with me and always has to have the last word..He's just a spoiled fur baby but he's my baby and of course can do no wrong, noise or not....(Right now, my baby is mad because I won't let him sit on the computer)....Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:56AM
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Dance, it sounds like you are new to cats? I've had a couple yowlers and remember our female, growing up, wandering around at night doing the same thing. I've always associated it with their crazy playing and mock-hunts. I'd hear my male yowling and walking around and he'd show up with his mousey-mouse in his mouth : ) Sometimes they'd take to a romp too, after hearing this. Nothing to worry about when I've been around it. I always enjoyed hearing my guy warble : ) and knew he was on the prowl.

As a one year old now, maybe Fergus is just playing rough. The boys do like to wrestle rough. It may not actually be biting as you might be thinking, as with a dog. It can hurt though. Some do need to be taught to be gentle. My one guy, I put the sheet over my hand so I can let him wrestle with my arm and chomp on me, lol. Then it doesn't hurt! We both love it, though, and he knows that's when it's ok to play rough. Sometimes, also, you can be petting them and they'll grab you in a "love" bite (sometimes followed by licking). They're really not trying to hurt you. Overstimulation maybe. They might even grab at and latch on to your ankles when walking or doing the steps, which is just their idea of playing. They get wild-eyed spook spells and race around like wild cats. They're nuts! and just having a good time : )

I had a cat that was rather big. He didn't like to be picked up either but I found if I would lift him and bring his back end up and around on his side to lay across my arm (held in that Indian style across my chest) -- he loved it! He never liked to feel contained or trapped (caged until 7mos) and he was also big so probably a bit uncomfortable being held. Snuggliest guy that could be though : ) who had to have my arm around him at night. My other cat loves to be held over the shoulder like a baby, lol. They're as different as people!

Yes, some cats are more vocal than others. I do love it when they talk : )

Hope something in there helps and makes sense to you : )

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 12:09PM
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Thank you for all the great advise. Yes, I am new to cats. I've had dogs all my life but not cats.

First thing I did was bring him to the vet. Everything checks out okay. I begun to notice, he just may have something wrong with his rear end. Angus (my other kitty) has been sniffing Fergus's rear quite a bit lately and makes and ugly face afterwards. Is that normal? Dogs have anal glands that sometimes get impacted ... can cats have the same problem?

Come to think of it, there has been a big tabby hanging around on the other side of the fence. The cats don't leave the yard, they like to hang out and stay close to the dogs.

I'll give the vet another call and make an appointment just in case.

Thanks so much again ... and Fergus thanks you too. I think Fergus has some Siamese in his family tree.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 1:44PM
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Good idea- Yeah Its a mystery to me.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 10:27PM
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They do that face thing when smelling a number of things, lol. I forget technically what it is, but surely it's out there on a google.

With all my cats over the years, I haven't had any problems with their glands getting impacted. I've got one kitty who seems to be smelly that way and sometimes the vet will pop them. Usually, what happens, is that they will jump on your lap or something and you'll have that stinky smell and the stuff splattered around. Doesn't seem to happen that often though, thankfully.

Really not an issue around here. I'd probably just mention it on a routine visit and not waste your money on another visit. You will need it down the road for real problems!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 1:36PM
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I agree, money is tight for most.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 5:52PM
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It's $20 extra just to, boop!, squeeze those things!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 6:15PM
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My adopted cat got an infected and ruptured anal gland. It happened very fast. One day she was fine and the next was not happy. Two trips to the vet to get it cleaned out, with antibios and cortizone, got her fixed up and happy. Vet says some cats can have clogged anal glands because they are eating canned food and their stool is not firm enough to force the "oil" out of the anal glands when pooping. Don't change to dry food just to fix this problem, though - you will cause other, worse problems. Just watch it and have the vet extract them if needed. I hear you can do it yourself but I don't think I am going to try it.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 5:55PM
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I enjoy this video :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Cat Behavior And Training

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 1:42AM
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