Nocturnal yowling cat! Please help.

katie00November 18, 2009

Hello -

I know there's been discussion of this topic before, but others had situations slightly different from mine, so I wanted to submit my own desparate query...

My cat, Emily, is about 2 years old now, and we've had her for quite some time. Two weeks ago, I moved into an apartment and brought her with me from my father's house. A few months back, during summertime, they let her outside on accident and she was MIA for two weeks before returning. I don't know if they were responsible enough (for shame) to get her checked at the vet afterwards either.

So, she took the move pretty hard though I kept her in my bedroom, cowering under my bed 23/7, barely eating. After a few days she got a little better, would sleep with me on my bed, and eventually was brave enough to wander the apartment (which is quite small) and meet my other cat, Alex (male). They hissed, but otherwise everything was fine.

Recently, I noticed she had fleas, so both cats were treated posthaste. Now, to come to the point...For the past four or five days, Emily has randomly started yowling and crying, usually around 2 - 5 a.m. She scratches incessantly on my door if I put her out, so I've kept her in and slept on the futon...But when she does this crying, she paces back and forth between the kitty litter and my closet, stretching up onto the wall and compuslively scratching at the carpet around the kitty litter box as if trying to bury it. I thought initially it was something wrong with the litter box, but cleaning it for her does nothing. She just keeps crying and pacing.

When I shush her or ask what's wrong, she stops for a minute, seems perfectly content, then goes right back to it. She doesn't seem to be in pain, but I am at a loss. In all of two years she never did this before, so I know it's not hypervocalization. She hasn't exhibited any strange eating or drinking habits lately, but I'm paranoid that it's some kind of illness--could it be hyperactive thyroid even though she's only 2? Are the fleas giving her trouble? She doesn't scratch at all, and only cries at night. What else could it be?

Thanks so much for putting my mind to rest,


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Is she fixed? I had a female cat that did that a lot before she was fixed, in other words, wants to mate. Also had a female that did that even though fixed, but not as insistent as the one not fixed. She liked to go outside but only allowed her outside if I was with her. She would get really vocal/yowling to go outside. Cats are really nocturnal animals but have adjusted to our lifestyles so the nighttime noises are probably a more instinctive thing.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 11:39AM
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If she's not spayed, get that fixed.

You've only been moved for two weeks. She probably needs more time to adjust.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 12:23PM
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I don't really have a solution for you, but I also think she (if she is spayed) is still feeling displaced and may need more time to adjust. My Sally is very shy; when I moved into a new condo two years ago, she hid in a closet 23/7 for nearly 6 months! Finally, in her own time, she adjusted and is just fine now. I have also noted that certain types of wet cat food--the really stinky stuff--disturbs Sally. After a few bites she'll paw around it to try to "cover" it and she looks uncomfortable as she does it. She's not a yowler, but she paces back and forth in the kitchen for awhile disturbed (before she forgets about it or her brother eats it all up). Can you move the litter to a place where she can't smell it at night?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 6:33PM
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Was there anybody (human or animal) at your father's house that she might be missing?

My kitty started yowling between 3 & 4am shortly after her brother-cat passed away. The same thing happened to a friend of mine when one of her two cats passed away. I have heard that story more than a few times. Could it possibly be grief of missing someone? If not, I would say it's probably just stress over the change of location.

I used some homeopathic anxiety drops for cats with surprising success. It didn't make things completely right, but it did seem to calm her down a little in the moment.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 10:23AM
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