Cat Cries Incessantly for no Reason

eb24

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So I'm back with yet another Diego tribulation-  I swear every time I think I've got it figured out with him he develops some new bizarre behavior that I can't grasp. Lately, It's been his constant crying. And I literally mean constant. I timed him last night- three full hours without letting up! And this isn't just him "meowing" or "chattering" away to himself- they are full blown howls. 

It seems to happen most frequently after I get in bed. He will sit next to the bed on the floor and start up. I'll invite him up onto the bed and that might stop him for a minute or two but them he gets going again. I'll bend down and pick him up with the same effect. I give him pets and same thing. 

My first instinct was that his cries were a way to try and get my attention. But, now it's become so excessive I worry that my calling him up or giving him pets is just reinforcing the crying. Lately I've been trying to wait until he stops crying to call him up but it seems he never takes a break!

Looking back, I thought maybe one factor that brought it on is the new, extensive presence of my boyfriend (who went from being here once or twice a week to staying here almost full time). But, that doesn't fully make sense because Diego LOVES him. The boyfriend has worked extensively to win over his and Ella's affections, and has spent many hours down on their level playing with them, giving them treats, and offering pets as they got more comfortable. And now it's to the point that they both sleep on him more than they do on me (Diego even likes to snuggle in and lick his armpit- don't even ask me what that is about). Other than that there have been no significant changes here that I can see that would bring this on, and we were just at the vet less than a month ago and Diego checked out perfectly healthy (if not a little neurotic). 

I know he's always going to be a "special needs" kitty and I'm fine with that, but the yowling for hours on end is really starting to wear on my nerves. Any suggestions from anyone on how to stop it? My other big concern is that he's unhappy and stressed out and this is his way of expressing it. Which, of course I don't want. How can I mellow him out and make his life (and mine by extension) a little easier?

Other things I can think of that might help: He still does suckle and has his blanket on the bed. When he cries I've green trying to call him up onto his blanket but he just won't settle in. He also has two new "Diego specific" spots in the apartment. One is in a cabinet that he utilizes frequently when he's scared or stressed and I don't disturb him when he's in there. The other is a little donut bed set up in the corner of the bedroom right near the bed. He seems to love it and spends a lot of time in there with his stuffed monkey who he loves to snuggle with. So, he has three major comfort places to utilize in addition to all the others here and yet he won't stop crying!  

I appreciate any and all advice any of you may have! TIA! 
 

micknsnicks2mom

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may i ask -- how old is diego now? still a kitten?

sometimes it helps some young kittens, and those who have been separated from their momma cat earlier than usual, to have something to snuggle with -- like diego has his stuffed monkey. another thing that sometimes helps is to have something close to him that sounds something like a heartbeat, like he'd feel/hear his momma cat's heartbeat. some people use a wind up alarm clock for this. maybe making a pocket through the back of diego's monkey and placing a wind up alarm clock in it would help? you could sew some velcro to secure the back of the monkey, thus allowing you to remove the clock and rewind it as needed.

another thought is that maybe diego's hearing isn't what it has/used to be. it could be wax build up or something else. it might be worth having your vet take a look at/in diego's ears, and test his hearing. cats who have developed impaired hearing, temporary or permanent, will many times cry/howl in their confusion about it.

another thing to try might be to make a special spot in the bed for diego, like maybe a special donut type bed placed in between the two pillows. you could make a big deal about diego's special spot in the bed, and maybe put a different stuffed toy (possibly with it's own wind up alarm clock in it) in this new donut bed for diego.
 
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I was going to ask his age too? There are a few things that can cause a cat to have this type of behavior. One cause can be hyperthyroidism. Cats who are hyperthyroid will often have an increase in blood pressure, especially at night time. It is believed that the increase in blood pressure causes a cat to have a headache and this is why they are crying. This condition is more prone to older cats though.

What about putting out a treat ball just before you go to bed. Fill it with special, yummy kitty treats. Maybe try a play session then right after that feed him before bedtime and settle him with you and his favorite suckle blanket. I have a suckler too! :lol3: If he is stressed for some reason :dk:, then maybe a mild anti-depressant given only in the evening may help curb this behavior enough to make it permanent then you can stop the meds. Just some thoughts to toss out there, hun !!!!! :hugs: I have a howler but it is during the day to ask for more food. Drives me insane too. :nothappy:
 
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eb24

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Ha sorry I guess his age is an important thing to know!
 He is just over a year and a half so he's still incredibly young. In terms of his background, he was born here in foster and so has been with me since birth. His Mom was pulled from foster a few weeks too early (in my opinion) when he was 10 weeks because she was so thin and the shelter wanted her to get some weight on, but that's certainly not too early compared to a lot of situations. Thankfully, he still had his litter mates until he was 13 weeks. 

About 9 months ago I did have his vision and hearing checked by a specialist because he was having some other issues (I told you- he's a problematic little boy). That surfaced because he was missing his jumps and falling off of things and I worried he couldn't see fully. But, they said his vision and hearing is all perfectly normal. The specialists' concern was that he might be in the beginning stages of Feline Hyperstesia and while he has some odd behaviors, none to this point really indicate that to me.  

I have thought about meds but am so hesitant to do that to him because the side effects can cause more harm than good. But, I realize we might just be getting to that point. It's so sad to me because he has such a good life here with everything he could ever want or need and yet he still seems so stressed all of the time. And that's no way for him to live. 
sometimes it helps some young kittens, and those who have been separated from their momma cat earlier than usual, to have something to snuggle with -- like diego has his stuffed monkey. another thing that sometimes helps is to have something close to him that sounds something like a heartbeat, like he'd feel/hear his momma cat's heartbeat. some people use a wind up alarm clock for this. maybe making a pocket through the back of diego's monkey and placing a wind up alarm clock in it would help? you could sew some velcro to secure the back of the monkey, thus allowing you to remove the clock and rewind it as needed.

another thought is that maybe diego's hearing isn't what it has/used to be. it could be wax build up or something else. it might be worth having your vet take a look at/in diego's ears, and test his hearing. cats who have developed impaired hearing, temporary or permanent, will many times cry/howl in their confusion about it.

another thing to try might be to make a special spot in the bed for diego, like maybe a special donut type bed placed in between the two pillows. you could make a big deal about diego's special spot in the bed, and maybe put a different stuffed toy (possibly with it's own wind up alarm clock in it) in this new donut bed for diego.
I really like all of these suggestions. Again, I don't think he has issues from the weaning process but it may for sure be worth a shot. Also, I'm going to try putting his donut bed on the bed inbetween us and seeing if that helps. As I mentioned he does have his suckle blanket but that's constantly getting moved. The only time he does really settle down on it is when I put it next to my head when it's time to go to sleep. Only then will he finally settle in. And yes I have tried putting it there before I go to sleep but he doesn't go for it. It has to be the actual sleeping process for him to bite. So, maybe making the donut bed a permanent fixture there (I'll even happily buy him a second, identical one if he likes it) may help. I'll even bring monkey along! 
I was going to ask his age too? There are a few things that can cause a cat to have this type of behavior. One cause can be hyperthyroidism. Cats who are hyperthyroid will often have an increase in blood pressure, especially at night time. It is believed that the increase in blood pressure causes a cat to have a headache and this is why they are crying. This condition is more prone to older cats though.

What about putting out a treat ball just before you go to bed. Fill it with special, yummy kitty treats. Maybe try a play session then right after that feed him before bedtime and settle him with you and his favorite suckle blanket. I have a suckler too!
If he is stressed for some reason
, then maybe a mild anti-depressant given only in the evening may help curb this behavior enough to make it permanent then you can stop the meds. Just some thoughts to toss out there, hun !!!!!
I have a howler but it is during the day to ask for more food. Drives me insane too.
I do not believe he has been checked for hyperthyroidism but I will call and ask the vet about it. Even though his age wouldn't indicate that problem I know something is wrong that they just haven't pinpointed yet. Both vet's (his regular one and the specialist) think he has a neurological deficiency but I'm not convinced that there isn't something more to it. Who knows, maybe it's time to go back to the holistic vet as well. 

I like the treat ball idea too. Though, I worry it would frustrate him. Is there a brand in particular that you use (or know of) that's good? Maybe even just a few treats to settle him in might help as well. 

Thinking all this through has reminded me of another question so I'm going to put it out there as well: Even though he passed his vision test with flying colors something still seems to be off. I understand he's a skittish guy and that's okay, but there will be times that people he does know and trust (mainly, me, my boyfriend, and my best friend) will come into the apartment and he will bolt in terror. It's like he doesn't realize who we are based on our look or on our voices. To get him to come out we physically have to track him down and offer him a hand to smell. Once he does that he will come right out and act like everything is fine. I just don't understand it- if his vision and hearing are fine than why does he not seem to recognize us? 

You are right Feralvr that the howling does drive me insane. But, what is even more frustrating is knowing that something is off with him but not having a clue what it is or how to fix it. He's too young to be this miserable!

I'm for sure going to implement some of these ideas (donut bed in the bed, treats before bed, ect) but welcome any other suggestions or insights into what might be going on. Hopefully some of this additional information helps give a better understanding of the situation! 

Thank you both so much for the help so far! 
 

micknsnicks2mom

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"Thinking all this through has reminded me of another question so I'm going to put it out there as well: Even though he passed his vision test with flying colors something still seems to be off. I understand he's a skittish guy and that's okay, but there will be times that people he does know and trust (mainly, me, my boyfriend, and my best friend) will come into the apartment and he will bolt in terror. It's like he doesn't realize who we are based on our look or on our voices. To get him to come out we physically have to track him down and offer him a hand to smell. Once he does that he will come right out and act like everything is fine. I just don't understand it- if his vision and hearing are fine than why does he not seem to recognize us? "

cats recognize each other and people/humans primarily with smell/by scent. so it makes sense that diego needs to smell people he knows in order to realize that he knows them and is comfortable around them.
 
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eb24

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cats recognize each other and people/humans primarily with smell/by scent. so it makes sense that diego needs to smell people he knows in order to realize that he knows them and is comfortable around them.
I know that smell is one of the more important senses to cats, but I've worked with many over the years and I have never known a cat who didn't at least use some level of sight/sound to identify people it knows and doesn't. Otherwise, wouldn't my other cat bolt at the sound of the door every time as well? Instead she's the opposite, and I've heard from others that she can tell by my footsteps when I am coming up the stairs to the apartment and will run to sit by the door and wait for me. I also know a lot of cats at the shelter who will come up as soon as they see me. 

I guess my point is, I know that scent is an important factor but it's not the only one, and the fact that he does this just doesn't seem right. 
 

micknsnicks2mom

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I know that smell is one of the more important senses to cats, but I've worked with many over the years and I have never known a cat who didn't at least use some level of sight/sound to identify people it knows and doesn't. Otherwise, wouldn't my other cat bolt at the sound of the door every time as well? Instead she's the opposite, and I've heard from others that she can tell by my footsteps when I am coming up the stairs to the apartment and will run to sit by the door and wait for me. I also know a lot of cats at the shelter who will come up as soon as they see me. 

I guess my point is, I know that scent is an important factor but it's not the only one, and the fact that he does this just doesn't seem right. 
i think you're right about that! i know my snick knows my voice. sometimes she calls out to me/"sings" to me during the overnight hours, and i talk to her from upstairs in bed and this does reassure her -- though i'd prefer for snick to snuggle in bed with me every night, she only does so every 3 or 4 nights or so. and i've had my cats meet me at the door because they know the sound of my footsteps too.

do you think it might help diego if he had a "buddy" cat/kitten? one who he could rely on to some extent, to gauge his reactions based on? of course, i think i'd be concerned about the future then, if the "buddy" kitty's time to go to the rainbow bridge came first it could be very hard on diego. is he close with any other cats/kittens now?
 
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eb24

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feralvr

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:thud: :thud: OH GOODNESS, I think I am in love by looks alone. :love: :lol3: They are both adorable BUT I just adore white cats. Diego is darling. :heart2: What a great companion he is for Ella. I love their story. :) What a cute pair.

Well, my theory of hypothyroidism may be far fetched now that I know his age. He is too young to have that condition, I think. But, still, ask you vet anyway. Interested to know what you vet says.

Very, very odd that he bolts and hides from all of you when you come home. I have to say, I always wonder HOW vets can tell if a cat's vision is 100% or their hearing 100%. It is possible that he is lacking in those two senses somewhat?? :dk: I guess I would think the same thing about one of my cats if they displayed this behavior upon my return. I am sorry that I don't have more to go on for you. In fact, as I am typing this, Presley is screaming in the laundry room (where it echoes, of course) for food. :frusty: :frusty: It curls my spine to hear it so of course I ran to dish up a little bit of canned food for him. ARGH. So, I completely know how the howling can get to you but I know why mine does it. How worrisome for you that you don't know why Diego does this at nighttime. :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: He is toooooooo darn cute to not feel good and I hope that you can get an answer.

The treat toy - I use this one. It is egg shaped and really can't roll under something and become unreachable for the cat.

I tried this one but it always disappeared by rolling under something in the house but may be worth you trying. They are pretty cheap.
I just think that there IS a reason for his incessant crying. :(. And, I will be keeping tabs on your little man and check in here for other's input. All my best to you, hun. :hugs: and to Diego :rub: :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:
 
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micknsnicks2mom

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oh my!!! what a lovely pair! ella is a beautiful and truly great cat -- looking after diego as she does. and diego....he's very handsome! he's so lucky to have ella be a part of his life!

and a very happy birthday to ella!
 

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Happy birthday sweet Ella!

Your kitties are adorable!

I understand how nasty sleep deprivation can be and I am sorry you are going through this. Harley - 1 year and three months old constantly cries at night, too. For months. I have done anything I could think of - play before bed time, not play before bed time, play when he dries, not play when he cries, ignore, not ignore, pet, squirt bottle, crate him, open the tv and the light, feed, you name it. He had bloodwork done, has been seen by three vets about this particular problem, I fed him Royal Canin Calm when I was still feeding kibbles, I pilled him with calming pills. I have a Feliway diffuser and a spray. I asked an animal communicator talk to him and she says it is not physical or behavioral, he just sees things.

It's been 8 months. Some nights are better, some not so much. If me and my bf are away the entire day and are too tired at night to give the cats proper attention, it gets worse.

I ordered flower essences, calming treats, l-theanine and l-trypthophan. At this point I am willing to try anything.
 
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eb24

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OH GOODNESS, I think I am in love by looks alone.
They are both adorable BUT I just adore white cats. Diego is darling.
What a great companion he is for Ella. I love their story.
What a cute pair.

Well, my theory of hypothyroidism may be far fetched now that I know his age. He is too young to have that condition, I think. But, still, ask you vet anyway. Interested to know what you vet says.

Very, very odd that he bolts and hides from all of you when you come home. I have to say, I always wonder HOW vets can tell if a cat's vision is 100% or their hearing 100%. It is possible that he is lacking in those two senses somewhat??
I guess I would think the same thing about one of my cats if they displayed this behavior upon my return. I am sorry that I don't have more to go on for you. In fact, as I am typing this, Presley is screaming in the laundry room (where it echoes, of course) for food.
It curls my spine to hear it so of course I ran to dish up a little bit of canned food for him. ARGH. So, I completely know how the howling can get to you but I know why mine does it. How worrisome for you that you don't know why Diego does this at nighttime.
He is toooooooo darn cute to not feel good and I hope that you can get an answer.

The treat toy - I use this one. It is egg shaped and really can't roll under something and become unreachable for the cat.

I tried this one but it always disappeared by rolling under something in the house but may be worth you trying. They are pretty cheap.
I just think that there IS a reason for his incessant crying.
. And, I will be keeping tabs on your little man and check in here for other's input. All my best to you, hun.
and to Diego
Haha well thank you! I'm so glad you find them both as stunning as I do, especially Diego. There is just something about the all white look that melts me!

I also agree with you totally that there just has to be something else going on that they haven't identified yet. No, it's probably not hyperthyroidism but maybe like you say something is wrong with his vision or hearing that they missed? I hate to hear that you struggle with an incessant crier too and know how frustrating it can be but you are right that it's a little different when you know the cause and know how to fix it. I'm just flying blind here trying and hoping something works. But, even if I manage to fix it I still feel like I'm just addressing the symptoms and not the underlying issue. And, if that isn't figured out it's just going to manifest in another way at another time. UGH so frustrating! That said, everyone's support really does help, and I hope one day to be able to answer the WHY for all of us!

Oh and thank you for the treat ball recommendation. I agree that I think I like the egg shaped one so he can't lose it (a perpetual problem around here). 
I understand how nasty sleep deprivation can be and I am sorry you are going through this. Harley - 1 year and three months old constantly cries at night, too. For months. I have done anything I could think of - play before bed time, not play before bed time, play when he dries, not play when he cries, ignore, not ignore, pet, squirt bottle, crate him, open the tv and the light, feed, you name it. He had bloodwork done, has been seen by three vets about this particular problem, I fed him Royal Canin Calm when I was still feeding kibbles, I pilled him with calming pills. I have a Feliway diffuser and a spray. I asked an animal communicator talk to him and she says it is not physical or behavioral, he just sees things.

It's been 8 months. Some nights are better, some not so much. If me and my bf are away the entire day and are too tired at night to give the cats proper attention, it gets worse.

I ordered flower essences, calming treats, l-theanine and l-trypthophan. At this point I am willing to try anything.
Yes it definitely sounds like we are in very similar situations and haven't come up with any answers yet which is so frustrating!

It sounds like you have been more willing to go the supplement route than I have- have there been any you think have helped? I would love to hear your thoughts on what you have tried and what the outcome was. 

I think the part about the animal communicator is super interesting. I do believe that there are spirits and that animals can be much more sensitive to their energies so maybe that is part of what is going on. In hindsight, all of Diego's issues manifested when I had to move them from the apartment to my parents house when my Mom was very sick. It wasn't an ideal situation but they were still well cared for and had plenty of room. But, he never cried like he does now before that, and if I really try and pin it down I don't think he started until after my Mom had died and we moved back into the apartment. Granted, that may be me trying to make it all fit but at the time I chalked all the changes up to his age (as it was right around the time he turned a year). But who knows, maybe my Mom comes and visits me more than I realize she does! 


I would love to hear more about your experience if you are willing to share! 

Thanks again to everyone for all the advice and support. It's all really been helpful so far!
 

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. I'm just flying blind here trying and hoping something works. But, even if I manage to fix it I still feel like I'm just addressing the symptoms and not the underlying issue. And, if that isn't figured out it's just going to manifest in another way at another time. UGH so frustrating!
Completely understand and agree. I honestly think a lot of the time that is what we do, treating the symptoms, when no clear-cut, outlined diagnosis is found. Such a worry then. Though, will say, I have to wonder if this points to a hearing/eyesight issue in the night. I can only relate this. I had an elderly kitty named Winky whom lived to 19 years. The last four years of her life she howled JUST SHORTLY after we would go to bed for about an hour or more. No, she did not have Hyperthyroidism. In fact, she was extremely healthy for an old girl. But, what she did have was some deafness beginning when she was 15 that progressed to just about full deafness when she passed. We knew this because she stopped coming when called, stopped whining when I sang her favorite song (well, she really hated it :lol3:), didn't wake up when we spoke to her unless loudly, etc. etc. I think the deafness made her more panicky at night when the house became really quiet and she cried out wanting to "hear" something. SO....... I left a TV on in the other room one night - fairly loud - as an experiment. Well, the nights that we could tolerate the loud TV for an hour or so after we went to bed, Winky was quiet. Seriously, even though she was going deaf, she got extremely upset when all was quiet and there was no one doing anything. It was anxiety over her going deaf, I think.

Anyway - just thought I would tell this story and not sure it relates in any way to Diego's issue but thought worth mentioning. You just never know what goes on in their little brains and what may cause them grief/stress. I think it is a battle for any one of us who love and care for these furbabies. There will come a time when we wish they could just tell us what hurts, what scares them, what is wrong. Nope - it won't ever be that easy and we have to eliminate and dissect many layers to try to get to the cause. :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes: DIEGO !!!! and :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: for momma.
 

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Sorry for not answering sooner.

I took Harley from the street in May 2013. He was about 4 months old, a kitten in a feral colony I feed and TNRd. He had a very severe case of herpesvirus. But he was so friendly I did not have to trap him, he entered the carrier by himself. After 2-3 weeks at the vet for intensive treatment, we decided to foster him ad his sister. Long story short, they never got adopted - well, we adopted them and now we have three cats (ETA we already had Sophie).

Because of the herpes virus he had various health issues - in June we almost lost him, he was vomiting and had very high fever. He survived but had loose stools for months and neuropathies that manifest from time to time in his legs, he can't put his weight on the leg that is bothering him. He also has a permanent damage in his right eye.

But he is a happy fellow. Eats like a pig and purrs constantly. He loves to play and to be petted. But he cries at night.

At first we took him to the vet for health issues regarding his crying. They found nothing.

Then we thought it was behavioral. And I tried it all. My bf is a heavy sleeper and the girl cats ignore him - so it's just me and Harley.

I have fed him when he was crying but that only stopped the crying while his mouth was full.
I have used an inhumane water bottle but he took it like a game, making me chase him.
I have left the light on thinking it was his impared vision.
The tv is always on with sound but it doesn't help.
I have put him in the carrier and it made his cry change into a howl.
I have put him on the balcony (it is like an enclosed small room), he kept crying.
I bought a bag of Royal canin calm and fed it to him.
I played with him until he was out of breath and then fed him a hearty meal. That only made the crying worse because after eating, he cried searching for the toys and during the night he had even more energy, so playing before bed time overstimulates him.
Eventually I ignored him. I have neighbors, which makes it kind of hard to ignore him as I do not know how much they hear.

After months of waking up every single night, we went back to the vet. Three times. Last time we had bloodwork done, all is fine. The vets say it is a common problem. Their solution was a calming pill with valerian and phenobarbital.

So I gave him that. Absolutely nothing changed. He was supposed two take a quarter of a pill at bed time but one morning he stole and ate half a pill. I thought he might overdose but it had no effect on him.

And then I tried the animal communicator. She said it is not physical or behavioral, he sees things, good energy. She sais she told him to stop crying, but nothing has changed.

So right now I am giving him every night some calming treats with l-theanine. Three nights in, no change. If these don't work - and they don't seem to - I will give him l-theanine in his food. Then I will try adding colostrum. If it doesn't work, I will try l-trypthophan. But Royal Canin Calm has ltryptophan and it didn't work.

I also have dr Bach's flower essences. I will try those too, but I want to give the theanine more time now.

The only thing that works is me waking up and talking to him. It doesn't always make him come to sleep, but it makes him quiet.

Sorry for the long post and hijacking your thread. Please keep us posted if you find something that works.
 
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How weird is this. My cat Luke Skywalker does not shut up. He is constantly howling...and when I say howling I mean like HOWLING. He is a VERY active cat. loves to play and will get into everything. He is also a huge purr ball and is motor is constantly going. My baby will be two in June I believe. I have took him to two different doctors in the same vet clinic and they both gave me advice but none of it worked. One doc said to feed him as late as possible and feed him more. Did that. Still howls. Took him back to the vet and the same doc said he was healthy and nothing was physically wrong.. I didn't want to spend a fortune on running tests on him. Took him to the vet again but this time to a different doc. This doc told me to wear him out right before he goes to sleep and see if that helps. Or if there is a specific toy that he has misplaced and cannot reach.... The last visit with the doc was around Feb and i have dome all of that and he is still howling. I have picked him up and showed him the walls and all that stuff. I personally think he likes to hear him self talk or that there is another animal outside. He likes to howl at my closet for some reason and has lately been howling at the foot of my bed and walks into my bathroom and howls in there too. It used to be he would sit and howl at the wall in my living room. I would call him over to me and he would stop. Now when I call him he doesn't stop. I play fetch with him every night before bed with straws ( I know it's weird ). And usually he passes out. I feel so horrible right now because I don't know what he is wanting. His howls have become increasingly Lowder and more consistent. But to me his hearing is perfect. He comes from the other room when I call him or he can't see me. I am just at a loss. Aahh so frustrating!!
 
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eb24

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At first we took him to the vet for health issues regarding his crying. They found nothing.

Then we thought it was behavioral. And I tried it all. My bf is a heavy sleeper and the girl cats ignore him - so it's just me and Harley.

I have fed him when he was crying but that only stopped the crying while his mouth was full.
I have used an inhumane water bottle but he took it like a game, making me chase him.
I have left the light on thinking it was his impared vision.
The tv is always on with sound but it doesn't help.
I have put him in the carrier and it made his cry change into a howl.
I have put him on the balcony (it is like an enclosed small room), he kept crying.
I bought a bag of Royal canin calm and fed it to him.
I played with him until he was out of breath and then fed him a hearty meal. That only made the crying worse because after eating, he cried searching for the toys and during the night he had even more energy, so playing before bed time overstimulates him.
Eventually I ignored him. I have neighbors, which makes it kind of hard to ignore him as I do not know how much they hear.

After months of waking up every single night, we went back to the vet. Three times. Last time we had bloodwork done, all is fine. The vets say it is a common problem. Their solution was a calming pill with valerian and phenobarbital.

So I gave him that. Absolutely nothing changed. He was supposed two take a quarter of a pill at bed time but one morning he stole and ate half a pill. I thought he might overdose but it had no effect on him.

And then I tried the animal communicator. She said it is not physical or behavioral, he sees things, good energy. She sais she told him to stop crying, but nothing has changed.

So right now I am giving him every night some calming treats with l-theanine. Three nights in, no change. If these don't work - and they don't seem to - I will give him l-theanine in his food. Then I will try adding colostrum. If it doesn't work, I will try l-trypthophan. But Royal Canin Calm has ltryptophan and it didn't work.

I also have dr Bach's flower essences. I will try those too, but I want to give the theanine more time now.

The only thing that works is me waking up and talking to him. It doesn't always make him come to sleep, but it makes him quiet.

Sorry for the long post and hijacking your thread. Please keep us posted if you find something that works.
Don't apologize at all- everything you wrote is so incredibly helpful! I'm sorry that you are dealing with the same situation but it's nice to compare notes and see what you have tried. Hopefully it will help me from making some of the same mistakes! I know I already said it but I really am fascinated by what the animal communicator said and do believe there may be some merit to that. I will also admit that I am a bit discouraged that the calming pill didn't work as going the medication route has been my fallback plan if everything else fails, and it's disheartening to hear that you didn't have any success with it. But, I realize that all cats respond differently to medications/herbs so maybe Diego will be different, and maybe your little one will respond better to the flower essences (which I have heard great things about). 

I think my reservation with going the medication route is that I just don't know enough about it yet. If I do I will for sure be trying homeopathic substances (like the flower essences) before the more traditional ones. I just worry so much that the side effects can outweigh the benefits. That said, I do think it's time for me to at least start researching all the different options and if I come up with anything that sounds good (or that actually works) I will for sure let you know. Please keep me posted as well if you find something too!
How weird is this. My cat Luke Skywalker does not shut up. He is constantly howling...and when I say howling I mean like HOWLING. He is a VERY active cat. loves to play and will get into everything. He is also a huge purr ball and is motor is constantly going. My baby will be two in June I believe. I have took him to two different doctors in the same vet clinic and they both gave me advice but none of it worked. One doc said to feed him as late as possible and feed him more. Did that. Still howls. Took him back to the vet and the same doc said he was healthy and nothing was physically wrong.. I didn't want to spend a fortune on running tests on him. Took him to the vet again but this time to a different doc. This doc told me to wear him out right before he goes to sleep and see if that helps. Or if there is a specific toy that he has misplaced and cannot reach.... The last visit with the doc was around Feb and i have dome all of that and he is still howling. I have picked him up and showed him the walls and all that stuff. I personally think he likes to hear him self talk or that there is another animal outside. He likes to howl at my closet for some reason and has lately been howling at the foot of my bed and walks into my bathroom and howls in there too. It used to be he would sit and howl at the wall in my living room. I would call him over to me and he would stop. Now when I call him he doesn't stop. I play fetch with him every night before bed with straws ( I know it's weird ). And usually he passes out. I feel so horrible right now because I don't know what he is wanting. His howls have become increasingly Lowder and more consistent. But to me his hearing is perfect. He comes from the other room when I call him or he can't see me. I am just at a loss. Aahh so frustrating!!
It really is interesting how similar all of our situations are, and is especially ironic that all three are young male cats. What could the possible connection be in ones that are so young and should be perfectly healthy? Something else I find really interesting is that a lot of the behaviors you are describing (the howling  at the closet, the foot of the bed, in the bathroom, ect) almost makes me wonder if he's seeing spirits too! 

It's also interesting that we have all gotten similar advice from the vets and that it has been absolutely worthless. I don't think any of these situations are about them having too much energy or needing to eat more later at night. If that was the case we wouldn't be having this conversation! There has to be something else going on. The problem is trying to find that very fine line of what is physical versus what is behavioral and not reinforcing the howling while still reassuring them that everything is okay. And, that's what makes it so frustrating! 

Thank you for sharing your experience as well. I think the more we can compare the better off we will all be! 

__________

As to where we are now: since starting this thread I have decided to keep a log tracking Diego's behavior to see if I can come up with the common denominator. Right now I'm not making a lot of changes but more just observing and documenting. And, while I haven't figured anything out yet I have been able to rule some things out. For example, part of me had wondered if he was just getting cranky at night because my boyfriend has been staying here a lot more frequently and that perhaps he was angry that we were paying attention to each other and not to him. But, those first two nights that I was super sick the BF didn't stay over and Diego howled as usual. So, I can cross that off the list as being a factor. I think it's just going to take time and a lot of trial and error but hopefully in the end we can figure it out and make things easier for him!

I do have to stop for a second and throw some serious props to the aforementioned boyfriend because even though he doesn't have to help he has really taken it upon himself to try and work one on one with Diego to try and help hime be a little less of a nut job. The day I started the log he started his "Diego time" before bed.  Of course I had already determined that it wasn't a lack of play or food that is causing Diego's issues, but the BF feels strongly (and I agree) that just giving him some special attention will be nothing but beneficial in the long run, and even if it doesn't help with the crying it may help him with some of his other issues. Granted, he had to spend an hour one night trying to coax Diego from out of the cabinet but he's had other successes since then, including a few good play sessions and a couple nights of intense brushing (which Diego really seems to enjoy when he's not trying to eat the brush).  My hope is that the individualized attention coupled with detailed logs will help us get to the bottom of it and find a solution! I promise that WHEN I do I will pass it along! 

Completely understand and agree. I honestly think a lot of the time that is what we do, treating the symptoms, when no clear-cut, outlined diagnosis is found. Such a worry then. Though, will say, I have to wonder if this points to a hearing/eyesight issue in the night. I can only relate this. I had an elderly kitty named Winky whom lived to 19 years. The last four years of her life she howled JUST SHORTLY after we would go to bed for about an hour or more. No, she did not have Hyperthyroidism. In fact, she was extremely healthy for an old girl. But, what she did have was some deafness beginning when she was 15 that progressed to just about full deafness when she passed. We knew this because she stopped coming when called, stopped whining when I sang her favorite song (well, she really hated it 
), didn't wake up when we spoke to her unless loudly, etc. etc. I think the deafness made her more panicky at night when the house became really quiet and she cried out wanting to "hear" something. SO....... I left a TV on in the other room one night - fairly loud - as an experiment. Well, the nights that we could tolerate the loud TV for an hour or so after we went to bed, Winky was quiet. Seriously, even though she was going deaf, she got extremely upset when all was quiet and there was no one doing anything. It was anxiety over her going deaf, I think.

Anyway - just thought I would tell this story and not sure it relates in any way to Diego's issue but thought worth mentioning. You just never know what goes on in their little brains and what may cause them grief/stress. I think it is a battle for any one of us who love and care for these furbabies. There will come a time when we wish they could just tell us what hurts, what scares them, what is wrong. Nope - it won't ever be that easy and we have to eliminate and dissect many layers to try  to get to the cause. 
 DIEGO !!!! and 
 
 
 
 
 
 for momma.
I have to add a special note to you at the end Feralvr to really thank you for taking the time to share your experience.  And, even moreso, I want to really thank you for all of your support (both in this situation and others 
). It really does help tremendously to know that I am not the only person who feels like they don't know what the problem is and are just treating the symptoms hoping that this will be the time it ends up differently. I know this sounds stupid but sometimes I just feel like a horrible pet parent and so worthless when it comes to Diego. And worse, sometimes I wonder if he would have been better off if I would have adopted him out. Like if he was with someone else they would know just how to make things easier for him. I know that's not logical, and in all likelihood I've done and will continue to do more than most would (not many would shell out $300 bucks to take their one year old cat to an eye specialist). But still, I'm so solution oriented that it drives me crazy that I just can't fix it. While I know in my head that there are so many who have had issues with their pets that they just can't seem to resolve it's so reassuring to see it in print, especially when it's coming from someone who I really admire and respect, and who I know has a ton of great experience. Just hearing that you were able to handle a similar situation gives me hope that I can too! 

I still do agree with you that even though he passed his tests I think he may have a problem with night vision and/or with his hearing. As you pointed out, it totally makes sense that if he is struggling to adjust to a change in either of those he's going to be more anxious and stressed. I guess I'll have to resign that I may never be able to fully figure out which one it is or the full extent of it. But, what I do know is that I'm going to keep trying. So, thank you for giving me back some of the resolve that I had lost. You have helped calm me down so that I can go and keep working to try and find the best way to help him. And that, my friend, is just about the best thing someone can do!  
 
 
 
 


________________

Thanks again to all of you for sharing your experiences and making me feel less along. Let's all keep each other posted on if we find anything that works to help these little guys (and improve our quality of sleep!) 
Vibes to each of you and your little guys!!
 

feralvr

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I have to add a special note to you at the end Feralvr to really thank you for taking the time to share your experience.  And, even moreso, I want to really thank you for all of your support (both in this situation and others 
). It really does help tremendously to know that I am not the only person who feels like they don't know what the problem is and are just treating the symptoms hoping that this will be the time it ends up differently. I know this sounds stupid but sometimes I just feel like a horrible pet parent and so worthless when it comes to Diego. And worse, sometimes I wonder if he would have been better off if I would have adopted him out. Like if he was with someone else they would know just how to make things easier for him. I know that's not logical, and in all likelihood I've done and will continue to do more than most would (not many would shell out $300 bucks to take their one year old cat to an eye specialist). But still, I'm so solution oriented that it drives me crazy that I just can't fix it. While I know in my head that there are so many who have had issues with their pets that they just can't seem to resolve it's so reassuring to see it in print, especially when it's coming from someone who I really admire and respect, and who I know has a ton of great experience. Just hearing that you were able to handle a similar situation gives me hope that I can too!
Thank you for your lovely note... :hugs: :blush: :hugs: I think we are very much alike because I too desire answers to most things. Sometimes we will never get those answers, those solutions and it is not easy for me to accept. I went through about five years of this with my beloved dog :heart3: Wilbur :heart3:. He was THE most special dog to me and had many unresolved health issues. It drove me insane at times because I was so desperately in love with this little guy that I became extremely anxious and panicky at times with the unknown over his health. It was such a drain emotionally. I look back on that now and try to learn to take a step back with uprising new health issues with the ones I still have and try to accept that sometimes we will just not be able to find the answers no matter how much money we throw at vets and specialists. But, like you, I felt better doing so and at least trying to get answers. I think we don't want to fail our babies and in their eyes looking back at us, we can never, ever fail them. :heart3: :heart2: Failing and succeeding are going to happen when we share our lives with these special little beings and creatures and we have to learn to manage both. ANYHOO !!!!!!!!!! I get what you are dealing with and feel for you. Give Diego a :kiss: for me - he is really a special boy, I can tell. AND, he has a really special momma who is THE BEST parent any kitty could ever have. :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs:
 
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Any updates?

I'm in a bad place right now, stressed about work and tired. Harley started crying also at 11.30 pm when we go to bed, and again at 4.30 am. He used to only cry in the early am. I started closing him in the living room with Amelie. They have everything there, cat tower, shelves, litterbox, dozens of toys, boxes and bags, but I hate shutting them there. I would love to have them in the bedroon with us, but Harley won't stop crying. Amelie is a colateral victim, I put her there to keep Harley conpany, otherwise his crying will get worse.

I feel so bad for doing this, but lately he discovered that if he screams in the bathtub we can hear him better. And he only does this at night, he is such a wonderful boy during the day...
 
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eb24

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Any updates?

I'm in a bad place right now, stressed about work and tired. Harley started crying also at 11.30 pm when we go to bed, and again at 4.30 am. He used to only cry in the early am. I started closing him in the living room with Amelie. They have everything there, cat tower, shelves, litterbox, dozens of toys, boxes and bags, but I hate shutting them there. I would love to have them in the bedroon with us, but Harley won't stop crying. Amelie is a colateral victim, I put her there to keep Harley conpany, otherwise his crying will get worse.

I feel so bad for doing this, but lately he discovered that if he screams in the bathtub we can hear him better. And he only does this at night, he is such a wonderful boy during the day...
Oh no- I'm so sorry to hear things have gotten worse for you! 
 I'm also sorry for the delay in replying. I've actually been out of town and without internet for the past month. I am home now but still have very limited access for the next few weeks.

I can tell you that my journaling on his behavior didn't turn up any earth shattering leads. However, adding a cat bed right next to the big bed did seem to help. I think it has given him a safe space to sleep while still feeling secure. I did try putting it on the bed but that seemed to make things worse. I also ended up moving his suckle blanket to his new cat bed as opposed to ours. I think the more he is on the bed the more amped up he gets. Giving him his own space where he can still see what's going on seems to have helped.

The other big thing that has helped is stupidly basic cognitive re-training: complete and utter avoidance whenever Diego starts wailing, and pouring on the attention and affection as soon as he stops. I'll be honest that I can't take credit for this as it was all the Boyfriend after I had left. He did say the first two weeks were hard and Diego was even more over the top in his howling, but with consistency it seems that the booger finally figured out that crying gets him nothing while calmness gets him everything. 

So, I guess my advice is that, even though it won't be fun for awhile, maybe give it a shot. I have tried the 'shutting him out' technique in the past and had zero success- if anything I think it made him worse. I also think the increase in play that Diego has had has also helped. Every night before bed the BF engages him in a good ten minute session and that seems to have helped get some of his nervous energy out. The big key though seems to be that you have to do whatever it takes not to acknowledge him when he's having a fit. No talking, no touching, no nothing! Then, as soon as he quiets down, make the extra effort to praise him and give him pets- maybe even a few treats- whatever it is that he is craving most. BF also makes extra efforts when he sees Diego having quiet moments on his own, and will take a minute or two to pet and praise him. 

The only other thing I would add is that, if keeping him out of the bedroom at night is absolutely necessary, pay attention to how he is when you do let them back in. Meaning, if he's meowing at all don't open that door, as all it does is reinforces to him that yelling his head off inevitably gets him what he wants. 

I still think there is something bigger at work here but since he seems to be otherwise healthy re-training his behavior seemed to be in order. And, it really does seem to be working. So, give it a shot and let us know how it goes! 

Hang in there! 
 
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eb24

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Just wanted to add another brief update that I think we have had some more success with helping Diego and his anxiety! We got him a Thundershirt and so far it has been night and day on his behavior. I don't yet know the effect it will have on his nighttime howling (though he has gotten somewhat better with just the behavior modification) but so far it has helped tremendously with his social fears. I wrote about it in another thread so if interested you can read it there

I know it's early and only time will tell how much the shirt actually helps but I am optimistic. For those still in the early stages above all else I would say just don't give up and keep trying different things. Eventually something will work to help satiate our anxious felines! 
 
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