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Need Help With Anxious/vocal Senior Cat (no Medical Issues)

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by domani, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. domani

    domani Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    18
    3
    Jun 29, 2006
    Hi -
    Back in Nov, I wrote about my senior cat becoming increasingly vocal in the last couple of years, but it was before I went to the vet. So I went to the vet and there is nothing medically wrong with her that would cause the excessive vocalizing (aside from it just being old age). My vet was actually really impressed with her condition at almost 17. Good heart, teeth, eyes, lungs, blood work, no signs of arthritis

    So, that’s good news and bad news - I have a impressively healthy cat, but now I don’t have a remedy for the vocalizing!

    Any suggestions?

    Today, she’s in rare form and has been almost unbearable. My mom said she was crying all day (usually she sleeps all day) and she’s been resting/crying on and off every 30 minutes or so this evening. I was using Feliway spray regularly and stopped recently, so I started that again yesterday/today and maybe that’ll get her back down to her usual level of vocalizing.

    Her usual behavior - as I said, she’s usually quiet during the day. In the evening (starting when I get home around 6PM), she seems very unsettled. She’ll lay with me and then randomly get up, go eat or use the litter box, then walk around crying, stand in my doorway - looking right at me! - and cry and come back on the bed and cry. Rinse and repeat. I usually sleep with the TV on, but I’m not sure if it makes a difference.

    From what I’m reading, it could be SO much worse because at least it’s not nonstop. It’s just loud (I definitely think her hearing is going) and I hate feeling like she’s annoying my family. And I’m a light sleeper, so regardless of her crying only lasting a few minutes at a time, it still wakes me up. I’m also overly sensitive to some noises so sometimes (like today) it takes so much in me not to want to scream. For the record, I’m usually very gentle & patient with her. She is preparing me for motherhood & toddler living, I think, lol

    My bf and I are planning to move into our first home together this year and of all the the things to be nervous about - I’m mostly nervous about her becoming even MORE anxious and vocal because of the new setting & our other cats (she’s been the only cat in my house for the last 5ish years). So I’d really like to get a handle on this before then.

    Thank you!!
     

  2. Timmer

    Timmer TCS Member Super Cat

    729
    841
    Jan 10, 2018
    Cleveland, OH
    I feel your pain! I went through this too. Talk to the vet about giving her prozac. Before you say no way, I will tell you I had two cats on it and it works, does not make them goofy acting or dopey. It just sort of takes the edge off. I had my bengal cat, Timmer on a super low dose of it. Basically a human pill cut into quarters and he got a quarter of the pill a day. He was still the same kitty that I knew and loved, it didn't change his personality at all, and it worked. He still meowed but not the constant kind that makes you want to scream. It also might help for when you move.
    None of those Feliway products ever worked for me. I think that stuff is garbage. My opinion.
     
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  3. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

    14,480
    13,658
    Oct 16, 2015
    Havelock, North Carolina
    Feliway works well for some, not at all for others, and it's fairly expensive. Prozac is definitely an option. You might also consider giving her chamomile tea. It is gently calming, and the GERMAN variety is safe for cats. The dosage is 1-3 teaspoonsful up to 3 times a day. Just use the commercially prepared tea bags from the grocery store. Those are ALL German.

    I'd be shocked if her hearing wasn't starting to go! 17 years old qualifies her as a Grande Old Dame!

    As for the moving, I do have a tip about that. Take an old sheet, or buy one of the very cheap ones from somewhere like Walmart ($5) and spread it over one of her favorite lounging spots. Let her shed ALL OVER IT. When you are getting ready to move, cut the sheet into 18-24" squares, fold fur-side in, and place in a plastic bag. When you get to the new home, place at least one square in every room. That way, the home will smell like her and she'll have "instant territory."
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  4. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

    14,480
    13,658
    Oct 16, 2015
    Havelock, North Carolina
    OH OH OH...I just had a lightbulb go off above my head! At her age, she may be showing the first signs of feline dementia. YOU CAN GIVE HER GINKO! It works great in humans and animals for this!

    Ginkgo
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  5. domani

    domani Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    18
    3
    Jun 29, 2006
    Thank you for the replies!!

    My sister uses Prozac for her husband’s evil (like, REALLY evil) cat and I was actually wondering if that would be an option. I was concerned about it effecting her personality, so I’m happy to hear that it shouldn’t! I don’t think it’s something I’ll use now (she has more good days than bad) but I will definitely consider it if she has problems adjusting in a new place.

    And yes, I do think she’s experiencing cognitive decline and her behavior really isn’t unusual for a senior cat, but it’s hard to hear her crying (and she sounds so sad sometimes!) and not be able to soothe her.

    TY for this tip!! I will definitely do that. She only sleeps on my bed in the house, so it’ll be very easy to collect a fur ridden bedsheet lol

    Today I had a snow day and was home with her all day. She was SO QUIET. My mom said she’s usually quiet during the day, but then when I come home, she starts to act up. Today, the evening rolled around and she cried here and there, but it was very tame compared to how she usually is. Maybe she just gets excited to see me?? Lol, here’s hoping this doesn’t mean she’ll be keeping me up all night!
     
    Mamanyt1953 purraised this.

  6. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

    14,480
    13,658
    Oct 16, 2015
    Havelock, North Carolina
    How did she do?

    Don't forget about the possibility of using ginko biloba for dementia. It apparently works as well in cats as it does in humans.
     

  7. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

    4,224
    1,988
    Dec 11, 2015
    Naperville, IL
    I think dementia is a possibility, too. My son's aging cat yowled and howled a lot as she got really old. She also sat facing a corner of the walls, stared into the walls, and howled. Prozac might be a good option.
     
    Mamanyt1953 purraised this.

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