Why does my old cat cry out at night?

My Old Cat Sleeping
My old lady cat
I am getting a little exasperated. Every night these days my 19 year old lady cat wakes me at 3:30 in the morning crying out. Sometimes her cry is a very deep one and loud. It is insistent. And sometimes it is a standard loud meow.

The deep cry is an interesting sound. She has only really started to make it fairly recently. She is not in pain neither is she ill. She is, however, very old and she is deaf or partially deaf.

One reason she calls out is for the simple reason that the food that I had put down for her has been eaten by a stray cat! She is hungry! Although she won't eat dry food these days unless it is Hills C/d.

Putting that reason aside, the reason she cries out is, I believe, to get attention and reassurance. She might also cry out after eating and after coming in from the outside. I believe that she feels isolated due to her deafness and needs comfort through contact with me to reassure her that all is well. During eating she is focused. When she stops she is a little confused and needs the reassurance of me around.

Another reason for a sense of isolation is senility. The vets call this cognitive dysfunction syndrome. It can cause a loss of awareness of the surroundings. This sense of disorientation and confusion results, I believe in a need for reassurance. She is crying out for that.

Once she has been comforted and eaten she settles down again. The major factor I believe is her insecurity due to her failing senses and particularly deafness.

She might want to be lifted up onto my bed for a cuddle as well. Of course I oblige. All this happens at 3:30 am. I am writing this at 4 am as I have just done all the above.

Apparently up to 40% of cats in the age bracket 16-20 years of age can suffer from disorientation due to cognitive dysfunction. There is nothing that can be done about it seems. A drug that is used for dogs, L-deprenyl (Anipryl), which improves the action of the brains neurotransmitters has not yet been approved for cats but is being tested (this drug was first used to treat Cushing’s disease in dogs - source: www.veterinarypartner.com). Things may have changed as at the date of this post. Personally, I would not prescribe drugs for something that is a natural consequence of aging. Plenty of tender love and care is the better treatment, I feel.

Here she is the night howler....! She has lost weight.

You can hear her cry at the beginning of this video:



Persistent crying in a young cat is probably due to discomfort or pain. For newborn kittens, an infection of the blood (kitten septicemia) will cause crying.

Michael Avatar

From Why Does my old cat cry out at night? to Home Page

Comments

  1. Love and nurturing are the best medicine. I very much enjoyed reading this. There is LOVE in the world!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had the same problem after my aunt and her cat (now my cat) moved in with me for a few years.

    Mocha was born with radial hypoplasia in both her front legs. For the first few years with my aunt Mocha didn't get much exercise because people basically thought her disability meant she couldn't do anything or try anything.

    Anyway, after nights and nights of hearing her cry I decided to get up and see what she was up to, it turned out she wanted someone to play with. In addition to being my little cuddle monster, Mocha has a lot of energy and after working it off and getting in regular play time she's stopped crying at night (she will cry and be up if she doesn't think she got an adequate amount of playing in).I had the same problem after my aunt and her cat (now my cat) moved in with me for a few years.

    Mocha was born with radial hypoplasia in both her front legs. For the first few years with my aunt Mocha didn't get much exercise because people basically thought her disability meant she couldn't do anything or try anything.

    Anyway, after nights and nights of hearing her cry I decided to get up and see what she was up to, it turned out she wanted someone to play with. In addition to being my little cuddle monster, Mocha has a lot of energy and after working it off and getting in regular play time she's stopped crying at night (she will cry and be up if she doesn't think she got an adequate amount of playing in).

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Your comments are always welcome.

Popular Posts