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Excessive Cat Meowing
updated: May 17, 2012, 11:00 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Has anyone else had a cat who meows constantly throughout the night? My 15 year old cat has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (or hyperthyroidism?) and she is now crying and howling all night and morning long, disrupting the entire house's sleep. She is otherwise happy and healthy. Is there any solution? No smart alecs, please... I need help!

Also, can anyone reccommend the best cat doctor in town? I've been going to a certain vet for the past 20 years with all of my animals, but I'm disappointed.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 280295 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 11:06 AM

Janice Garrett at the Cat Doctors on De La Vina - 899-2944 - took care of my cat Jake who had hyperthyroidism from the time he was diagnosed (13 years old) until he went into kidney failure and I had to put him to sleep (~16.5 years old). She is an excellent vet and does not over charge you - she presents all alternatives so that you can make an educated decision.


 COMMENT 280296 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 11:06 AM

Your cat sounds is probably crying for attention. Perhaps a fishbowl or fish tank might distract her. We see Dr. Morgan at St. Francis. He has been an excellent vet for our cats.


 COMMENT 280299 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 11:14 AM

You say diagnosed, did the vet prescribe hormones? Our older cat (~17yrs old) was staying up all night and knocking things over. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and the vet prescribed some hormones cream that we rub on her ears twice a day. It made a huge difference. We go to the Cat and Bird Clinic.


 COMMENT 280301 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 11:15 AM

Christine Sellers at the Cat and Bird Clinic 569-CATS, corner of Mission and Chapala, is the BEST. She has treated (and taught me to administer meds at home) all of my cats for the last 15 years. Plus, she's just the nicest lady as well. And funny.


 COMMENT 280304 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 11:16 AM

please get an accurate diagnosis as hypothyroidism means under-active and hyper is the opposite, over-active thyroid. The cat and bird clinic on Mission and Chapala are good. The howling may be thyroid related. It may also be the onset of dementia. The vet will know best.


 COMMENT 280305 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 11:16 AM

My cat is doing the same thing, and it drives me nuts. I giver her hyperthyroidism medicine on her ears (she didn't do well with the pills) once a day, but the meowing continues. She also acts lost and confused at times. She's 18 and my baby, and I hate seeing her get older like this. :(


 COMMENT 280308 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 11:20 AM

Man, hope my cat doesn't contract that...

He meows all through the night as he is perfectly healthy. In addition to stepping on your face looking for attention or needing more food.

They can be characters...


 COMMENT 280309 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 11:24 AM

My cat DeeDee did the same thing starting when she was 15 years. She also lost most of her hearing. At first I thought she was in pain, but as soon as I got up and petted her she started to purr and appeared to be happy. This lasted for 2 years until she died at 17 years. I got used to it and as long as I knew she was not in any discomfort I accepted the howling because I loved her. She's been gone for 2 years and I still grieve.


 COMMENT 280310 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 11:26 AM

True...Hypo & hyper are opposites...but the thyriod still regulates body temp.,so either your cat is too hot or too cold. I would guess too cold & needs warming. Our pets are like our children & need our constant care, even if they "keep me up all night" like a sick relative.I pray that if I re-incarnate as someones pet, they will care for me well, until I die again...


 COMMENT 280314 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 11:51 AM

The cat is trying to tell you something. Cats and all animals and children and babies don't do things for no reason at all.

My cat was brilliant (she watched animal documentaries for up to an hour). Her last few years she would cry and run around the house at night. It turned out our house had toxic mold in every wall. Mold blooms at night (triggered by cold and damp). I think she was affected by this as we all were eventually. She was the canary.


 COMMENT 280316 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 11:52 AM

have the horse take the cat swimming.


 COMMENT 280320 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 12:05 PM

I would also recommend the Cat Doctors. I hope your kitty (and your household!) finds relief.


 COMMENT 280321 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 12:12 PM

Our cat did that during the last month of her 17 year life. Her kidneys were failing and she was uncomfortable and could only rest for a couple hours at a time. Then she would get up and start baying. We tried medication and she could rest through the night, but she was dopey. We decided her quality of life was poor and chose to put her down.

I'm not saying this is where you cat is at, but she is likely uncomfortable too. Have they tested her kidney function? That is one of the things that fail late in life.

Our favorite cat vet is Dr. Amanda Lumsden formerly of the Cat & Bird Clinic, but now works as a mobile vet at Mobile Cat Calls. She comes to your house and is very caring. You can reach her at (805) 895-2287.


 COMMENT 280324 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 12:14 PM

I gave my boy cat his hypothyroid pills and after 1 month he stopped crying and howling. He cries and howls every once in awhile, but, not as much as before the pills. Last year my colleagues would laugh at me when we did business on the phone. HB was always crying in the background and did not stop crying. I believe he is going to live longer since we started treating him.

Good luck. Follow your vet's recommendations. It will get better.


 COMMENT 280330 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 12:19 PM

Definitely go to a Cat specialist. I switched to the Cat & Bird Clinic on Mission street. Even my older cat LOVES going there! The Vet has a great intuition and instinct for the cats. They do almost all the testing there, so you can find out results right away. And, the prices are cheaper than the other Vets, cuz they don't have to stock up on other animal needs.... Just Cats & Birds.... supplies


 COMMENT 280347P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 12:52 PM

We take our cats to Dr. Sellers at the Cat & Bird Clinic on Mission St. too - she is amazing!


 COMMENT 280354 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 01:29 PM

Be humane and put her down. I know it's hard but she is miserable and is trying to tell you that. It is selfish to keep animals around when they are miserable, they don't have the ability to reason through the pain like humans do.


 COMMENT 280362 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 01:46 PM

354: That's just wrong. You don't know that. Cats yowl for various reasons (attention, hungry, uncomfortable, in heat, in pain, can smell another cat (or other critter), etc.). The humane thing is to get a second opinion, have the kitty's kidneys checked out, and try the hyper (or hypo) thyroid medicine to see if that helps. Try playing with her more during the day - see if you can tire her out so she sleeps more soundly at night.
OP: you mention her yowling all night & morning - does she not yowl during the majority of the day, or did you mean she yowls constantly, all day?


 COMMENT 280372 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 02:25 PM

Boo hiss to 354. She is not your cat and you don't have the cat's full history. Shame on your suggestion.


 COMMENT 280395 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 03:22 PM

354 How absurd! One just does not put down a creature for crying all night. if this were the norm most human newborns would be drowned the first three days at home.


 COMMENT 280398 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 03:35 PM

Two years ago our 12 year old cat was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism caused by a tumor on her thyroid. Not only did she yowl, she also paced in circles constantly and lost a lot of weight. After online research we decided to do radioiodine treatment. We took her to the Advanced Veterinarian Medical Imaging Center in Tustin (www.avmi.net) where they administered the radioactive iodine on a Monday morning (the procedure takes less than a minute) and kept her for 5 days until the radioactive levels in her body dropped to a safe level. Two years later she is back to her normal weight and behaviors, a very happy and healthy 14 year old. The AVMI center's website has a lot of information about hyperthyroidism and treatments. I recommend checking it out.


 COMMENT 280428P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 05:02 PM

The OP/cat owner MUST educate herself so that she can care best for her pet. Not knowing whether the cat has hypo or hyper-thyroidism is ... too bad.

I got a little more time with my cat by using *very* small doses of diazepam for the nighttime yowling. I believe it was senility; there were no pain behaviors. I knew it was close to the end. Then he got a stomach upset & was too frail to go on, so we did the final gift of love, euthanasia.


 COMMENT 280446 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-17 09:29 PM

I take my cats to Angel Veternary Hospital in Magnolia shopping center. Dr. Engel loves cats and is great with them. I wish you and your kitty well...loving a pet is a wonderful thing, and watching them behave strangely is difficult. Im sending you some positive vibes and hopeful thoughts that you find a vet who can help. Good Luck


 COMMENT 280483 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-18 08:38 AM

I had an old cat that did that also, and he was LOUD! Turns out he was mostly deaf and like deaf people who speak loudly, was just trying to hear himself.....sometimes I'd approach him and he wouldn't see or hear me and would startle.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-18 09:17 AM

354 is getting flack for suggesting putting the cat down, it's not necessarily mean-spirited, sometimes it is the kindest act. It's fine to do all you can to expend a pet's life, other times it's more about the owner. When my daughter had her 18 yr old dog put down, she asked our loving, kind-hearted vet if it ever got any easier for him. He said, "No, but the hardest thing is when people keep an animal going long after it should be euthanasized and it suffers for the owners sake."


 COMMENT 280573 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-18 11:31 AM

Sounds like a cat needing treatment for hyperthyroidism.
It should always be on a geriatric diet as well-low protein canned/fresh meats/etc. In addition, a geriatric multivite is often helpful.
One last idea is to also install a pheromone dispenser which helps settle their nerves. Good luck.
BTW: Agree that the Cat and Bird Clinic is excellent.


 COMMENT 280602 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-18 12:26 PM

OP (original poster) here. Thanks so much for all the responses! Wow. To 354, you are jumping the gun, she is NOT ready to be put down and she is NOT miserable, I never said she was suffering, she just meows at night. . When I get up to pet her she purrs and is very obviously happy. I am also not uneducated on what the vet diagnosed her with, she has specific liquid medicine for the problem, I just forgot the name, whether it's 'hypo' or 'hyper'. She had extensive bloodwork and yet the medicine does not seem to be working, I am wondering if she is just lonely or confused at night. My partner will not allow her to sleep in bed with us, and my cat does not appreciate that. She is old, and it sucks getting old for all of us. I take loving care of her and will not 'put her down' until it's really obvious that I need to do so. I just want the meowing to end, and I'd like to maybe find a new vet.
Thanks again, everyone!


 COMMENT 280661P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-18 02:19 PM

If the cat is used to sleeping with or near you it is probably lonely and confused. It may also be cold. Try a night with the cat where it can cuddle even if it means sleeping on the couch for once. If the meowing stops you must make a choice. Sorry but your partner sounds a tad unreasonable.


 COMMENT 280665 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-18 02:28 PM


354 is getting flack because the suggestion is premature and uninformed. One would need much more information about this cat for such a suggestion to be warranted.


 COMMENT 281377 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-05-21 07:24 PM

My cat is really old and has hyperthyroidism also, and she LOVES the heated cat bed I got her. It keeps her comfortable all day and is only about $30 on amazon. If she can't sleep with you, maybe she just needs a warm place of her own?


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