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Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 13044
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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My 16 year old cat is crying (howling) all night long. She

Resolved Question:

My 16 year old cat is crying (howling) all night long. She has been doing this for over a year now and both my husband and I are not getting any sleep. What can we do? I'm ready to strangle her :)

When I get up she is simply sitting in the hallway howling very loudly. She isn't in any kind of pain and not in need of food. What gives?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 6 years ago.
Hi Roy,
One of the most common reasons for older cats to howl at night is hyperthyroidism. It is a relatively common disorder in older cats, and most cats do well when treated with medication.

If she is not hyperthyroid, then there are many other possibilities. What makes you sure she is not in pain? Cats in pain rarely limp, but express pain by hiding, acting differently, eating less, and losing weight. It would not be unusual at all for a cat this age to have arthritis, especially in the knees or back. If she is not hyperthyroid, she may respond to things like fish oil (anti oxidant and anti inflammatory medication), melatonin (anti oxidant and helps with night restlessness), arthritis treatments like Adequan (joint lubaricating injections) and glucosamine, or even pain medication.

The place to begin is a good physical exam by your veterinarian, to look for disease, pain, arthritis, or internal problems. If the exam reveals no problems, I would do a blood test to look for hyper thyroidism. Hope this helps, Rebecca
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I forgot to mention that she is diabetic and has been receiving insulin for 2 years. If she had hyper thyroidism would she be loosing weight?
Expert:  Rebecca replied 6 years ago.
Yes, usually cats with hyperthyroidism lose weight, but not all hyperthyroid cats do. If she is howling at night, you want to rule out this disorder. If her thyroid is normal, and she is not losing weight, then I would try the melatonin, about 3 milligrams a day. Rebecca
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