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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14878
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My cat just started meowing half the night,and won't stop

Customer Question

My cat just started meowing half the night,and won't stop till I put her on my bed what can I do to stop this
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear that Gizmo is meowing half the night but she's certainly gotten your attention hasn't she?

Cats that are suddenly abnormally vocal are trying to tell us something, but unfortunately there are many problems that can cause yelling so it takes some detective work to figure out exactly what the problem (or problems) is (are). She is comforted by being in bed with you, so the problem may be in its early stages, but I do recommend looking.

Ideally she would have a physical examination but even if her physical examination is within normal limits, further diagnostic tests to find the cause may be needed.

I would start with a complete blood count, biochemistry profile and T-4 and a urinalysis.

Hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid gland is usually caused by a thyroid gland tumor. It can put cats on edge as they are overstimulated and can make them hungrier as well as it causes a ramped up metabolism where they burn more calories. Both of these things can lead to yowling. This can be diagnosed with a blood test.

A sore tooth, gum infections or a mass on the tongue or tonsils can lead to mouth pain and could be the cause of her yelling. She may be distracted during the day and only really become aware at night when all is quiet. She may need sedation by her veterinarian to fully examine her teeth, tonsils and tongue and diagnose these conditions but it won't hurt for you to take a look if she will let you.

Early senility or dementia often causes cats to vocalize more. They are literally yelling because they are lost and confused and are calling for help. This is usually a diagnosis of exclusion meaning that physically everything looks and tests out normal but they are still vocalizing.

Her sight may not be what it once was so leaving on night-lights to help her see may help and feel less anxious.

As animals age they sleep less soundly. It may help to play with her more during the day/evening so she is tired at bedtime and sleeps better. In some cases using music or "white noise" machines to block outside noise is helpful.

If her days and nights seem a bit mixed up it may help to give her a supplement called Melatonin. This is a naturally found hormone in animals and people that helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle and is involved in seasonal shedding. It can help them relax and sleep, and in cases that have abnormal shedding patterns related to seasonal light changes or abnormal growth hormone fluctuations. The usual dose in cats is 2mg to 4mg per cat every 12 to 24 hours. Make sure to give a dose 2 hours before bedtime.

Make sure to read the label and DO NOT use the fast dissolve tablets of Melatonin with xylitol as xylitol is toxic for cats.

We can use calming sprays or diffusors containing Feliway, a homeopathic drop added to her food or water called Rescue Remedy, or a supplement called Zylkene.

Drugs such as Anipryl (selegilene) can help with brain function. If that isn't enough then your veterinarian may prescribe a low dose calming medication like alprazolam.

In short it sounds like your girl needs a physical examination and minimally some blood tests taken to look for reasons for her "talking". If there isn't a physical cause then we can proceed with altering her environment and using things to reduce anxiety.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 11 months ago.
Hi Kassandra,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I put a night light out for her and she stop meowing thought the night. The next say she got sick,she had ate some of my curling ribbon when u wasn't looking. I think the meowing was do to that and her eyes are not what the use to be.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for the update on your girl.

I agree that eating the curling ribbon likely gave her a horrible stomach ache, and her inability to see well made her panic a bit at night. I'm glad things are going better for her now.

Some older cats with hyperthyroid disease have such an increase in appetite that they eat things they should not, like ribbon, and hyperthyroidism can also cause hypertension (high blood pressure) which can contribute to vision trouble.

Perhaps an examination and some bloodwork is best, ***** ***** she seems to be losing weight as well.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I'm just checking back with you to make sure that I fully answered your question and that you don't have any follow-up questions. If you found my information helpful please remember to rate my response so I may receive credit for my work, thanks, ***** *****