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nekovet
nekovet, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16163
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian. I am happy to answer any questions you may have on any species.
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Hasn't slept days. she is up meowing all night. She is 17

Customer Question

Customer: hasn't slept for 2 days. she is up meowing all night. She is 17 years old . She doesn't seem to be drinking either.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the cat. What is the cat's name?
Customer: I will be taking Mary to the Vet in 7 hours when they open. How can I get her to sleep
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the cat?
Customer: no
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  nekovet replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Has Mary any known health issues (ie thyroid, kidney, liver, or heart disease)?

Is she wandering around while crying in the night? How is she in the day time?

Does she seem agitated, confused, or showing signs of sight loss?

How is her appetite, weight, and breathing?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Mary the cat is 17. She is a small cat, 6 lbs. For 2.5 days now she hasn't been drinking a lot (if any) water. No sleep. Meowing all night and day. Just kind of pacing around the apartment. I feed hew Iams dry food and lately she been enjoying some wet food. No sleep for 3 days-she has to be exhausted.
Expert:  nekovet replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

Now the dilemma in this situation is that we do have a few reasons for Mary’s behavior. Specifically, at her age, we can see vocalization related to elevated blood pressure and feline dementia.

In regards ***** ***** blood pressure in elderly cats, I would first note that often they present to the vet as cats that wander the house vocalizing/screaming in the house for no reason, notoriously at night. And this can be seen as a primary issue but it can also be secondary to those other systemic conditions I asked about. Though if her thirst is reduced, we’d hope those organ troubles are less. Just to note, since you didn't comment on her vision, I would note that we'd want to monitor this (ie bumping into things, unable to follow with her eyes when you drop a cotton ball in front of her) since we can see these signs due to blood pressure induced blindness.

Therefore, with this in mind and with her signs, we'd be best to have this checked for her. Blood pressure testing is something your vet can do in a consultation or if she is stressy, the vet can keep her in the hospital for the day to test her through the day. If the values are high, then bloods to rule out those organ issues would be ideal. Otherwise, there are medications that can lower blood pressure for our cats and these signs usually settle with that.

Otherwise, if she does show a normal blood pressure, then we can focus on the 'harder to diagnose' conditions that can be associated with old age. In older cats, any change in environment, and coping with her own older age (ie. sight deterioration, mental confusion, etc), can sometimes be daunting for kitties. And in these cases, she may be vocalizing because she is struggling to get used to a change. And there are things we can do to help support her with that situation as well. To do so and give her the feeling of a peaceful safe environment, you might want to consider some de-stressing tools. Feliway, (also known as Comfort Zone in the US pet stores) is a synthetic cat pheromone that helps to soothe kitty anxiety. This can be used as a spray (that can be used on furniture or her cat bed) or a plug-in diffuser (that can be used in the room she is in most often). This may just be enough to soothe her and help her cope with being in this aged situation. As well, there is also a diet on the market called Calm by Royal Canin. This contains a number of supplements that have been found to provide stress relief to cats. As well, there are nutritional and calming supplements like Kalmaid, Zylkene, Composure treats, or even Bach’s Rescue Remedy for Pets that can be given or added to food to soothe this for them.

Overall, we do have a few concerns for Mary's signs. Therefore, I would advise ruling out high blood pressure if she has been vocalize and agitated in this manner. If she is nearly due for a booster, then you might consider moving that appointment up so that her blood pressure checked at the same time. If you find that this isn't the trigger, then do address the feline anxiety/dementia angle to help her cope and settle in the night.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  nekovet replied 8 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
nekovet