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My cat has been excessively vocalizing to the point where he…

Hi, my cat has...

Hi, my cat has been excessively vocalizing to the point where he sounds like a cat version of Ethel Merman! He also has cold paws and gets very frequent erections in the middle of the night. (This started when his older brother started getting frail, his brother was the humper, but he moved into the alpha male role. I took him to the vet 2 months ago. They said he had early kidney disease and recommended putting him on low protein food. I give him a kidney support holistic medicine and rotate kidney food, commercial food and grain free. All wet.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the cat's name?

Brooklyn

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Brooklyn?

He lived on the streets for 10 years. He is anywhere between 15 and 18, were not sure. He used to be silent until about a year ago and we think he is possibly hard of hearing now.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Brooklyn lived on the streets for 10 years. We think he is between 15 and 18. I adopted him in 2013.
Answered in 2 hours by:
3/23/2018
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 12,263
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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Can you share a picture of the most recent lab results?

Do the vocalizations happen mostly at night or during the day?

When does the humping occur? Are you seeing an erection or just humping? Is he neutered?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The vocalizations happen usually around 6am but they do happen in the day too.He does get full erections. He is nuetered. His brother Walter (also nuetered) used to get them and then would try to mount Brooklyn and bite the back of his neck. He would "knead" with his paws and gyrate when it happens. This behavior started a few months ago.Shortly before Walter died, the roles started reversing. Brooklyn started getting erections and trying to hump Walter. Now that Walter has passed, Brooklyn is still doing it. He does try to do it to a younger cat, although sometimes he does it even if a cat is not around.Can call for the very records in a bit.

When the cat is not around, does this transfer to an object such as a toy or blanket?

I'll keep an eye out for info from the records. The bloodwork values will be the most useful. If they could email them to you, you can upload them to the picture file option on the site.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
he does sometimes do it to a blanket. Sometimes when I'm sleeping, he will jump on top of me and "air hump". Not sure if this is relevant, but there are a lot of stray cats in the back yard. My apartment has glass doors and a balcony, where he can possibly see and smell the cats.

It might be relevant since it's now breeding season and especially if Brooklyn might've been neutered later in life. Since you said he lived on the streets for 10 years, it's very possible that might be a link to the behavior.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi I just s by the photos of Brooklyns paperwork

Thank you for the additional information. Can you tell me when the vocalization became most notable? Has any recheck bloodwork been performed since October? Any obvious change in weight?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi, Brooklyn has not been to the vet since October. He went through a brief period a few months prior when he got quite vocal. Usually when the seasons changed, but he would be quiet again once the weather settled in. It started becoming very loud in October, a couple weeks before I took him to the vet.He is very, very slightly thinner but not noticeably so. He was a very overweight cat when I first adopted him. (Him and his brother had a few people feeding them constantly).In the last couple of weeks, the vocalizations have gotten louder, longer and more frequent.

I do think it would be wise to have the labwork checked again to be sure that the kidney values, glucose and thyroid numbers haven't changed in a way to indicate illness (like diabetes or hyperthyroidism). Very often when cats become older and begin vocalizing, especially at night or during the wee morning hours, hyperthyroidism is to blame. With this condition, research has shown that hearing loss can take place in the presence of thyroid dysfunction. This can become progressively worse over time and it's possible that Brooklyn's numbers may have been within a normal range last October but have changed enough to be within an abnormal range now that we're about 6 months post. At his age, though, hearing loss IS common and we may see more obvious signs of hearing loss over the course of time. Vision loss can also be a reason for vocalization. I would recommend purchasing a few small nightlights for the bedroom, hallway and other rooms he tends to frequent so he can more easily determine where he is, just in case. Or, if you aren't someone who is sensitive to light during the overnight hours, leave a light on in each room to make it easier to navigate.

As far as the humping goes, this does sound behavioral and may be sexual in nature. If we were looking at a present condition, such as hyperthyroidism, the behavioral changes would make more sense. You may even see a complete resolution of such behaviors with the underlying illness being addressed. That said, with it being breeding season and with him having lived on the streets for so long (and with bloodwork having been relatively normal recently), I suspect that this is masturbatory behavior since he does this not only to the other cat and to you, but also to a blanket. I would consider adding a feliway diffuser to your home to see if this helps him at all, as it should make him feel more calm.

We also must consider that it's possible that there may be a female (or more than one) in the area who is not only in heat but is also calling. He may be returning those calls, as well, if he can hear her out seeking a mate or even smell her. Again, although he's been neutered, we've just taken away his testosterone and sperm--he still has all other vital genitalia for breeding. It is possible for neutered animals to act in a sexually whole manner even if they've been neutered. Though it's more rare in cats, we do see male dogs who were previously used in breeding achieving successful mates with whole females. As well, some cats will (same as he's doing now) still attempt to mount and breed other cats. If this becomes a persistent issue, no underlying cause can be found and the feliway doesn't help, ask your vet about trying a light dosage of behavioral medication like elavil, prozac or buspar. This can greatly help to reduce--and even eliminate--the behaviors you're seeing.

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PitRottMommy
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