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Dr. Susan
Dr. Susan, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 6785
Experience:  8 years of clinical experience with specialty in veterinary pain management, urology, and geriatrics
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I have an elderly female cat (approx 18 years old). She has

Resolved Question:

I have an elderly female cat (approx 18 years old). She has taken to racing around the flat at night and howling. She is a house cat. She keeps us awake all night long from around 2:00 a.m. She howls like she is being killed. She goes from room to room. What can we do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Susan replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Susan :

Hi, I can help you with your question today.

Dr. Susan :

Have you noticed any other changes with Chelsea? Is her appetite any more or less than usual?

Customer:

She is normal.

Dr. Susan :

Excellent, how about her amount of thirst and urination?

Customer:

She is quite "needy" when I come home from work. I would say they are nomal. I keep her bowl topped up with fresh water each day. She does howl a lot when she uses her litter box (she only started using this recently - before that she would cry to go out). We are in a first floor flat.

Dr. Susan :

Have she had any blood work done recently?

Customer:

No. the vets at Christmas (her yearly MOT) suggested she had a small abcess on her tooth and wanted to remove it (the tooth) and suggested blood work then. Unfortunately we had a bereavement at the same time and there was no time or money to do either. As far as I can see the tooth may have fallen out.

Customer:

The vet also mentioned she may have a slight heart murmor but she she has not suffering any ill effects with it

Customer:

Apart from dashing around all night howling she sleeps the majority of the day

Dr. Susan :

I see. Whenever we have a strange behavior change like this,

Dr. Susan :

we must always rule out an underlying medical condition before we can deduce that it is most likely ONLY a behavioral issue.

Dr. Susan :

Thyroid disease, for example, can sometimes cause cats to become more vocal and active as you are describing.

Dr. Susan :

For this reason, I do recommend requesting a senior blood profile from your vet. This generally includes

Dr. Susan :

a complete blood count (red blood cell #s, white blood cell #s, platelet counts),

Dr. Susan :

a serum chemistry which looks at major organ function including liver, kidneys, proteins, electrolytes, calcium and phosphorus,

Dr. Susan :

a thyroid hormone test,

Dr. Susan :

and a urine sample to evaluate the lower urinary tract and help us look more closely at the kidneys.

Dr. Susan :

We may find something as simple as hyperthyroidism, which can be managed readily with daily medication.

Customer:

Oh I see. Well then she may be like the rest of us with thyroid issues!

Dr. Susan :

Ha, yes. It is terribly common in cats, dogs, and humans!

Customer:

So are we saying that if this were to e a thyroid issue then her night time behaviour will cease?

Dr. Susan :

I can't say with 100% certainty, but I would be quite hopeful.

Customer:

Are these types of blood screens generally expensive? Obviously we no longer have pat insurance as companies say she is too old.

Dr. Susan :

Of course, at her age, there is also the possibility of senility or another central brain problem.

Customer:

ooops pet insurance not Pat!

Dr. Susan :

I knew what you meant!

Dr. Susan :

Prices vary a great deal regionally and even hospital to hospital. Where I work now in the northeast US, it would cost $155 US.

Customer:

OK great. I will get an appointment with the vet. Thank you for your help.

Dr. Susan :

You're welcome! If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION.


Please remember to only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.

Dr. Susan, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 6785
Experience: 8 years of clinical experience with specialty in veterinary pain management, urology, and geriatrics
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