How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Bruce Your Own Question
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20160
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience.
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Bruce is online now

I have just moved with my 9 year old cat from Kent to Aberdeen,

This answer was rated:

I have just moved with my 9 year old cat from Kent to Aberdeen, from a house with garden to a first floor flat on a main road, and as a result he is now unable to go outside. It has been 7 weeks now and he has been getting increasing fractious during the nighttime and does a distressed crying meow. I have bought him new toys, tried to keep him occupied during the day, ensured he has enough food & drink, but it is getting worse rather than better. Everyone says he will get used to it but things are getting worse and my boyfriend and I are losing a lot of sleep and are worried that my cat is distressed. Can you give me any advice to improve the situation please?
Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 13 years. Thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear about Ronnie's crying at night. I'm assuming he was able to be let outside at your old lace in Kent?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes he had a cat flap which let him come & go as he pleased.
Ok. With his previously being able to go in and out as he pleased, he most likely had a lot more activity and entertainment during the day to tire him out. This would mean he was more calm and needing to sleep more at night. Now in his current environment, he isn't getting as much activity during the day and he is more active at night due to this. An easy thing to try is to increase their activity during the day. The best thing I've found for this is to get a hanging bird feeder and get it placed outside a window or on a patio area to attract birds. If birds are coming to the feeder all day long, they will provide a constant source of entertainment for him. He will spend the day being occupied by this rather than sleeping and waiting till later at night to be active. At this time, his activity and meowing at night aren't him being distressed. It is him just expressing his desire to be active and to do things. If you can play with him more during the day or find some other specific toy that keeps him entertained, that will help too. So the key here is to get him to be more active during the day and then he will be more apt to sleep at night.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. However his meowing at night is not normal meowing, they are long, low distressed sounding meows and he seems very unhappy. I try to keep him active and will try the bird feeder somehow although I can't work out at the moment where I'd hang it as we are on he first floor.
I've seen some bird feeders that will hang onto windows, so this may be an option. Could the long, low distressed meows be due to him smelling another cat in the environment? You could get a feline calming plug in diffuser called Feliway to see if it can help to calm him down and reduce any possible stress. Here is a good link on it.
Dr. Bruce and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I've already tried Feliway and have 2 plugins but they don't seem to make him any better - I've had them since we moved up here. There are no other cats in the environment so it isn't that. He only starts that meowing from about 8.30pm and then again from about 2.30am. We are starting to think of re-homing options as we are worried he's unhappy.
Thanks for the suggestion about the window hanging bird feeder, I will see if I can find one.
That is good that you have the Feliway plug in's. The meowing at that time is something that does fit with their semi nocturnal activity. They like to get out and explore / hunt at that time of night. I would hope that if you can keep him more active during the day that this activity at night will get less. I know this is hard to do. Some people will get looping video feeds for their dvd players to play cat entertaining fish tanks or birds being active. If you got a fish tank with some simple fish in it for him to observe during the day, this could possibly help.