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.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Linda Simmon Your Own Question
Linda Simmon
Linda Simmon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 4859
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Linda Simmon is online now

For a while now my cat has been meowing a lot throughout the

Customer Question

for a while now my cat has been meowing a lot throughout the night. My vet has said before that she has anxiety as she excessively grooms and has pulled out her hair before. Whenever she meows at night I usually go downstairs (she won’t come upstairs and just meows at the bottom) and give her attention and go back to bed, I feel like this is probably the wrong thing to do as it’s getting worse.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Is her skin bumpy or itchy as well?
Customer: yes she is always biting/scratching herself and had a few scabs that I found today at the top of her head. I give her regular flea treatments and haven’t seen any fleas on her either
JA: And what's the cat's name and age?
Customer: Evie, 8
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Evie?
Customer: My vet prescribed gapabentin to her before so that she would stop pulling out her fur and relax her and it did help slightly, but she still meowed quite a bit
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Vet
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I also have tried using feliway, valerian, pet remedy and yucalm for cats but none have seemed to do very much for her. Evie is also deaf, and she HATES going to the vet & is quite difficult for them to handle which is why I thought I would seek online advice before bringing her in to my vet
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
She also sometimes pees outside of her litter tray, and she drinks quite a lot of water.
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 12 days ago.
Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda, a UK based vet.
I'm sorry to hear this and appreciate your concern, this must be so difficult for you.Certainly, anxiety (especially separation anxiety) can trigger a difficulty sleeping and vocalisation.
It is true that you going downstairs will be encouraging the behaviour. Ideally, we would let her know that her meowing doesn't bring anything positive. It should be ignored.
What we should do, is reward desired behaviour to encourage it. So, when she is being quiet we would praise her and give her her favourite treat.Having said this, it is essential we rule out a medical cause as, more often than not, there is some sort of underlying issue.For example, she may be too itchy to sleep or could have a urinary tract infection, joint disease or an overactive thyroid which is causing the issue.I appreciate she hates the vet. I would suggest giving her Gabapentin before the visit and making the vet aware of her personality beforehand.They can examine her thoroughly and would ideally run some basic test such as a blood and urine test. It would be helpful if you collect a fresh urine sample for then to analyse. You can ask them for Katkor litter; a special type of litter that allows you to collect urine easily at home.It sounds like you are doing all of the right things and I would absolutely continue with the interventions including Feliway and Yucalm. As well as this, encourage lots of exercise and mental stimulation during the day to tire her out physically and mentally.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you very much for your help, she does sleep a lot throughout the day and I do try and keep her active but I can definitely do this more! I will arrange an appointment with my vet to rule out any health issues, hopefully we can get to the bottom of it all. Thanks so much again!
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 12 days ago.
Absolutely.I don't envy you as it must be very difficult to deal with.Please feel free to keep me updated and to ask any further questions you may have.Stay safe!