Why Do Some Cats Howl at Night?

As cats age one of the more common behavioral complaints reported to veterinarians is why cats vocalize or howl, acting very restless at night. While cats do undergo senile geriatric changes, these types of behaviors often indicate an underlying illness or disease. High blood pressure may be a potential cause for why a senior cat howls at night

Many elder cats who vocalize like this often suffer from high blood pressure.  This high blood pressure can be a primary problem or secondary to kidney, thyroid, or heart disease. It is important to have your elder cat examined and blood pressure measured. With early detection high blood pressure can be affectively controlled with medications like Norvasc (Amlodipine).  If untreated, high blood pressure in cats may lead to sudden blindness and other internal organ damage.

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8 Comments

  1. This doesn’t really answer the question. All it says it that it might be high blood pressure. How about providing some more info about signs of feline senility (kitty alzheimers)?

  2. Why did not one answer the excellent question by William? We sure would appreciate more information on why our kitty howls every night…

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 27, 2014 at 12:22 am · Reply

      Can be due to lots of things from medical issues like pain, discomfort, high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, etc. Only a full medical workup at vet can sort out these various causes.

  3. Our cat is 16 years old. He doesn’t howl hardly at all during the day, only at night once we turn out the tv and lights. He sleeps practically all day long quite comfortably. We do not want to spend a ton of money on a cat this old even though we love him so very much. We have tried Comfort Zone without any success. Any other suggestions besides spending a gazzilion dollars at a Vet’s office. Been there, done that. Thanks

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 7, 2015 at 7:01 am · Reply

      Many possibilities here from old kitty dementia to high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, and/or other metabolic disease. I would recommend basic blood work and blood pressure measurement at vet, before trying home remedies.

  4. Had a thorough work up on our cat… Vet found no issues other than it might be “Kitty Alzheimer’s”. She is on Fluoxetine 5 mg at night. This seems to help, but she still howls. It seems when she can’t figure out where I am at night she howls till she finds me or I find her… It is so sad…

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 16, 2015 at 1:31 am · Reply

      Also try some other supplements like SAMe from health food store at dose of 100 mg daily, as well as melatonin at dose of 1 mg twice daily, which may help calm her down.

  5. Judy M, Hope my posts helps… Her med last 3 plus months and costs me $40.00. She at times is very peaceful and quiet. She just seems lost when night comes. It is to me similar to Sun downing of Alzheimer’s.

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