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Newly adopted indoor cat howling

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Nikijones1105, Mar 31, 2020.


  1. Nikijones1105

    Nikijones1105 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    Hoping to find some advice before I lose my mind :) 2 weeks ago I adopted a stray cat in the UAE, I’d been feeding him for a while and he got injured in a fight and had to spend a few days at the vets where it was discovered he is FIV+ and vet advised an indoor life is the only way for him to have a long happy life so long story short he is now home with me!

    He is THE most affectionate cat and was immediately confident, no problems with hiding and got the hang of the litter tray straight away but he is also the noisiest cat ever and the howling is driving me crazy as it’s several times a day and night and can be for up to 2 hours at a time.

    Sometimes it’s at the window so I’m sure he wants to go outside but apart from a few minutes on the balcony he won’t be able to. Sometimes it’s for food (trying the Doc and Phoebe indoor hunting system but he’s not got the hang of them yet) but sometimes I’m just not sure why. He shows no in toys or his tree but we have lots and lots of cuddles.

    He’s been on some probiotics for soft stool and Lysine for a cough (which seems to have worked).

    Anyway my question is really if I can ever expect the howling to settle? It’s driving me crazy and even though I wouldn’t give him up I’m finding it harder than I thought and no idea if it will ever end :-(

    He’s neutered and recently vaccinated and with a history of fighting with other cats so I’m reluctant to get him a ‘friend’, my apartment isn’t massive either so might be hard to share territory.

    Anyone who has been through anything similar I’d love to hear from you!
     

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  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @Nikijones1105

    Assuming he is not an elderly cat with any of the underlying health problem common in older cats, I think the howling is caused by your cat wanting to go out.

    Has your cat recently been neutered (within the last 2 months?) If so it can take a while for the hormone levels to fall so the cat is not longer driven by them. It may be the case at present that all he wants to do is be able to get out and patrol his old territory or look for un-spayed females to mate with. This may calm down after a few months.

    If he has been neutered for a while (for more than 6 months) then it may be the case that he is so used to having the freedom to be outside when he wants, that he is finding it very hard to adapt to being indoors all the the time. This can happen when adopting a stray cat who has been on the streets for quite a while.

    One of my cats is a rescued stray. I adopted him when he was about 18 months old and un-neutered. I had him neutered immediately, and this reduced his spraying indoors, but if I tried to keep him shut indoors at night (as I do with my other cats) he sprayed all over the house in frustration. So I decided to allow him outdoor access 24/7 through the catflap. And this helped a great deal with reducing his frustration levels.

    Your cat may be howling in frustration, rather than spraying. I understand it may be just as annoying as spraying though. ;) The problem is it may not stop unless you can accommodate his needs in some way. Would it be practical do you think to train him to walk with you on a harness and leash? Are there any safe places in your neighbourhood away from dogs and traffic where you could walk him every day?

    Could you cat proof your balcony perhaps, with mesh netting, so he could sit out there every day, and watch the world go by. You could add a cat tree and a couple of cosy cat beds.
     
  3. Nikijones1105

    Nikijones1105 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi @chillminx

    thank you so much for your reply. Yes he was only neutered 3 weeks ago so I guess all his hormones haven’t calmed down yet! He’s around 3 so I don’t think age related but yes, poor little mite must be so frustrated at not being able to go out. I’ve ordered a long leash and harness so that he’ll be able to go on the balcony for longer periods (at the moment it’s just for a few minutes while i closely supervise in case he jumps up). Must be so confusing for him and long term I’ll try to live somewhere that he can have some enclosed outdoor space and/or somewhere i could safely walk him nearby but I’m at least a few months away from being able to do that.

    I wish he’d show some interest in toys or tree so I’d know at least he could tire himself out playing :-( Ordered a whole load of feather toys, catnip mice and a play tunnel so hopefully SOMETHING will entertain him.

    Really really hope he settles soon, breaks my heart that the one thing he wants is the one thing not allowed for his (and other cats’) safety!
     
    chillminx likes this.
  4. tamm

    tamm PetForums Newbie

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    i noticed he is mostly white, would he be deaf or partially deaf? Deaf/hard of hearing cats can be very loud - they can’t hear themselves so have no idea how loud they are actually being.

    it can take up to 12 weeks for hormones to settle and at present they are all over the place. It can be a disruptive period but it does pass and will only get better.
     
  5. Nikijones1105

    Nikijones1105 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi @tamm

    thank you so much for your reply, it’s funny you ask that as I wondered if sometimes he doesn’t hear me or is just ignoring me! He doesn’t always respond to my voice but he surely hears even the slightest crinkle of a food packet Is it common for white cats to have hearing problems?

    Hope it does pass, i hate thinking he’s unhappy and am also scared my neighbours will complain!
     
  6. Nikijones1105

    Nikijones1105 PetForums Newbie

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    He’s finally been playing though, he loves his play tunnel and is responding to fishing pile toys and a scratch mat. He gets bored quickly but am still so happy to see him interacting.
     
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  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    If he can hear the slightest crinkle of a food packet then he is not deaf. LOL! ;)

    White cats with blue eyes (or in some cases odd coloured eyes) are sometimes deaf. But in the photo your cat looks as though he has pale ginger fur on his face?
     
  8. Nikijones1105

    Nikijones1105 PetForums Newbie

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    Haha yes i think i have to accept he just ignores me half the time :rolleyes: He’s ginger and white pretty much half and half
     

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  9. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    A cat of any colouring could become deaf, (or be born deaf) but ginger and white cats are not especially at risk of deafness. He looks like a lovely boy. xx
     
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  10. Silverdoof

    Silverdoof PetForums Member

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    White cats with any colour of eyes can be deaf. There are two here, one with green eyes and one yellow /amber eyes, both from birth. The latter has slight hearing in one ear.

    deaf cats are very clever i would happy fill tbe house with them
     
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