I remember a while back reading and commenting on a few posts from The Dancing Professor regarding aging cats. You can read her cat related posts by following the link above, but in essence she was commenting on aging felines who seem a bit off. Things like peeing in inappropriate spots or the rather plaintive cries they like to scream out for no apparent reason.
Our cat Snowflake has been howling for many months.
She started this habit when she would wander upstairs looking for our youngest daughter who was in and out and back and forth during school. The serenades then progressed to her howling in a rather pitiful way when she left the area we were in to find a warm spot to sleep.
She is incredibly great at sleeping, doing that for probably 20 out of 24 hours per day. Her howling though is becoming louder and more prolonged. It usually occurs when she has had her dinner, visited with us for a bit and then sets off to find a dark, warm spot (usually our bed) to sleep. Tonight was by far the most intense round.
My suspicions have always been that this is a characteristic of older cats, probably signs that they are lonely or maybe confused. I visited this website tonight and feel confident that the diagnosis is confirmed. Snowflake probably is exhibiting CDS or Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. Anxiety, confusion, maybe loss of sight and/or hearing and early kitty dementia.
I’ve long suspected the eyesight issue as she doesn’t do as well jumping onto or off of things. There’s that hesitation like she’s just not sure exactly where to step, or how high up she is, or how far down she has to travel.
She is often easily irritated like an older person who is ticked if you bother them. She often can’t seem to make up her mind and she roams and wanders much more at night than she ever used to. She actually doesn’t like to go to bed unless someone is with her and I think the eyesight issue is spot on. Kitty’s sense is skewed and off-balance when it’s dark, things aren’t quite right for her and I’m sure she doesn’t understand why.
Older cats apparently also have a harder time regulating body temps. This might explain why she likes to sleep so close to me at night. Night lights are recommended if kitty begins to wander the house and leaving a radio on low when kitty is alone can help ease anxiety.
Somehow I thought I would be the first in the family to show signs of dementia, not our cat.