Author Topic: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?  (Read 2669 times)

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Shea

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New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« on: January 13, 2013, 07:07:26 AM »
Long-time cat owners of Ehell, I need your help! Yesterday I adopted a cat from the SPCA, after much thought and preparation. He was shy at first, hiding in the bathroom, but by nighttime he was slowly creeping out to see us. However, as soon as we turned off the lights, he started yowling, and I mean YOWLING. He kept it up quite literally all night. BF and I could not sleep all night. We finally gave up trying at 5:00. He yowls much less when we're paying attention to him (he doesn't let us pick him up or pet him unless he comes up to us, which I think is normal at this stage). Right now he's not meowing, but I don't know what to do about another night like last night. Has anyone else had this experience when adopting a shelter cat? He's an adult cat, about 3 years old, been at the shelter for awhile but was also fostered for a time, and he's deaf, which may or may not be relevant. Any wisdom would be much appreciated!

And sorry if this isn't entirely coherent, I'm quite tired ::).


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camlan

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 07:34:20 AM »
My very first cat avoided me for a week, but at night she'd yowl unless I got up and sat in the living room with her. It was exhausting. We'd sit at opposite ends of the sofa, with her ignoring me completely. But if I tried to go to bed, she'd start crying again.

Since this cat is deaf, I wonder if he panics in the dark, because he can't see and can't hear and is in a new place? The first thing I'd try is leaving some nightlights on in a couple of places, so that he can see what's going on around him.

I'd also call the shelter and ask if they noticed this behavior and what they did about it. The foster people might also have some advice.

The key thing is to figure out if it's the dark that's bothering him, or something else.
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MorgnsGrl

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 08:27:59 AM »
Since this cat is deaf, I wonder if he panics in the dark, because he can't see and can't hear and is in a new place? The first thing I'd try is leaving some nightlights on in a couple of places, so that he can see what's going on around him.

I'd also call the shelter and ask if they noticed this behavior and what they did about it. The foster people might also have some advice.

The key thing is to figure out if it's the dark that's bothering him, or something else.

I agree with all of this! Definitely see if you can talk to the person/people who fostered him -- in my experience they will be very happy to tell you about him and help you figure out what's going on.

Steve

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 09:33:21 AM »
Cats have exellent night vision, so the dark should not be a problem. I have only seen yawling in a cat that needed company. Maybe she can sleep in your room?



TomatoBunny

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 09:40:26 AM »
Can we safely assume he's been neutered since he was at a shelter for awhile?

When you go to bed, is your door closed and your cat is all alone? When my mom brought home a 6 month old kitten, he cried in the middle of the house after we all went to bed. I think he was upset/scared that he was all alone because when I opened my door to see what the deal was, he came running up to me for clingy cuddles. When my parents left their bedroom door open the following night, he visited them in their bed and then left them alone, seemingly content to simply know where people were. So it might just be new home jitters.

Hope you can figure out your new cat soon!

Shea

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 09:46:20 AM »
He was neutered when he arrived at the shelter in July.

I live in a large studio apartment, so the only closed-off room in the apartment is the bathroom, and I've left the door open, so he's got full access to everything in the apartment. So it's not that he's being closed off or not allowed access to The Humans. He knew where we were, because he spent the night sitting a few yards away from the bed, staring at us and yowling.


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Outdoor Girl

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 11:10:09 AM »
Even though cats have excellent night vision, I'd try leaving a light on.  A good one for my place is the one in the stove hood.  I have yowlers but it is mainly because I keep them out of the bedroom.  What works for me is to play with them a lot in the evening to tire them out so they sleep at night.  Cats are naturally nocturnal so tend to be up at night.

With the more vocal of the two, I've had to resort to kitty corrector.  I have a squirt bottle that I use to separate them when they are fighting and I think it is starting to go too far.  I put that squirt bottle on the floor in front of my door.  Sometimes right after I go to bed, she'll yowl so I open the door and give her a little squirt then put it back down and close the door.  I've just started this but it seems to be working.  I would NOT do this with a brand new to you kitty, though.  This is for months down the line, as a last resort.
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m2kbug

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 12:57:24 PM »
He's scared right now.  My only thought is it will stop once he's used to his new environment.  Also, I agree that leaving a light on might help.  A good play session before bed might help as well.

JoW

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2013, 01:36:00 PM »
Was he alone at the shelter, or did he have a companion?   If he was with another animal he probably misses his friend. 

That's my own experience talking.  I've noticed that most cats do better with another cat around to keep them company.  You might want to consider getting him a playmate. 

Bijou

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2013, 02:01:30 PM »
Our adopted cat wanted to hide under a blanket when she first came.  She had a receiving blanket in her little sleeping area.  We since have set her up with a kitty warmer in her bed and she's happy with that.  If your new cat is used to sleeping in an enclosure, like a cage or something, can you set up an area that feels enclosed and safe?  I agree with the light.  I know cats have good night vision, but I still leave a lamp on for our girl. 
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Jocelyn

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2013, 02:56:35 PM »
I agree, nighttime may be an anxious time for him. I'd suggest a nighttime ritual- some playtime, some cuddling, a nice snacker. Make it a ritual, so he learns to predict the pattern.
Sometimes one of mine will do this, and I've learned that ignoring it isn't the best tactic. I'll call out something reassuring to him. This may not work since your cat is hearing-impaired! :) Annoying as it sounds, getting up and petting your new kitty may be the reassurance needed.

Ceallach

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2013, 03:14:47 PM »
Sounds scared and confused to me.   Try creating him a safe place - when we relocate our cats we leave the cat box open with blankets in it for a week or so. Ironically, the box they hate when being transported becomes their safe haven in their new environment while they're finding their feet.

I also agree with the night time routine suggestion.

Dont give up yet, it will get better! Sometimes a new pet is like a new baby and takes awhile to settle into a routine.
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jpcher

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2013, 04:16:03 PM »
I think that you're getting some great suggestions.

Scared and confused for the first night in a new home for any 3-year old (be it human or animal) is, in my opinion, quite normal.

Calling the shelter is a good idea. Ask how the bed/cage was set up.

How long was NewCat fostered out? If NewCat is used to being in a cage (for 3 years?) he was probably yowling because he didn't know where his bed was. Maybe get a small cage, put a warming blanket in it and maybe a toy or something that the shelter had in his cage so that he knows where he's suppose to sleep.

Another thought is to leave the TV on tuned into some nature channel. NewCat is used to a whole lot of other animals around . . . the TV might give him some visual distraction.



Good luck! And what is NewCat's name?

Shea

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2013, 05:51:59 PM »
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I talked to the SPCA today, and the woman said they're always getting people calling saying their new cat kept them up all night, then calmed down. I also talked to a friend whose mother works in cat rescue, and a friend of my mother's who's a veterinarian, and they all said the same thing. There could of course be other issues, but everyone seems to concur that the likelihood is that he might do this for a few nights, but he'll calm down eventually.

Other than the night-howling, he's acclimated surprisingly quickly. He used the litter box right away, he approaches us to be petted, he plays with his toys (little catnip mouse on a string, laser pointer toy). He still goes and hides in the closet or bathroom sometimes, but then comes back out. I've left his carrier open, with a soft towel inside for him. He occasionally goes in there.

This cat does not like other cats at all. He was rescued from a hoarding situation, and the rescuers think he was picked on by the other cats. Apparently he's happier alone, though I imagine he's probably bemused by the sudden lack of other cats.

BF and I are going to play with him before we go to bed, then hope that he's settled in enough today to not yowl all night. And if he does yowl all night, we went and got earplugs ;).


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perpetua

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Re: New cat yowled all night...any ideas?
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2013, 07:27:31 PM »
Shea, I have a cat who has been with me for fifteen years and every time we move to a new apartment he does this very thing. Fine during the day, then come the nighttime the yowling and squeaking starts as he wanders round trying to make sense of his new surroundings. It always settles down within two or three nights, so I'd guess your new guy is doing the same thing.