Elderly Cat Yowling

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For those who love their furry little felines, many might be wondering if something is wrong with their older kitty, especially with their elderly cat yowling. There are a few reasons for this, and hopefully, you can find help for your older kitty, or be soothed their behavior is normal.


Is Your Elderly Cat Yowling at Night?


Cats are nocturnal and are mostly active at night. If you hear your older cat yowling during their normal active time, they could merely be playing. However, here are some other reasons a cat might yowl at night.

  • Kitty is bored. If you only have one cat, it could be your older kitty is yowling and looking for a friend. It’s possible they see a rival kitty out the window, and maybe they are yowling to warn the other cat that this is their territory.
  • Kitty might be losing its sensory abilities. Perhaps his hearing isn’t what it used to be or maybe his eyesight is fading. Sometimes kitties can be confused as to what’s going on around them.
  • Kitty could be distressed at not being able to find you in the darkness, especially if her eyesight or sense of smell is fading. 

Consider the Health of Your Elderly Cat


As mentioned above, a yowling elderly cat could be due to the fact they are losing their eyesight, hearing, or sense of smell. If this is the case, they might need extra reassurance they are safe.

Perhaps your elderly cat is descending into dementia. It is an unfortunate side-effect of aging that their faculties might no longer be all there. Look out for soiling themselves outside of the litterbox, refusing to eat, or excessive vomiting. If you see these signs in your older furbaby, call the vet and make an appointment immediately.

If your cat has dental issues, perhaps their teeth hurt when they eat, making them refuse their food. If this happens, they could be yowling because they’re hungry. Try some wet food and see if she’ll eat something softer.

Here are some other serious health issues to consider for your yowling elderly cat:

  • Hyperthyroidism – When this condition isn’t well-regulated, it can cause nocturnal yowling in your cat.
  • Diabetes – If your cat suffers from out-of-control blood sugar or even low blood sugar, they will yowl. They don’t feel good and they might even stumble about uncertainly. 
  • Arthritis – Older cats especially might suffer from achy bones. It’s possible they don’t know what to do to help with the pain, and the only thing they can do is yowl. If you notice your cat yowls more at night or on rainy and cold days, this could be the culprit.
  • Dementia – It’s possible your baby doesn’t know where he is anymore. Perhaps he still remembers you, but he might not remember his home, making for a scared and confused kitty.
  • Hypertension – High blood pressure makes one feel odd and not right. Could be your cat is feeling this as well if they suffer from hypertension. 
  • Tumors – If a kitty has tumors or cancer, perhaps they are in pain and yowling because of it. 
  • Worms or other parasites – If your kitty has worms or other kinds of parasites, including fleas, it might be they are extremely uncomfortable or in pain.
  • Incontinence – If the kitty has accidents all over the house, perhaps they are distressed they can no longer make it to the litterbox.


If you suspect any of these reasons as to why your elderly cat yowls no matter the time of the day, call a vet immediately to check on their health. Your cat might need to be on medication to recover. In fact, elderly cats should likely go to the vet more often than once a year due to their advanced age.

Make sure you take your sweet older kitty to get regular check-ups often.


Perhaps Your Cat Wants Attention


Have you recently moved? Rescued a new little kitten? It’s altogether possible your elderly cat is either stressed or seeking attention.

Here are some stressful situations for a kitty that might make them yowl all the time:

  • You recently moved. Kitty might not be familiar with the sights or the smells of a new home. Give them a few weeks to get used to the new environment.
  • You rescued a new kitten. Any new addition to the fur family will naturally take away attention from your older kitty. Perhaps your baby just wants snuggles the way it used to be.
  • You have a new baby. Just as with a kitten, older cats can be stressed when a baby enters the family. Mom or Dad are not as attentive to them as they used to be. In other words, the older kitty is no longer the “baby” and they don’t like it!
  • They’re hungry. One of the reasons why kitties yowl is to be fed. Cats love food and snacks, so check to see if their food bowl needs to be filled.
  • Their litterbox needs to be scooped. Some cats are finicky when it comes to their litterbox and demand it be clean before they ever use it. If your cat is yowling and that is coupled with accidents here and there, check to see if the litterbox needs to be emptied before assuming your cat is incontinent.
  • A companion cat has passed away. This one is a big reason as to why your kitty is yowling, they simply miss their friend and companion. If you’ve regularly had two (or more) cats and one of them passes away, your older cat is likely mourning for them.


If you have recent changes to your household, endured the death of a companion animal, or need to check on the basic needs of your cat, these could be huge reasons why they’re yowling. Be patient; they’ll be okay, but make sure you give them extra snuggles.


Other Reasons Why Your Elderly is Yowling


Sometimes, it’s not always cut and dry as to why your older kitty is yowling all throughout the house. If they’re fed, have clean litter, no changes have been made in their little cat world and they’re perfectly healthy, what else could be going on? Here are a few other reasons.

  • They’re in heat. Sure, your female cat is older, but it’s possible if she’s not fixed, she might be in heat. Female cats will yowl like crazy when it’s their time. 
  • Male cats can smell this, so if your elderly cat is a boy, it’s possible he can smell a neighborhood female in heat. This will excite him and make him yowl in an attempt to get to her.
  • They’re cold. Older cats can’t regulate their body temperature as easily as younger cats, therefore, they might need a few more blankets on their favorite bed for ultimate cozies. Thankfully, pet stores also sell low-grade heating pads you can place under their bedding to keep them nice and warm.
  • They miss you. Since cats are nocturnal, it’s possible they miss you when you are sleeping, and they wish to awaken you to spend time with them. Enjoy this time with your elderly cat if they do, you might get to enjoy cuddling with them a little more.
  • They see another animal (likely a cat) outside the window. Cats are territorial, so if there’s a neighborhood tom with the audacity to wander through your yard, it could be your elderly cat is telling them your house is already owned by an ornery old cat!
  • You just put your older, yet very fat furbaby on a diet. Perhaps he doesn’t like not having so much food at his disposal and has decided to voice his disapproval.
  • Maybe a kitty is lonely for a friend. If you work a lot and the kitty is often home alone, consider getting another kitty companion for her.
  • You have a talkative furbaby. It could be your older kitty just likes to talk all the time. If this is the case, it’s likely she’s just doing her thing!

Look for Obvious Reasons First


There could be something wrong with your cat, but it’s best to check for obvious reasons like an empty bowl or a dirty litterbox before running right out to the vet. However, if your cat looks like it is walking in pain, losing weight, or doesn’t seem to hear you anymore, you’ll want to get her checked at the vet. 

Try not to discipline your cat for yowling at night. While it might be loud and annoying, you don’t want to make kitty afraid of you or even more stressed when you yell at them. It’s best to look for a cause rather than get mad at the cat.

It’s always best to give your cat a checkup at the vet, but if your baby is perfectly healthy, there’s not much you can do other than let your cat caterwaul. Always be an attentive owner to your elderly cat and make them as comfortable as possible in their twilight years. 

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