Originally Posted by yayi
Do cats get less confident as they grow older?
My senior Joji (maybe going on 15) calls me when she wants to go to my bedroom. At exactly 8:30 p.m she meows wherever she is and I have to carry her to the room. She stays there until 4 a.m, waking me up for the morning chores.
She is also going deaf.
Is there any way to make her more secure or sure about herself? Thanks!
Yes, my experience is that cats do get less confident as they grow older, particularly in interactions with other cats. Sometimes it can be traced to a specific event that sort of breaks their spirit to some degree. Other times, they just can't take the horseplay that's normal interaction with younger cats, either it hurts them more, or they just mentally don't have the patience for it any more.
Changes like going deaf can definitely affect a cat this way.
When our girl Zyelena went deaf at about 16, she found a place she liked in the house where she could see everything going on around her as well as feel us moving around because the floor bounced the most there. Once we rearranged the furniture, and she went away and hid for two days until we put her couch back so that she could sit in her favorite place again. She also had to be able to see the path between her place and the food and water, so I had to move a table as well. Otherwise she'd just sit there and get dehydrated because she couldn't be sure if one of the other cats might be around (there was only one she'd tolerate having near her there, a boy who was a year older than she was and just as intolerant of horseplay.)
At least you're aware of the loss of hearing, once we realized what was up with Zyelena we were able to look back and realize she'd been going deaf for over a year.
Doing your best to meet the cat's needs, and being sensitive to what those are, is the best recommendation I can make for helping Joji feel better. Even if she's not a cuddler, a routine of giving her a little extra attention or TLC in some way will help, whether it's a bit of play at her speed or just sitting nearby for a little while each day, or whatever.
We have one cat whose "comfort activity" is sniffing the mail thoroughly when I bring it in each day, for example. It's a little bit of time where she gets to feel special. If I skip it, she'll get standoffish at first, and worse if I let it go for any length of time.