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Calling--A creepy sound!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
We have an elderly gentleman cat named Bob who frequently "calls" after he's eaten or gotten up from a nap. He'll wander around from room to room yowling. He's the only cat we've ever had that does this. It's an eerie sound when you hear him in the middle of the night. Often, if I call his name, he'll stop but he won't come to me. He just shuts up! I wondered if anyone would know what this calling behavior is about. Is he looking to find the other cats (we have 3 others), is he looking for reassurance, or is it an alpha behavior?
post #2 of 16
Cats can start to do this when they start losing their hearing or their eyesight, when is he due for his anual check-up?

At my work (a vet's office) we have a 22 year old cat who is blind and mostly deaf, he will yowl for food and attention. Yous should see the looks on clients face when they are in the exam room with the doctor and on the other side of the door this cat is yowling because he doesn't understand why the door is shut.
post #3 of 16
Wawa does it too. I believe he's saying "hello! I'm here! Can you hear me?" Just a reponse from me is satisfactory. BTW, he is not an old cat.
post #4 of 16
I've always wondered about that too. One of my family's cats, Alex, used to do that. He'd go into another room and "call" out. I assumed he was trying to call the other cat, though they rarely played. Spot does that with Willow now, though usually it happens after he chases her under the bed. (She doesn't appreciate the game).
post #5 of 16
James, my persian boy, used to talk to himself in the night- whole monologues. I'd hear him going on and on and go downstairs to see if he was all right, lonely, hungry etc etc- and get this surprised look of 'yes? What was it you wanted?' as soon as he saw me.
post #6 of 16
McKenzie does this when she's in the basement for some reason. I call for her (she can hear fine) and she continues to cry. She does this for a couple of minutes and then comes upstairs. The only thing I can think of is that she is crying for her RB sister that died a few years ago (that's when it started). They spent the day in the basement together while we were at work. Why she continues to this day, I have no idea.
post #7 of 16
oh yes Maverick is the same. especially if she wants to be stroked in the middle of the night. to her its perfectly reasonable to demand attention at 4am!

i read somewhere that elderly cats senses arent so sharp so calling gives them there bearings as people coming running or move around then he'll know where everyone is.

if he's losing his sight the dark might freak him about a bit, as would the quietness when everyones asleep.

maybe make him a special bed in your room or outside the door so he can still smell and hear you and feels a little more reassured.
post #8 of 16
Occasionally Bear or Lion will 'call' like that in the middle of the night. It is a pretty plaintive sound. I answer and call out their name and they come running for some cuddling. It seems like they are calling 'where are you?' and just needed reminding that someone is around. I have wondered what they do when we are away, though:-).

My old cat, Kirsty, in the last year of her life, used to wake up in the middle of the night calling. It is like she startled herself awake and didn't know where she was. She always needed the reassurance of my voice answering. Once she heard it, she stopped crying and settled back down, content and usually falling back to sleep. Occasionally, she would come in for a cuddle but usually not.

post #9 of 16
My Ursa sometimes makes an odd sort of call if she finds herself shut out of whatever room I happen to be in. It's a sort of low "Yow!" noise -very distinct from the sort of rolled "R" sounds she usually makes. (I have never heard her actually "meow".) I always let her in if she cries like this, and she almost always comes over for a visit and to have her ears scratched.

post #10 of 16
My 19 year old cat was always a talker, but now that she's deaf, she yowls incessantly, whether she sees me or not. Even though I know that she's so loud because she's deaf, it can get on my nerves's constant! In fact, she's been doing it the entire time I took to read and reply to this thread!


post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info! I'll bet his calling is the result of his getting disoriented or not hearing well. Once I call back to him, he's fine. I thought it might be a dominance thing because he's the oldest of the males we have, and I figured he was just letting the gang know where he was. But it makes more sense that he's getting either confused or can't hear or see well. Thanks!
post #12 of 16
Limerick does the same thing and he's only 10 months. He does it mostly whenI come home. I usually head straight for my room to get my homework done and he wants to play.
post #13 of 16
If it is normal for a specific cat then it is just part of their personality, but if you have sudden onset in an older cat then it usually indicates hearing or sight loss.
post #14 of 16
My newly rescued cat, Imogen, does this. She makes the most mournful calls! (She was alone in a house for a month after her previous owner died.) When I reply with her name or "Up here," or even "Hush!" she gives a different, perkier meow and either stops or comes running up. Even though I bring her upstairs with me when I'm going to bed, I think she still forgets...Wish she'd start remembering!
post #15 of 16
I wish I would've stumbled across this thread earlier... that's what my Baylee does! I never understood why she does that as she never used to, in fact I still don't understand.

We used to lock up Max at night because they would run around fighting, I think when she would call at night she was either apologizing to him or me, or looking for him. But we haven't locked him up in ages... so I guess now when she does it, she's lost? We'll occasionally answer her "Baylee, we're upstairs" and sometimes she'll come running up.

Still weird. I guess it's part of her personality now though! Sigh.
post #16 of 16
Hmmm... the only thing I can offer is that Sasha has howled once or twice in 12 years, but he did it in the middle of the night. The first time was after SiSi left, the second, was months after Freddie died. I attributed it to him sensing things we cannot ---and asked him, "is your mama there, honey?" and he got quiet. He hasn't in about 18 months now.
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