Lonely, old, deaf cat
Asking for ideas for my old kitty.
18 years ago I brought 2 kittens (litter mates) home from the barn where I boarded. They did the usual sister cat things of playing, fighting and sleeping. In April we had to put one down due to renal failure. Her sister has adapted very well. . .as long as we are around.
We left her alone for 2 nights last month, with plenty of food, water and fresh litter - as normal. But she let us know she had been left alone and WAS.NOT.HAPPY!! Now she sits in the bathroom doorway and YOWLS until she can see one of us. Then she will come to us or go on to bed. Not alot of fun at 2:00AM:eek:
We will have time away in the next several months and I am requesting ideas of how to make it easier for the old girl.
She is deaf - totally deaf, some joint issues, sees well and has a good appetite. So she is ok for 18 years old.
We do have 6 barn kitties and 3 would be happy to become in/out kitties. But I question if she would appreciate a new companion.
One thing I plan to do is to wear a shirt and leave it for her on the bed. I worry about her looking for us when she gets down from the bed and then becoming frantic.
Any ideas are appreciated.
What kind of care (if any) are you having while you're gone? Any pet sitter that could sit down and watch a movie (and cuddle a kitty)? Or at least check to make sure kitty is fine?
My old kitty (no longer with me) got confused and needy, but when I was away he mostly slept. Not to say I didn't worry about him... :sadsmile:
I had a cat who died at 25 or 26. She had not liked kittens in her younger days. We ended up with kittens a couple of years before she died. They were special kittens, I will say. They were very gentle and deferential . She loved to watch them. She, too, was deaf because of her age.
Sounds like my little old lady. She was a feral cat that my mom 'adopted' when they lived in Maine. The tough old lady spent 15 living outside 24/7 until I moved to NC, where my mom caught and transported her to my barn in 2005. Two years ago this little old lady wandered inside for good. Come to find out she is stone cold deaf. She does the howling thing in the middle of the night (no, it is not fun, trust me I know what you are going through). She also does it after she goes to the bathroom (too much info imo, lol). I have found that if I leave a television on, she thinks someone is in the room with her and will stay in that room. She has even gotten to sleeping under one of the tv's. I notice when I go out for the day, and the tv is on, she will stay in that room and my 're-appearance' does not startle her. Keeping a light on near a kitty litter is also important. Also a safe place for her to eat. I would also keep the volume on the tv as well. I think that is half the reason why she sleeps under in because she can feel the noise. I would also have someone check on her because when they are that old they can go down hill very fast. As for companionship, this cat is closer to my dogs than any other cats-go figure. If anything, the other cats eat her food and try to rough her up a bit.
mine is 16 or 17, and her hoisemate 12. they dont like each other, spit etc. But at night in these warm nights, they are often lying 10 feet apart. they do take comfort from each other, even if they will never ever groom each other or even touch the other.
Id get another cat or kittn, because even being annoyed is more invigorating then being lonely.
Another plus, her appetite will pick up as she will eat all her food, even if she hates it, just so the "intruder" doesnt get any. :LOL:
Who do you have pet sitting? When I pet sit, I don't mind hanging and watching a movie (or even better if they let me use their computer or have wireless) and just spend time with the pets. On occasion I've even stayed at someone's house so the pet(s) have someone to sleep with.
Had two, now have one
she is also 18 but she never liked her brother. I loved him so. I think you have some very good ideas here, sounds like the heat from the tv might be a comfort as well as the light and movement. I really agree you need a pet sitter.
I reallllllly want another kitty but I must wait....
We have a 20-year-old deaf, gimpy nighttime yowler too - apparently hyperthyroid can cause the excess vocalization sometimes - worth checking out.
Ours yowls so she can figure out where we are - a deaf-toned yowl always makes someone appear so it works for her.
Lots of good ideas here for comforting, and maybe also one of those pheromone collars you can get at Petsmart - supposed to have a calming effect?
Having a companion would probably be the best entertainment. We have a new kitten who is keeping all the other adults busy watching what he will do next.
Thanks for the ideas everyone. Her sister was the extrovert, always out greeting (and 'tasting') visitors. This one is the introvert, the one heading under the bed or hidey-holes when visitors arrive.
We have someone taking care of the outside critters, but no one checking on the inside kitties. We normally fill up the food and water towers and put in 2 litter boxes. They handled it well, though they would talk to us on our return. Would have to look about for someone to spend time with her.
May try to put the TV and the lamp on a timer for night, as the dark does seem to bother her these days. Finnegans Wake & MizzouMom - yes Edwina does "announce" her departure from the bathroom:lol: and to locate us. At night I get out of bed so she can see me. Then she climbs her stairs up on the bed, yes the "stairs" Mr. Fooler setup for her (the big softy) :).
I will speak to Mr. Fooler about introducing one of the outside kitties. I am thinking either older Bagheera, who is a lover/not a fighter or Mystery kitten. Middle-aged Pudding (pound kitty) has a tenacity to be Queen.
Also will visit the vet for a general checkup and check for hyperthyroid.
Thanks again for the ideas and support.
I think the idea of a new housemate is a good one too :) - regardless of age or ability, few cats dislike company of their kind (yes, there are exceptions!).
We had a deaf (white) cat when I was a teen....we would tap our feet on the floor or wiggle our fingers to call her. Still do the finger wiggle with our cats to this day! :)
Just discussed this with my very wise and at mealtime exceptionally vocal 13-1/2 y.o. Siamese, Otto. (I hate to imagine the volume if Otto could no longer hear himself and decided to crank it up.:eek:)
Otto's advice is to try out your first choice companion and then, if necessary, the others to see how it goes. He thinks company is an excellent idea, but it must be congenial company.
Otto, then an only-cat, was beside himself a few years ago when we were away for four days. The pet sitter who was very generous with her time to Otto, explained his separation anxiety, but she would not have needed to: He was yowling as I put the key into the door and yowled every couple of seconds as long as he was awake for the next three days, following whoever was available around from room to room.
So we took his point and got him his own cat, his Siamese nephew, Moxie.
Ever since, even though they often go their own way in the house, they both seem content when nobody is home and they're only visited twice-per-day by a pet sitter.
Although Otto first turned up as a stray at my then-barn, rumor has it that he is a Candidate Member of the Supreme Galactic Siamese Cat Council. He looked on approvingly as I described the amenities you've provided for your cat and the plans you've made. (Siamese have a great sense of noblesse oblige, regarding themselves as guardians of the interests of all the other breeds.) So there is no higher blessing to be had.:no:
For my own part I would ask, are you certain your cat is organically deaf and might not benefit from some veterinary attention to ears that might improve his hearing a bit?
DeeThbd - I found myself tapping the floor and using hand motions, which she is quickly responding.;)
Adamantane Please tell Mr. Otto that I will most humbly take his blessing and advice to heart.
Otto is following in the steps of other Siamese I have known and loved. They are definitely the Royalty of felines, no matter what the Persian kitties say:D.
Yesterday she was on the bed watching outside things through the glass door. She did not respond when I walked in, snapped fingers, clapped hands or spoke loudly. Only when I moved into view did she realize my presence. We try get her attention, although that is hard when she is in deep sleep, otherwise she is startled by our presence and in true kitty form tells us "Bad Form".
Her hearing loss has been coming on for a few years and I have kept the vet advised. We will discuss it with the vet this week.
Otto, who is sleeping off a big dinner in a warm and fuzzy cat bed about 18" behind me, woke up, quietly meowed his acknowledgment, and then for 30 seconds rubbed his face on my extended fingers before resuming his digestive nap.
Originally Posted by fooler
Otto, like Charles de Kunffy who also as an American citizen now doesn't regularly use his title of nobility -- de Kunffy's is Baron and Otto's is Freiherr -- is very happy to help and if you ask, will offer further suggestions. He and I both send our best wishes in hope the vet has inspired and useful suggestions. :)
Otto once taught his humans "The Paw" when he extended his paw, claws withdrawn, toward us, which we eventually figured meant, "please stop whatever you're doing before I take a chunk out of your nose." But what was most fascinating was that if we held our hands palm up and extended them toward Otto when he was doing something we didn't like, he would stop whatever HE was doing.
As we need proof - Kitties everywhere think differently and so teach their humans in different ways. Our girls use the same paw extend, claws withdrawn, to tell us to pet them and to pull our hand close to them.
Originally Posted by Adamantane
Please give Otto a cuddle from Edwina and I.