What Causes Loud Vocalization in Your Cat?Published August 15, 2011
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Recently our senior catizen lilac point Oriental Shorthair cat, Dr. Hush Puppy, was becoming increasingly vocal; his typically soft sweet calls were transforming into ear splitting cacophony.
Since I don’t simply jump to the conclusion that there is a behavior problem afoot, I was quite concerned about the possible causes for his voice change. I immediately consulted with our veterinarian, but following Hush Puppy’s clean bill-of-health, she reassured me that his behavior was just his unique way of letting me know he misses me when I am busy working and probably feels a bit slighted.
While the Siamese and Oriental breeds often tend to be quite chatty, all cats (as they get older) may become hard of hearing or even become deaf. Cats with impaired hearing don’t realize how loud their vocalizations are, resulting in an increase in their volume.
But impaired hearing is not the only reason for cats to start howling and yowling, much to the dismay of their human companions. Because no matter what we do to find out what they are trying to tell us, we become worried about their welfare and frustrated that we cannot fix what is wrong.
One of the common reasons for excessive vocalizations, especially in older cats, is feline dementia. Cats can feel lost and confused even in familiar surroundings. The only way to express these feelings is to loudly share with anyone in proximity what is of concern to them. After being diagnosed with this condition, fortunately there are medications which can help alleviate some of the symptoms of this disease. For those interested, you can read more about the symptoms and treatment of feline dementia.
Another possible reason for these higher volume vocalizations could be chronic, long standing elevated blood pressure. Because long standing elevated blood pressure can cause discomfort to kitties, they may wander around the house vocalizing. The discomfort can also cause cats to experience sleep disturbances resulting in excessive vocalizations.
Yet another cause of excessive vocalizations is hyperthyroidism, a disease caused by benign tumor development of the thyroid glands. This results in the production of excess thyroid hormone which causes an increase in the cat's metabolic rate. Cats become ravenously hungry but lose weight in spite of excessive eating. As the disease progresses, the liver starts deteriorating, and heart problems develop. If left untreated, this disease is fatal.
While kidney disease can lead to high blood pressure which is a possible cause of excess vocalization, generally cats with kidney problems demonstrate other symptoms which are more common. These are inappetence and an increase in water consumption, which is concomitant with an increase in urination.
So please seek prompt veterinary assistance if your cat’s vocalizations change radically for what appears to be no apparent reason.
What experiences have you had with cats with excessive vocalization? Share in a comment.