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Cat in the Night

December 29th, 2011, 12:48 PM
Hello everyone. We are experiencing a new behavior from our senior girl. She is brown tabby - about 8 yrs old now. She was adopted as a young adult and we have no history on her except that she had been spayed fairly recently before her adoption.
Until recently she was one of three. We have another female that is 7 and until October, had a 3 year old male brown tabby who passed away unexpectedly.
At night time, almost immediately after we go to bed (it doesn't matter what time this is) she starts to roam the house yowling and gathering socks and soft things from the various rooms in the house. She gathers things room by room and brings them to one location - usually the living room. Then she moves the entire pile peice by peice to another location - sometimes in the same room as the first pile - but in another location the entire time vocalizing and yowling. This is not a meow - it is a 'yoooow'.
Its a little annoying and she sounds distressed. We have tried to intervene - if she sees us, it stops and she continues again when we go back to bed. It takes anywhere from 20 minutes to almost an hour depending on how many 'things' she finds. She settles almost immediately after though.

We have our thoughts on what she might be up to. Do you think it has anything to do with the abrupt departure of our male cat? Is there anything we should do?

December 30th, 2011, 07:25 AM
So sorry to hear about your boy :grouphug:.

Were he and your girl close? I do know that animals mourn the loss of pet siblings and it is quite possible that your girl is calling for him and gathering toys hoping to entice him :cry:. The only thing you can do is to provide as much loving to her that you can.

December 30th, 2011, 07:29 AM
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is very difficult. I just wondered if cats experience the same behaviours as a dog? For example could she be experiencing a false pregnancy? I am not sure how long you have had her for or how recently he was spayed? just throwing that out there.

I also agree it does sound like she is experiencing grief. My female cried for 7 months and she was vocal. She looked everywhere for him. She did not gather things but she was searching? maybe thats her way of trying to get him to come back? it must be very difficult.

December 30th, 2011, 09:25 AM
Wow,it would be cute if it was not annoying as you try to sleep.
The first thing that came to my mind was nesting,as if she was pregnant...but we all know cats are very complex little guys,it is quiet possible this is her way of mourning trying to entice your tabby-boy back.
So very sorry about your loss..

December 30th, 2011, 09:56 AM
Sorry for your loss kittygirl :sorry:

L4H has an interesting theory and if it's true I agree with the solution.

My instinct was the same as Chico and Winston, that this "seems" like this behaviour related to nesting or false pregnancy.

I'm not clear on how long it has been since the other kitty has passed but if it has been months I would think that this might not be related to grieving.

Just as an FYI, I too recently adopted an older female cat (6 years)that was spayed late in life and before we got her. Although she does not show these signs, she clearly shows signs of being in heat from time to time. Cats are indeed complex.. Good luck!

December 30th, 2011, 10:27 AM
Thanks everyone for your feedback! And condolences on the loss of our sweet King. :cry:
We are pretty sure she is nesting, or trying to in a weird instinctual kind of way... We guess she would have been about a year and a half when she was adopted and she had been spayed in the weeks previous to her adoption. That was almost 7 years ago. No information if she had had a pregnancy prior to her spay.

I am not sure if this behavior was brought on by King's abrupt departure or if perhaps it started from then and has now become a comforting thing for her to do. We lost him mid-October. The cats were not particularly close - he loved everybody - they tolerated him, particularly when he was sleeping. He was kind of like a cute, rotten little brother.

It is a sight to see, even though we have only caught glimpses and have given her space to 'do her thing'. I guess I was wondering if there was any comfort we could offer her? She is not a snuggle cat and does not appreciate touching unless it is on her terms. Should we build her a nest?

December 30th, 2011, 12:23 PM
What your kitty is displaying is what Sweet Pea would do (and still does) with her kittens and they would come running to her. Now it's Jasper who responds to her as she has been spayed and no more kittens for her ;).

My Snowball and Puddles didn't show cuddle/lovies to each other, however if a cat started towards Puddles (5 years his junior), he would tear after that cat. When we were outside walking, Puddles would follow Snowball. When Snowball caught a mouse and Puddles was around, he would bring her the mouse. When Snowball passed away, Puddles started meowing every night. It took about 6 months for it to stop.

January 1st, 2012, 09:21 PM
I guess she wakes you up but what she does sounds so adorable. Must be so cute to watch.
Yoshimi at my parents always does the yowling thing except she doesn't nest, she just brings prizes in her mouth for my parents. Like little gifts and my dad collects them all in a jar. A collection of small rocks, pieces of hose, bolts, etc but it's a different case although absolutely cute to watch as well.