Newly Neutered Male Cat who Yowls Loudly!

by Paul
(New York, NY, USA)

Yowling Cat!

Yowling Cat!

Our cat problems are with a sixteen month old stray male cat that we've just rescued from a fairly social street colony. He was friendliest to me and after appearing injured, we rescued him.

He's been fully examined and neutered and is adjusting to life in our apartment. We have a 2 1/2 year old female cat who was born in my mother's house and has always lived with other cats (3 others at the house for her first 10 months and then with 1 cat in our apartment until that cat's passing two months ago).

Our new cat is trying to be friendly with her and tries to hard, racing over to her and always looking for her; she will tolerate him a bit but when he overdoes it she will growl, hiss and run away. She noticed he has trouble jumping, so she will jump onto surfaces to avoid him.

The problem is his loud yowling in my apartment. He cries loudly looking for her, especially at night and early morning. Feel both guilty and afraid of closing him in a room at night for fear that he will yowl there as well. These apartments are not soundproof!

I am not feeding him when he goes on one of his loud yowls, but I don't know what else to do. At 4 or 5 AM I cannot just let him yowl and wake myself and others. My apartment has two rooms with doors. I can only really confine him in the room where I confine him, but it is in the same position as the bedrooms of the apts. above and below. If I close my master bedroom door, he will yowl in the small hallway and the sound really travels there.

I have plugged in Feliway for the past four days.

Any suggestions?

Reply from Liz (Editor): These cat problems aren't the easiest to solve, and I'm not sure I know the right answer, but I can give you some suggestions. And by the way, I really admire you for adopting a cat from a feral colony, you've given him a great chance of a new life, and a much better life than he could ever have had on the streets.

Your cat has just been neutered. It can take 2 weeks, sometimes slightly longer, for all the testosterone to get out of his system. You may (hopefully) find that once this happens, the fascination for your female cat diminishes considerably.

You may find the Feliway diffuser starts to take effect once it's been going for longer. They can take up to 4 weeks before they really start to show an effect.

I'm not convinced that he's yowling at night because he's looking for her, I think it's more because he's trying to adjust to his change in living arrangements.

He was used to being outdoors, and now suddenly he's indoors (I'm guessing you now don't let him go out?) This is a big change for a cat to adjust to, and while I'm sure he will adjust eventually, in the meantime the yowling may be a result of his frustration at not being outside. This page on my website - entertaining house cats - goes through ways you can keep house cats stimulated. In particular, if you can play with him (and hopefully wear him out!) in the evening, he'll be more likely to sleep through the night. Saving his meal until quite late in the evening may also help, as he'll be more likely to sleep after he's had it.

The excessive cat meowing page on my website gives some more pointers, but this mostly relies on ignoring the meowing, which I don't think you can really do in your circumstances. I'd suggest a bit of trial and error with your cat - for example feeding him before bedtime, playing with him before bedtime, putting catnip down for him in the evening, giving him a treat he really likes as soon as you get up but only if he's been quiet all night.

He may well be a naturally vocal cat, in which case you'll probably never shut him up completely, but you can hopefully at least train him to use his voice during the day rather than at night.

Good luck with solving these cat problems - I think it may take some time ad a degree of trial and error but it should definitely be possible.

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