When it is time to admit failure and rehome your cat

There is a woman on the mumsnet.com website who is completely at the end of her tether. She hates the cat that she adopted. She had waited all her life to adopt a cat of her own. When she finally bought her own one-bedroomed flat on the second floo she adopted an older male cat. It has been a horrible failure for the pair of them.

Old male cat screams all the time when living in a one-bedroom apartment and the female owner is at the end of her tether
Old male cat screams all the time when living in a one-bedroom apartment and the female owner is at the end of her tether. The cat should be rehomed in my opinion. The image was created by a computer.
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This is what she says about her cat’s behaviour:

“I knew that by getting an old cat he may have some issues, but this has so far surpassed anything. Since he arrived, all he has done is scream. He is so loud it is impossible to take calls at home, watch tv and most importantly sleep. Every night for the last two months, he has started screaming at 3am and not finished screaming until 6am. Ear plugs don’t work, and it’s a one bed flat so I can hear him everywhere. My neighbours can hear him. He is extremely loud and it is endless. Nothing will stop him I have tried everything to get him to stop. AIBU (Am I being unreasonable) to wish I’d just never got him and to hate him. I feel like the worse person on Earth.”

There is more but the general tenor is that she has tried everything to solve this problem without success. Her cat screams very loudly all the time and she’s losing sleep and is lost as to what to do. She’s been to the veterinarian three times about his behavior. People have given advice about it and some suggest that her cat might have dementia.

The cat might have mental health problems. He may have had a stroke but I doubt it. He may be in permanent pain but the vet apparently didn’t diagnose anything in particular and therefore we have to do conclude that it is the environment in which he is living which is disturbing him.

Firstly, I sense that the problem is that he is confined to a one-bedroom flat on the second floor and historically he is an indoor/outdoor cat. We don’t know that but I sense that this is what has happened. And he is irritating his owner which may be provoking her to lose her cool which exacerbates the stress that the cat is experiencing. It is a vicious circle I feel. And we don’t know if the cat is left alone all day. If he is that’ll make things worse too.

Apparently when he was fostered, he was an indoor cat but I still believe my assessment is correct.

There is no doubt in my mind that he has to be rehomed with a person who doesn’t have any other cats and where he is allowed to go outside at will unsupervised despite the risks that that entails.

He needs his freedom and he is screaming for it. She does take him out to the garden. She carries him there but he doesn’t like it. She has tried giving him the outside experience but I sense that it is not really workable for her living in an apartment. It’s not practical and it doesn’t give him that true freedom he desires in order to find his raw cat mojo. Certainly, rehoming is a box that has to be ticked and if he still screams when given all the freedom that he wants then they can say that he has mental health problems if he is physically well.

I could be wrong but I strongly sense when he is free outside alone on the grass in the countryside he won’t be screaming there. He’ll be quiet. He’ll be observant and he will be hunting, free at last.

The only other alternative is to dose him up with tranquilizers which you can do with cats. A veterinarian could prescribe tranquilizers just like prescribing tranquilizers to people. Don’t try it yourself as the dosage is critical. But that would calm him down completely. It would turn him into a zombie I suspect and he wouldn’t scream any more. But what’s the point?

Note: there is one last point made by Tamara – see comment. He might need a companion whose there for him all the time. The woman in question may be out a lot. Although I sense there has been a breakdown in the relationship between cat and human.

4 thoughts on “When it is time to admit failure and rehome your cat”

  1. A cat screaming like that, even for one minute is not normal. Clearly he is in pain or an outdoor or feral cat being forced to stay indoors. I have had over 12 cats in my life and not one of them has screamed even once, or even had so much as a loud or repetitive meow (except one or two of them as small kittens)

    • Nor me, never had a cat that screamed. I feel that this cat is in the wrong place. And I wonder if the owner who tells her story is telling us all of the story. I feel that she has allowed her frustration to get the better of her and she’s ended up shouting at the cat and locking him up. I am guessing. That is the kind of thing that results in acute stress and howling.

  2. Maybe he’s just lonely and needs another cat friend. My parents had a horse that would pace day and night. They finally got him a goat and the pacing stopped. I would borrow/foster another cat and see what happens. Since he is a older cat maybe he had a close friend he was separated from. We ALL KNOW shelters will sometimes separate mates that have been together for years to give the healthier cat a chance at adoption.


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