Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
My 1-year-old male kitten and I recently moved to a new home. In the past few days he has been meowing day and night — the only time he stops is when he’s sleeping. I don’t know what’s changed; we spent two weeks in this house almost a month ago and he did fine. I know he’s not bored because I play with him an hour or two every day, and I know he isn’t lonely because he went from being the only animal to living with another cat (female) and small dog (female) and I’m home all the time right now because I’m 6 months pregnant and unable to work. His caterwauling is keeping my roommate and me up at night, and because of my pregnancy and her full-time job, we both need to sleep! What I can do to help him stop? By the way, he hasn’t been fixed yet; could this have something to do with it even though the female cat is spayed?
Siouxsie: Hi Paige, thanks for your question! We’re almost certain that your little boy’s howling and carrying is due to the fact that he’s not fixed yet.
Thomas: Even though the female cat is spayed, cats have an extraordinary sense of smell, and if there’s another lady cat in heat somewhere, I know he can smell it. I mean, I smell unfixed lady cats all the time!
Bella: But because Thomas is neutered, it doesn’t bother him. After all, we have each other, so what do we need all those other cats for, right?
Thomas: Awww, of course, Bella; you’re the only girl for me.
Siouxsie: Oh, jeez, you guys. Get a room!
Thomas: You don’t have to be so mean, Siouxsie. I’d snuggle you too, if you’d just let me.
Siouxsie: Really? … I mean, yeah, whatever. Now, as I was saying: the best way to stop your little guy fromn crying all night is to have him neutered.
Thomas: If he hasn’t started spraying yet, you’re lucky. Humans usually get grossed out by spraying because the aroma of tomcat urine is so strong and so hard to get out of things.
Bella: But if he has started spraying and you just didn’t mention it in your letter, don’t worry: there are some products out there that can help you get rid of the stench without being toxic to you, your cats or your unborn baby.
Siouxsie: Fizzion comes VERY highly recommended, even by celebrity cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy. It’s just a tablet you dissolve in water, and it removes the odors with carbon dioxide, and nothing else.
Thomas: Enzymatic cleaners are also pretty effective, but not quite as much so as Fizzion. Mama’s tried all kinds of these products and she says Anti-Icky-Poo is the best among them.
Bella: Don’t bother with deodorizers, though. They don’t do anything to remove the source of the odor, and all you’ll end up with is a house that smells like artificial flowers and cat piss.
Siouxsie: Now, on to this issue of neutering. We’re sure that since you can’t work while you’re pregnant, finances are an issue for you. But don’t fear: there are a lot of options out there to help you get your little guy fixed without breaking the bank.
Thomas: The ASPCA has a searchable database of low-cost spay/neuter clinics throughout the U.S. and Canada, as does the Humane Society of the United States. If you don’t see anything listed in your area, call your local animal shelter or rescue group and find out if they know of anything — these listings may not be completely up to date.
Bella: Good luck, Paige. Please let us know how things turn out for you and your little kitty. Purrs!
Keep in mind that it takes a bit of time for the male hormones to settle down after he’s been “fixed”. But the behavior should taper off and stop within a few weeks if not sooner.
We took in a fabulously sexy stray beastie we named Harry about a month ago after noticing he was looking rough & was showing signs of abuse, most likely by a boy or man as he was at first fine with my Mr petting him & picking him up then showed avoidance & outright fear after a week of him being missing. As our neighborhood is notoriously known for being full of cat haters, to the point of them shooting & poisoning or trapping them & bringing them to high-kill shelters & saying that they attacked children, we decided that we’d rather not have him risk being targeted & brought him indoors. He was declared free of FeLV & FIV & other contagious nasties but Harry has some HUGE testicleez! He is due to be neutered on 12/15 & as we are a multi-pet household, he is in “solitary” confinement, living in our finished basement & separated by a screen door from the rest of the clowder & the big, white German Shepherd “cat” that adores her siblings, sometimes a tad too much. While I know tomcats are notorious for caterwauling, Harry takes his “singing” skills to levels I’ve never heard before. All of our other cats & the “cat-dog” are spayed & there are no windows for Harry to get a whiff of that female “aroma” so I am just hoping that it’s something that will abate with his neutering & time as his testosterone levels off. He is such a wonderfully loving & downright adorable fellow & it hurts me to know that he was loved & then thrown away (probably after spraying up his former home with “eau de grosses boules”) to fend for himself. He is a gorgeous marmalade & white tuxedo tabby with a crinkled ear (from fighting for that “poooooodang!”)& big ol’ jowls. My vet said that he looks like a cross between a teddy bear & a child’s stuffed orange cat toy. I am hoping against all hope that he will stop caterwauling or at least take it down a notch. However, no matter what; he has his forever home with us or if need be, will be adopted out to a home where he can enjoy going outside unsupervised & without worry of people hurting or killing him. Wish us luck,