Question: Our 18-year old cat Charlie is meowing more than ever, but the worst is at 5 a.m. when he howls for food. We hesitate getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night for fear of waking him. He is in good health and has no hearing or sight loss. What can we do?
Answer: The bigger problem here is your hesitation to make midnight bathroom runs. When our bladder wakes us at, say, 1 a.m., we know it’s not a drill.
Here is the quick and easy solution: Keep a bowlful of cat food under your pillow. If nature’s call wakes you and then the cat, slide your feline the bowl and then step quickly to take care of business. Done and done.
But as with any pet owner, you probably want to address more than the symptoms, if not tackle the cause. Which is why we went to cat-behavior expert Jane Ehrlich (cattitudebehavior.com), who quickly noted your cat is elderly.
Charlie is, in feline years, about 88, the same as our father who also gets up way too early for breakfast (then again, he has dinner at 4 p.m.). When you are 88, in any kind of years, you can feel anxious or insecure, Ehrlich said. And you also may not exhibit the usual indications of old age.