Spent some time this morning on the internet reading about why aging cats howl. Yes, I’ve asked the vet. He said, “They do that.” He also suggested that Sam might be deaf, which actually appears to be the case.
The thing is, he’s in good shape for an almost seventeen year old cat. His coat is full and still shiny. He eats well and interacts with Daisy. He spends quality time watching the birds outside the window. He seeks out companionship. If I settle down to read, he will invariably curl up close by. He’s always part of the family if we watch TV together at night.
But he howls a lot. Fearful that he was in pain, I’ve raced to his side more than once to see if he was exhibiting signs of distress. Pain doesn’t appear to be the issue. He always appears to be fine. Just loud.
One theory is that the howling is a sign of something akin to Alzheimers or dementia in humans. Could be, I guess, but that seems like grasping at straws to me. Oh well, this could be yet another one of those mysteries that will never really be solved.
Maybe howling is just Sam’s way of expressing himself. Self expression is a good thing. I just wish his mode of expression could be just a bit quieter.