Senior Cat Conundrum

My brother’s beloved cat, Mr McGillicuddy, has deigned to allow me to pet-sit him while Jimmy is away at his conference. This is a big step forward, given that a couple of weeks ago he was turning his nose up at any food I served him (even though it was his usual). It’s lucky we started warming him up to the idea before Jimmy left; otherwise I’d be feeling kind of bad right now.

He’s a cantankerous old codger – the cat, I mean, not my brother (although he has his moments). He must be getting on to around 17 years old; definitely no spring chicken. Last night he was really getting his howl on – quite aggressively, I might add, and seemingly at thin air. While I’m partly convinced that cats can see things that I cannot, this behaviour does make me wonder if everything’s alright. Between the yowling and the drinking several indoor plants dry, I do wonder if I should take Mr McGillicuddy for a trip to the vet.

Jimmy left a number for a Brighton veterinary clinic, but said there shouldn’t be any need to use it. What do you do, though, when you’re responsible for a fairly senior animal for three weeks? Jimmy would never forgive me if Mr McGillicuddy somehow kicked the bucket while in my care. From what I’ve read, this is not unheard of in older pets, especially if they’re stressed, which Mr McGillicuddy certainly seems to be in Jimmy’s absence (or is it my presence that’s doing it?).

If he does that thing with the yowling again tonight, I’m going to consider calling an emergency vet service. Moorabbin readers, can you recommend one? I realise I’m probably being paranoid here, but better safe than sorry, I always say.

Alternatively, does anyone have any tips for soothing an irritated old kitty? How can I make him feel more relaxed around me? If I could do that, at least I’d be able to make a call on whether these behaviours are stress-induced. 

Posted in vets