Newly adopted male cat yowling in the nighttime. Help me assess the situation, because my landlord has expressed concern about male cats continuing to exhibit male behavior even after alteration.
Checked past threads
on cat crying and yowling
, and there were some helpful pointers, but I've got a specific end-question that wasn't addressed in the threads I turned up.
So here's the scoop on the dude-cat:
On the cats interacting with each other:
- Approximately 5 years old.
- Brought to the shelter as a stray, and UNALTERED.
- Neutered shortly after his arrival at the shelter, about 1 month ago now.
- Adopted simultaneously with a 1.5 year old female cat; roommate and I took them both home together, though she did the official paperwork for the lady-cat and I technically adopted this dude in question.
- He's been in the apartment with my roommate and I (and the lady-cat) since Sunday afternoon (so, less than 48 hours at this point).
- Disposition very friendly, attention-needy; he will greet and ask for head-skritches, and has curled up with me on my bed while I'm on the laptop, purring while I pet him and then falling asleep.
- When I've been out of the apartment and my roommate has been here instead, she has reported him walking about the apartment, crying. She said he's been okay for a little while if she gets him to sit with her, but it seems she doesn't give him enough attention (she's allergic, but still cat-devoted) and he'll get restless and leave. Repeat.
- The talkativeness was not a feature when we met him in the shelter; he seemed much more laid-back and mellow. When we got them both home from the shelter, we kept them in a back pantry room of our apartment for the first afternoon and overnight, and I didn't notice any yowling then, either. Monday morning (yesterday morning, ugh) was the first we let them explore the whole of the apartment.
In contrast to my dude-cat, the lady-cat is friskier yet more standoffish, and alternately tries to play with him or bats him out of her space for sniffing at her back end too much. When she tries to start these play-fights up with him he seems to not know how to respond, and just stands there while she prances and bats, and then she runs off. However, he follows her when she has come into my room for attention (unbidden by me), or if she has trailed after me into the kitchen. I haven't witnessed him trying to mount her at all, just sniffing when she's in range - face, flank, and especially insistent at sniffing her buttal area when she's distracted (eating, scratching at litter, etc.)
The Nighttime Yowling:
Tonight (last night), when I turned out the light, dude-cat hung out with me on the bed (where we had been for some time), in contact with my hand, for about 10-15 minutes, and then got up and departed my room. He has been yowling intermittently in maybe 2 minute stretches, every 10-20 minutes through the night, with exceptions for the few times I have coaxed him into the room and gotten him to chill with me. The situation does not seem to be helped by the lady-cat occasionally joining us on the bed, grooming herself, and then leaving -- dude-cat then follows her out, and begins walking the hallway yowling after a few minutes. I say "yowling," but the quality of this vocalization is not a drawn out wail. It is more like a series of questioning short cries that begins kind of muffled and builds up to a standard level -- it's loud but not CRAZY loud.
I am a seasoned cat person, in that I grew up with cats and have cared for them myself - but, mostly one at a time, and always dude-cats who were altered within their first year of life, having no chance to develop sexually active male cat habits. So, I am bad at IDing that type of behavior, and I am aware that it sometimes does
persist in individual male cats.
My questions/concerns are: could his yowling be indicative of territoriality and/or sexual dissatisfaction, i.e. indicating that he is still aware of female cats, interested in them for their bits, and wants to BONE but can't... so has to whine about it? If so, how likely is it that his instinct/possible habit for spraying will manifest?
Regarding the landlord:
We live above him, in a duplex house, so there's a strong possibility he's already aware of the yowling. He was initially reluctant to okay bringing a male cat home; he's had a bad experience with a neutered male spraying after alteration in the past. He consented on the condition that we let him meet the cats and give his approval, which he did (landlord has owned a lot of cats, so this was an informed approval). My dude-cat even used the litterbox in front of him, like he was proving a point.
Also, dude-cat has been grooming himself faithfully since late Sunday (I think he took a little while to get comfortable), which is somewhat heartening -- I've read material that implies that pre-alteration male cats have a lot less interest in keeping themselves clean. Good sign?
To sum all of this up: I am concerned that the yowling and the lady-bits-interest indicate that he has latent male-sexuality habits just waiting to spring up as soon as he gets really settled in. I'm further concerned that, as a result of this, my landlord will ask me to return the cat to the shelter, and that breaks my heart.
We'll be scheduling a follow-up vet appointment soon, and I will certainly ask about this then, but in the meantime I could dearly use some peace of mind/a direction to head. I haven't gotten more than an hour's sleep tonight as a result of the crying, and all the worrying I've been doing (hooray for possible anxiety issues!) -- that the landlord will ask for the removal of the cat, or that we won't be able to resolve the yowling issue and I'll surrender him myself in exasperation. I AM willing to work on this (I'm already really fond of the little guy!), and will heed the suggestions in the threads I linked, but I would like to be reasonably sure of the underlying cause. Please, please, help a sister out here.