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Cat problems

Discussion in 'Woof Memorial Critter's Corner' started by CranialCrusader, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. CranialCrusader

    CranialCrusader

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    Sorry that this is long, but I figure I need to explain everything.

    My girlfriend Kate has an almost all black cat named Merlin. According to her he is the cutest cat in the whole world (but I don’t really think so). She got him about 2.5 years ago after he was abandoned by people in her neighborhood. She estimates he is about 4 years old.

    I can tell that he is quite intelligent (for a cat) but he is very mischievous and talkative.

    Problem 1 - If we are ignoring him for too long he will go up on the table where he is not allowed, and will only jump down after we get UP to go kick his butt. He obviously knows he isn’t supposed to be up there, but seems to do it for attention.

    Problem 2 – He meows WAY too much, especially at night. If I’m in bed and he is in the other room he has to meow really loud until he is called into the bedroom. But later on in the middle of the night he will sit on the floor beside the bed and meow really loud, again until I physically get up. Then he BOLTS out of the room (because he knows he isn’t supposed to be loud at night). I’ve been chasing him into the other room and swatting him in the butt to get him to shut up (so it’s not just a game, there is a consequence). If he STILL doesn’t shut up then I lock him in the cat carrier and put him in the kitchen for the rest of the night.

    I originally tried locking him out of the bedroom, but he just meows and pounds on the door. I also tried locking him in the bathroom with his litter box, but he just knocks all the stuff off the sink counter (toothpaste, soap, mouthwash). So the cat carrier is pretty much the only thing that works.

    There are some nights where he is fine and sleeps at the end of the bed. But frequently he will wake up very early in the morning (like 5am) and try to climb all over and wake us up meowing.

    Here is the culprit:
    [​IMG]

    Any advice on what to do is greatly appreciated!
    CranialCrusader
     
  2. Mighty HD

    Mighty HD Got Wax?

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    <b><font color="red">Edited by Eric: Don't post crap like that here, ok? Eric</font></b>
     

  3. walkin man

    walkin man

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    Who was there first? If it was him he figures he has seniority. If not it's a cat thing.

    Problem #1. It's a cat thing, give up and let him sit on the table. Like he does when he's home alone.

    Problem #2. It's a cat thing. Just tell hime to come to bed and go to sleep. That's what he wants anyway. But then he may want you to sleep on the floor or the couch. She's his girlfriend to, or first.
     
  4. Tampico

    Tampico G37/G38

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    Does he like to play? Does anyone ever play with him?

    If I don't play with my cats at least a little every day, after a few days, I can notice a change in their behavior.

    It's just a thought, but they need attention, activity (exercise) and stimulation too. This is especially true if he is an only cat.

    Try it, and quit hitting him. The only thing that will teach him is to be afraid of you.
     
  5. CranialCrusader

    CranialCrusader

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    *I should add that I never had a pet growing up. My parents didn't allow it. So this is really my first experience with seeing an animal on a regular basis for extended time periods.

    Yeah he was there first, and I did take his night time sleeping spot. But there is still plenty of room by my feet if he wants to use it (which he sometimes does).

    He does go on the table when home alone. Today a bunch of stuff was on the floor (from him knocking it off).

    As far as playing goes, the cat seems bipolar. Sometimes he wants to be loved and will chase his little toy mouse around if I throw it for him. Other times he will bite (not hard) but it's obvious he does NOT want to play. Although I suppose I can't fault him for not wanting to play all the time.

    I think I spoil him though. I'm better about making sure he has enough food and water than my girlfriend is. (how he didn't starve with only her feeding him I'll never know) I fill his bowl until it over flows. I will also buy him tuna and give it to him if I think he has been acting good. He loves the tuna more than anything, and asks me for it every time I walk in the door.

    Do you think a cat bed (maybe even a heated one?) might work? He loves to look out the window so we could put it there for him.

    I do have a soft spot for the little guy. I want the fur ball to be happy and non lonely. Kate thinks we should get him a cat friend, but her apartment is rather small.

    Thanks,
    CranialCrusader
     
  6. Tampico

    Tampico G37/G38

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    It can be hard adapting to a cat having never lived with one.

    My wife never had a cat, and was convinced she didn't like them. After we married she quickly grew to love the cat(s), (sometimes more than me I think), and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    I tried to find some good cat info on the net for new cat people, and found this one.

    Oddly enough, it's a .gov site, but there are pages on a number of cat topics and it seems to be quite good.

    There's also this article on attention seeking behavior which I personally find to be a bit severe (it's geared more towards dogs, I think), but it does address the behavior in cats.

    Personally, I think if you play with him regularly, he'll settle down and even become your friend.

    Don't feed him a lot of that tuna, though:

    Pansteatitis (Steatitis, Yellow Fat Disease)
    Pansteatitis is a disease caused by an excess of unsaturated fatty acids, combined with a lack of sufficient Vitamin E. It is most often caused in cats by frequent consumption of red tuna, and some experts have blamed it on poor homemade diets. The resultant fat deposits can be very painful to cats.


    He should be eating a high-quality dry food, like Science Diet, or IAMS.

    I hope this helps.
     
  7. CranialCrusader

    CranialCrusader

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    I only give him tuna once a week on average, and it's just a small amount.

    We definately do not ignore him. Every evening he gets to hang out with us, and he sits on one of our laps. A lot of times he will just sleep all evening on the couch near us too.

    I will read those sites and try to play with him more. Maybe it is difficult for him because we are gone all day at school. Now I feel bad for him.

    Thanks!
    CranialCrusader
     
  8. Steve #1

    Steve #1

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    First, stop hitting the cat. The most effective form of negative reinforcement for a cat is a spray bottle with a strong stream. You say the cat knows not to get on the table. When kitty gets on the table, give him a quick spray of water. If the cat doesn't connect you with the watter, even better

    For the meowing, make sure he has everything he needs, food water etc. before the meowing starts. When it starts ignore him. He is looking for attention. Granted, he has been getting a pop for doing this so far, but it's still attention. Think of it as an extreme sport for cats.

    For the sleeping arrangements, decide where you want the well behaved cat to sleep. If you ultimately want the cat to be able to spend the night o the bed, let him, and ignore the meowing and attempts to wake you up. As far as the cat is concerned, attention is attention.

    Some times getting another cat can help, but you'll need to be sure you get the right cat. You need one that is outgoing enough to entertain kitty, but you don't want double trouble. Twelve years ago we got another cat to play with the one year old one we had. Within a year the older one had settled down. Today, the younger one, Spazz, still lives up to his name. After having him about a year we had to get him a playmate. Between the three we ended up with a nice mix.
     
  9. ATL Peach Girl

    ATL Peach Girl ♥Meezers♥

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    Hey Cranial......

    In the most recent issue of Cat Fancy Magazine someone wrote in about night meowing, and how to deal with it......

    Let me find it and scan it for you, and I will e-mail it to you.......

    That magazine is tops for dealing with issues on cats. They have a dog issue too (Dog Fancy).......

    I will get ahold of you........
     
  10. The Pontificator

    The Pontificator Angry Samoan

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    +1 on not hitting the cat. It accomplishes nada and will cause further problems (such as pooping and peeing behind furniture.)

    Here's a rec. site:

    www.catsinternational.org
     
  11. Walter45Auto

    Walter45Auto

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    The above is just cats for you. They wake up early, and require the same from you. They are extremely amused at jumpimng on your head stomach or whatver else they land on. You're lucky that he hasn't figured out yet theat there's a 3 AM. The rest of your problems, I dunno how to fix.


    :freak:






    :reindeer: :50cal:
     
  12. CranialCrusader

    CranialCrusader

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    No problems like that!

    I've been playing with him more lately and combined his two favorite toys, string and a toy mouse. I'm not sure that it is helping him be less active at night but I'm sure he doesn't mind it.

    I'll be checking out those web sites more, I've just briefly looked at them now.

    CranialCrusader
     
  13. Tampico

    Tampico G37/G38

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    As a side note, he looks pretty young...

    Young Cats are going to be full of energy.

    It's normal for a young Cat to be exhbit a wide variety of behaviors throughouth the day. So long as none of them are based on fear or pain--you have pretty normal cat.

    I'll be honest with you. I love cats more than most people, but kittens (young kittens) drive me up a wall. They are constantly into everyting, will climb curtains, legs, or whatever, and basically act like any other infant life form. Sometimes this is cute, sometimes it's annoying.

    I've learned to deal with it. You should too.

    This is all normal.
     
  14. CranialCrusader

    CranialCrusader

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    Actually he is 6, according to his vet papers. That age is approximate since he was abandoned by his original family.

    After reading a little more, I’m beginning to understand his behavior. He is a good cat and I will just have to learn to sleep through his antics. The past couple of nights have been very good though!

    Right now he is having dinner after his evening nap.

    Thanks,
    CranialCrusader
     
  15. gabbygus

    gabbygus

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    First off, never hit, it does not help.It makes the cat fearful. Plus it well not trust you. Cats are very smart. They read your moods.

    Cats can be very indepent, and only let us live with them. Not the other way around. Not to say, you can't train felines. You can.

    My cats know the word no. Just as my dogs do. I never hit either. I use tone of voice. I also use praise.

    Your cat could be just going through a adjustment phase. Give him time to get use to you on his side of the bed. I mean he was there first. When he realizes, he has two instead of one, to love him. He'll settle down.

    And he'll give so much love in return. And try not to get annoyed, with his meowing. If you have a relaxed manner, so well he. Like I said. Animals well feel our moods. Good luck,
     
  16. Blitzer

    Blitzer Cool Cat

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    Pretty boy you have there!

    Nix the physical, hitting them pisses them off and you may find cat doodoo in your shoes!

    Yes find new toys and wear him out playing until he drops or losses interest in them. A long whip like toy with a ball and feather on the end makes a great toy.

    My two loves to try and snag the ball out of the air, just watch and not snag their claws too aggressively.

    Talk to him in nice tones to encourage good behavior and even speak strongly but not loudly when he is bad, and use the squirt bottle or super soaker.

    Maybe another cat would be a good idea, try a six month old who has been handled and raised well by a breeder, some times you can get less than pedigreed cats for a good price.

    I feed my old girl Greenie snacks (nearly 5 years old), the kitten (one year old) doesn't care for them. I give only three at a time as they can clog her up, as a special treat. I also feed wet food twice a day, just a tablespoon or so the compliment the dry food left out all day. Make their coats real shiny and smooth.

    I give them catnip around three times a week too. Just rub a pinch between your fingers and thumb and drop it on a spot near his food dish, then gently rub his face with your fingers after you drop the catnip. This is to get an association going with him, you, and the catnip. He may get crazy for a bit so watch your fingers. It is a hoot to watch them eat it then rub and roll in the left over, it if they like it!

    If your looking for a good book on cats from the library try: "For the love of cats" ISBN 0-7853-1411-3 or "The new encyclopedia of the cat" ISBN 0-7894-8021-2, or back issues of Cat Fancy magazine.

    Have fun learning to love the little guy.

    Precious
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Goldie
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  17. CranialCrusader

    CranialCrusader

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    Thanks guys,

    He has been doing a lot better in the last couple of weeks. If I devote 30+ minutes in the evening to playing with him he sleeps through the night. The worst part is waking him up from his evening nap to play.

    I know he likes me, though not as much as he likes the girlfriend.


    CranialCrusader