Author Topic: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?  (Read 1134 times)

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perpetua

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2014, 11:34:15 AM »
Build him a window catio. :)  They're expensive online but there are a lot of DIY instructions and videos out there..

Heh, what a fab thing! I rent my flat though, and wouldn't be allowed to do that.

(I also wouldn't want to put one of those on the first floor - what if it gave way and he fell? Plus I'd never be able to get up there to build it, even if I was allowed to)

BTW, the 'first floor' is upstairs here. I think Americans call the ground floor the 'first floor', which may account for some of the confusion as to why he's not allowed to jump out of the window.

What I'm really looking for is some suggestions on how to break him of the behaviour, not ways to make the window safe. I sleep better when he's not in the room, because like I say, he wakes me up for fuss during the night too.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 11:40:05 AM by perpetua »

Wallacd

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2014, 11:39:48 AM »
We actually have solved the same problem with drugs.  Late last year, our darling 10 year old cat started meowing - loudly and continuously - in the wee hours of the morning.  He's always been a very "talkative" kitty (he's a mutt, but definitely has some siamese or similarly vocal kitty lurking inside).  We could not get a decent night's sleep.  We were sure it wasn't something physical because he had been in and out of the vet for urinary stone problems and he was at the point where all his blood work was normal and he was doing well.

We thought maybe he's hungry.  So we started leaving some kibble in a timer bowl.  He ate the kibble, but continued meowing.  We thought maybe he's cold (despite the fact that he was more than welcome to come into bed with me and sleep on my electric blanket).  We bought him a heated cat bed.  He loves the cat bed.  He still meowed.  We thought maybe he's anxious about something (although what he could possibly be anxious about eluded us).  We tried Feliway.  Didn't work.  We tried playing with him at night to tire him out.  But that only works if your cat will actually play rather than chasing the feather for 30 seconds and going back to sleep.  Shutting him in a different room was not an option because seriously, you would still hear him and he would be even more vocal.

Finally, we went to the vet and explained the problem and all the things we had tried.  As the vet likes to diplomatically say, Darius has a very "distinctive meow" (meaning it sounds like he's being murdered as the vet takes him off to weigh him).  She said that normally she would tell us to try all the things we had already tried and given that he had just had blood work a couple of months earlier and looked great, nothing indicated it was something physical.  Then she told us that we just couldn't go on like this and she could prescribe a very low dose of Xanax for the cat to be given a couple of hours before we wanted it to start working. 

The Xanax worked.  The night time meowing has stopped.  We really did not want to give our cat drugs.  But we were so tired we wanted to cry and pretty soon one of us was going to snap.  The fun part is explaining to the human pharmacist that no, you don't want to use your insurance because Darius is a cat.  The vet has to write a prescription to be filled at the human pharmacy.

If you try everything and eliminate all physical causes, drugs may be your savior. 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2014, 12:08:58 PM »
My previous cat had feline dementia and would yowl loudly in the middle of the night for no reason at all.  The vet did prescribe some drugs but they weren't very effective.  Xanax might have done it!

But for Sass, and it sounds like Perpetua's cat, I think it is a behaviour that can be trained because it is so specific.  But I'm keeping the Xanax in mind and may give it a go if I get desperate.  She could certainly use it for other behaviours, considering her nickname is Miss Hissypants.  She's gotten a lot better but will still hiss at me.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2014, 01:08:37 PM »
I see you don't want to do screen, but in case someone else did, I thought I'd suggest this::
http://www.amazon.com/Thermwell-Products-AWS1537-15x21-37-Screen/dp/B002SBEG1S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402419945&sr=8-1&keywords=adjustable+screen

And some strips from the Command Hooks to use to attach it to the windowframe, either inside or outside? They're removable.

The screen comes in several heights, so you could pick one that would overlap the window by far enough that he can't squeeze out.

And there's carpenter's tape, to cover the edge so he can't get his claws in there to pry it off.

But of course, he's still walking all over you (as you point out). I don't have any suggestions. Except I like the Xanax idea.

jedikaiti

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2014, 06:12:58 PM »
When one of my cats started waking me up all night, my roomie and I started keeping him up all day. If we caught him napping, we'd wake him up to play with him, pet him, whatever. We just did to him what he was doing to me.

He quickly stopped waking me up.
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greencat

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2014, 06:28:31 PM »
Is the window wide enough to put a baby gate into it?  I have windows as wide as door frames, and I have had success in the past baby-gating across the windows to keep cats inside while leaving the window open. 

betty

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2014, 11:01:44 PM »
Do you let him into the room during the day? If so, try keeping him out all the time, so your room isn't part of his territory. It won't help right away but maybe he'll get used to the idea that your room is always off limits.

perpetua

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2014, 02:44:10 AM »
Do you let him into the room during the day? If so, try keeping him out all the time, so your room isn't part of his territory. It won't help right away but maybe he'll get used to the idea that your room is always off limits.

Yes, actually: he's mostly in there while Cat 1 mostly occupies the lounge. During the day he sleeps on the bed and he also likes to sleep underneath a throw I have over a chest of drawers. Perhaps the issue is that he can't get into his territory so discouraging it altogether and trying to 'relocate' him could be a way to go. There's another chest of drawers in the hallway that I could set up similarly with a throw and see if he sleeps under that instead. Good thinking - thank you!

It's odd though, because Cat 1 likes to sit in the bedroom windowsill and survey the outside world during the day, so it's obviously a part of his territory too, yet he doesn't howl to be let in at night.

greencat: annoyingly the part of the window that opens is at an angle so I don't think a babygate would work:



Last night he howled all night. I didn't give in to him until I got up, but I didn't get much sleep :-/

greencat

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2014, 04:17:17 AM »
Based on the picture, it looks like you could fairly easily have a piece of plastic lattice or chicken wire cut to fit over the window opening, which you could then staple to the wood around the window - when you're ready to move, all you have to do is pop the staples out and use a little wood filler and white paint over the holes.

perpetua

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2014, 04:31:38 AM »
Based on the picture, it looks like you could fairly easily have a piece of plastic lattice or chicken wire cut to fit over the window opening, which you could then staple to the wood around the window - when you're ready to move, all you have to do is pop the staples out and use a little wood filler and white paint over the holes.

It's not a wood window though. It's UPVC. I can't really go making holes in a double glazed window frame; I rent and it would affect my deposit.  And also the opening is at the bottom, so I wouldn't be able to open it once the wire was up - if I staple it enough that the cat can't get through I won't be able to get my hand under it to open the window either. Unless I'm missing something obvious?

I'm experimenting with keeping him shut out of the room altogether today. As you can see, it's going well... :-/


Outdoor Girl

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2014, 08:29:12 AM »
I've never allowed Sass in my bedroom and she still howls at the door.  In fact, the stupid thing will howl at the door when I'm not even in the bedroom; I'm sitting on the couch in the living room.  I end up hollering at her, 'I'm over here, dummy.'  So it may not work to keep him out all the time.
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Margo

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2014, 08:48:10 AM »
I'm not sure whether it has already been suggested, but is there anywhere he could be that was 2 doors away from your room?

tbalt was never allowed to sleep with me as he was far too active. If I just shut my bedroom door, he would yowl, get his paws underneath and bang the door , even pull the rug right out into the landing.

What worked for me was having the living door shut too. It meant that instead of being able to get into every room except mine and the kitchen, he only had access to the living room and back porch/conservatory, but it worked. I think partly it was that I was further away so the smaller noises he made were less distracting, but also he couldn't hear me moving around, so there was less of the 'must be with you' imperative.

Initially, I also used folded cardboard to wedge the door so he couldn't bang it.

perpetua

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2014, 09:00:00 AM »
I'm not sure whether it has already been suggested, but is there anywhere he could be that was 2 doors away from your room?


There isn't, unfortunately. All the rooms in my flat come off one central hallway and if I shut him in one, he won't have access to the bathroom where his tray is or the kitchen where his food is (and if I shut him in the kitchen, the other one can't get in there to *his* food) or to the front door where the catflap is.

I may have to invest in some ear plugs... :o

NutellaNut

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Re: Cat folk: Cat #2 is driving me insane. Help?
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2014, 10:09:13 AM »
In my experience cats living together pick a couple of spots that are "theirs" so even if they are in the same room, they have their own territory.  By shutting the door at night you are keeping him from a place he identifies as his, as his safe and happy place, and that is causing him anxiety.

My personal option would be to figure out a way to screen the window so he can be in the room - it's possible you could ask your landlord to screen the window (one landlord in my past was willing to make even more expensive changes for me, as a good tenant), or you could install a temporary one pretty cheaply (I've done so for less than $10 per window).  However, I actually like sleeping with my cats, and you've said you don't want to do that. 

So what you need to do is to help your cat have different, and better, places that are "his."  I agree with denying him access to your bedroom all the time.  Also important is to deny the other cat access as well, because letting the one in but not the other may well just make him anxious and stressed.  And then, create some lovely comfy spots for him, like the blanket under a dresser you mentioned.  Use treats or catnip to encourage him to go to those spots.  When he's there, pet him a lot, cuddle and love him so that becomes a "loving spot."  It may take time, but he can develop a strong preference for a new spot with encouragement.

Feliway works for many cats to ease anxiety and stress issues.  It's worth a try before going to prescription medicine.  It is not particularly cheap, though - between $15.00 - $20.00 per month for refills per plug, and depending on the size of the apartment you may need two or three.

I hope you can figure something out - it's no fun when you can't sleep, and I'm sure the kitty isn't very happy either!