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Advice needed on my cat's behaviour

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by ejrogers, Mar 30, 2011.


  1. ejrogers

    ejrogers PetForums Member

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    I'm really hoping that somebody on here can help me with some advice on what I can do about my cat's behaviour. Its now getting to the stage where this morning even the option of having to give her up was mentioned. This would break my heart so we need to do something!

    To give you the background - she's a 2 years old spayed moggy who we've had since she was 12 weeks old. We've always kept her as an indoor cat as we live on a main road, but we live in a 3 storey 4 bed house and have tried to give her lots of toys, cat trees and scratching posts to keep her occupied.

    We moved house 3 months ago and since then her behaviour has gotten worse. We are out all day at work and when we come home all she does is try and scratch the furniture, climb everything in sight and paces up and down the house miaowing.
    And then when we go to bed, she won't settle and still paces up and down miaowing and climbing things including us and the bed headboard while we're trying to sleep. She used to sleep in our room in the previous house, but now we're having to shut her out of the bedroom at night, only to woken up at 4am by miaowing and scratching at the door.

    I'm assuming that she is bored as we are out all day and/or still hasn't settled into the new house but we are at our wits end about what to do.
    Letting her out isn't really an option because of the main road, and we already have feliway plugged in all over the house.

    Can anybody help with advice on what we can do? Giving her up isn't really a serious option but we need to do something as our quality of life is being seriously impacted!

    Thanks
     
  2. Shimacat

    Shimacat PetForums Member

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    What do you do to keep her entertained? Do you set aside time to play with her? It does sound as if she's bored and frustrated, but the move may well have upset her as well.

    3 months isn't that long, but I'd have thought she should be settling by now. I'd also suggest Feliway, but you're trying that just now.

    Have you thought about getting another cat for company for her?
     
  3. tinamary

    tinamary PetForums VIP

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    Oh dear it sounds to me like she needs some company.
     
  4. gobubbles

    gobubbles PetForums Junior

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    I'd get her some company, another kitty. She is bored and lonely. Also, try feliway diffusers in most rooms. It'll help her to settle down.
     
  5. ejrogers

    ejrogers PetForums Member

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    Yes we do play with her every night when we get home from work, and obviously at the weekends too. When we're playing with her she's absolutely fine and when she is tired she's lovely and affectionate, its just when she's not getting any attention that she plays up.

    Do you think there is anything else we can do to help her settle better?

    We are looking into getting another cat to keep her company but we're going on holiday in May so will leave it until after that.
    Do you think generally a second cat is a good idea to keeo her company?
     
  6. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    I agree with the others. Sounds as though your little lady is desperate for some company. Is getting another cat totally out of the question?

    You could also try feeding her a high protein wet food directly before bed time, as the protein, in my experience at least, tends to make them more sleepy while they're digesting it.
     
  7. gobubbles

    gobubbles PetForums Junior

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    Also, I've read (and noticed) that cats are very sensitive to light at night, so using a completely blacked out room, where light from other rooms is also blacked out, as her bedroom may keep her asleep for longer. extreme measures for extreme circumstances...
     
  8. ejrogers

    ejrogers PetForums Member

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    Hi, thanks for your quick replies. It does sound like she needs company. We will likely get another cat after we come back from our holiday in May but as thats only 8 weeks away I don't think doing it beforehand would be sensible.
    We already have feliway diffusers in 3 of the rooms, do you think there should be one in each room?
    And does the feliway spray make any difference?
     
  9. tinamary

    tinamary PetForums VIP

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    Now you have moved is there any way of cat proofing the garden so she can go out.
    Put a dvd of birdwatching on the tele when you go out. It keeps mine quiet for ages
     
  10. LDK1

    LDK1 PetForums VIP

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    Definitely a second cat will help! Our indoor rescue cat Rosie got bored very easily - despite me being at home all day, playing with her, buying her endless toys, building a small cat run and taking her out in the garden on a harness!

    But! The personality of the second cat is important. Six months later we got a two year old male rescue cat (around the same age as Rosie) who was described as playful and gets on with other cats - it worked!

    After a week or so of careful introductions (following guidelines found on the internet) they get on fine and I'm so happy when I hear them chasing each other up and down the stairs - even at night :D
     
  11. Abster21

    Abster21 PetForums Junior

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    I agree, another cat could be just what she needs. In the meantime, try rotating her toys so she doesn't get bored of them by having same things around all the time?

    You can get balls to dispense cat biscuits but they have to work at it - that stimulates their brains and eases boredom!

    I've not used one with our cats, but maybe you could take her into the garden on a harness for a run around?

    Good luck with it all!
     
  12. ejrogers

    ejrogers PetForums Member

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    Carly87, you mention giving her a high protein wet food before bed - how would that work with her normal dinner which we usually feed her about 7pm?
    And what would you recommend?
     
  13. mrswoodwoose

    mrswoodwoose PetForums Member

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    You could give her more smaller meals per day using automatic cat feeders (I am a huge fan of these) and you can set it to open at the dreaded 4am time to distract her too. Cats opt for smaller meals more oten if they can, so do get a feeder with more options.

    Can you consider a nice catproof run in the garden? Everyone deserves some sunshine on their backs and some fresh air. You will find many examples on the internet, a quick search I just did brought this up:
    Cat Enclosures - Outdoor Cat Runs - Many Cat Enclosure Pictures

    Good luck. Just a thought that a companion will work if they get on, if they don't it could stress your cat even more.
     
  14. MoggyBaby

    MoggyBaby PetForums VIP

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    Hi there,

    I would absolutely second, third & fourth all the recommendations for a 2nd furball. Your girl is still quite young - just short of being a kitten herself really - and would probably love a bit of company to play with.

    Until you return from your hols (what are your arrangements for your little lady when you are away - Cattery or house-sitter?) you could perhaps try feeding her a bit later if the high-protein isin't an option. I feed the homeboys at 10.15pm and they are quite happy to go to sleep with their wee full bellies.

    Also, when you are out, perhaps try leaving a radio on so that the house is not so quiet for her. Is it possible that your new house has less outside distractions from the previous one - ie: less for her to watch outside the windows or not as noisy as before? Just a couple of ponderings that may explain the change in her behaviour.

    I hope she is able to settle soon as I can appreciate that you find it distressing to see her so out of sorts.
     
  15. Gem16

    Gem16 PetForums VIP

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    Have you got a 'da bird' toy? if not look into 1 of those cause their great for wearing cats out, if she has any dry or treats then you could get a treat ball which keeps them busy for a while, or a raw chicken wing sometimes occupies them for a couple of hours.
    There are some interactive toys you can get which will keep her brain ticking over, and definately some feline company would help. My indoor cats rely on each other alot when we go out and are fine, so we don't feel bad.
    Here are some things your kitty might enjoy while your not around/ or when you are it will give extra stimulation:
    Cat Play Cubes for cats from Madcats Cat Toys. The premier online cat accessories shop in the UK. believe it or not these are brilliant :D
    Cat Toys - Miscellaneous for cats from Madcats Cat Toys. The premier online cat toy shop in the UK. There are some interesting bits on there too, you know your cat best so you know what kind of thing she might like.
    Have you got a cat tree, you say she climbs on things so maybe she would like 1 of those?
    Cat Trees & Cat Scratching Posts on Sale Now at Zooplus
    Both those sites are great for looking around anyway and reguarly used by members here :)
    But yeah in the long term once your back from holiday it sounds like she would welcome a friend !
     
  16. Shimacat

    Shimacat PetForums Member

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    re: your question on Feliway. We used them in our house before and after moving, and they were a huge help. I tended to assume one diffuser per room was the best way to go, so ended up with one in the living room and one on the small top landing - but it totally depends on the size of your rooms. Make sure they're plugged into a plugpoint which isn't behind furniture, to give the stuff the best chance of diffusing.

    Glad you're looking into another cat - it really does sound as if yours needs company. If you describe your home situation to a rescue centre, they ought to be able to match you with a cat who will fit in with your existing cat - you may well be better off with an adult/young adult cat, rather than a kitten. Fingers crossed - with a good slow introduction, you may well find this is the best solution.

    Like the suggestions of a food-ball as well - puzzles with rewards!
     
  17. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    Hi there

    There is an excellent A to Z of wet and dry foods on this forum which I'd recommend you read. Please know that suggestions I make are based on my reading of that thread and my opinion. It's always better to make your own choice!

    When I began to do this feed before bed time, I gave my kitten at the time a piece of chicken or Applaws, not knowing that it was a supplementary food rather than a complete one. This worked brilliantly, but after reading the thread, I had to ask myself where the point in feeding an incomplete food was when I could feed a complete one. Foods with a high meat content are high protein. I always tend to go for the chicken variety because I feel that either it or rabbit is as close to what they'd eat in the wild as it gets. I know there's still a load of beef in there, but it's the closest I can get.

    Bozita, Anamonda, Grau and Smilla (sp?) are very good quality, high meat wet foods. Ideally, if she'll tolerate it, you should consider feeding her this sort of quality all the time. Cats are obligate carnivores which means that they pull their nutrients only from meat rather than anything else. Some of the supermarket brands of food only have a declared meat content of 4%, which is shocking when you think of it. I have to note that this is the minimum amount of meat in each food packet. There may well be more than that, but there's no guarantee.

    If you normally feed her her dinner at 7, how would she respond to that meal being fed directly before bed? Say about half an hour before you go up? That's what I did with the cat I owned who needed this extra help with sleep. I'd give her a really good play session with lots of running around and attacking toys, then I'd leave her to settle for quarter of an hour and then feed. It worked like a charm! But as I said, back then I was using plain old chicken and Applaws.

    I haven't needed to do this with my current girl, so can't attest to how well the wet foods mentioned will work, but I don't see why they should be any different.

    Please do read the thread though and make your own choice, as everyone's preferences are different.
     
  18. ejrogers

    ejrogers PetForums Member

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    Thank you all so much for your replies and very helpful suggestions. We are doing some of these things already such as the cat tree (which we have a ceiling height version of!) but I'm definitely going to try out some of the others.
    If anybody has any other suggestions of things to try, I'm very open to them, desperate to try anything right now!

    Thanks again,
     
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