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Crying Kitten!

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by BeauBrummell, Nov 13, 2018.


  1. BeauBrummell

    BeauBrummell PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there,

    I have a 5 month old ragdoll kitten and having some major issues with crying, particularly in the morning.

    He has been waking up around 5.30am and crying non-stop until I either feed him or give him attention. We section him off in the living room and dining room overnight as we have a one bed flat and otherwise he will just cry outside our door all night. Its a large room and we leave lots of toys out for him to play with.

    I normally go in to feed him around 6.30, then go for a shower, then let him out for play/attention until I need to leave for work at 8.

    I have tried to not go into him until he is quiet or stops crying, however he will literally cry until 8 and then I need to leave for work, so feel I can’t do this as he just wouldn’t get fed or have any playtime.

    We try to play with most of the evening so he is really worn out, playing until he’s literally falling asleep and hasn’t got any more energy left but it still doesn’t help. He will still either wake up early or wake up and start crying the moment he hears any movement. We’ve also tried one of the feliway diffusers but that didn’t seem to work either.

    We have neighbours below us and they have complained the crying is waking them up.

    What should I do? We are going to have him neutered next month, will this help?
     
  2. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    How long is he alone each day? And how much are you feeding him? He may be hungry. Get a timed feeder and leave wet meals for him both overnight and during the day. Leave a radio playing softly. Put a bird feeder outside a favorite window.

    I believe Ragdolls are specially bred to be very sociable so it will be very hard on him to be alone all day and all night and only have time with you in the evening. This would be hard on any baby, really. He needs more company than that.

    You may have to just let him adapt to sleeping with you. They do, you know. You'll lose some sleep as he is learning, but eventually he will learn to sleep at night when you do.
     
  3. BeauBrummell

    BeauBrummell PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for your advice, I’ll try leaving the radio on and sort a bird feeder out over the weekend.

    I’d say he’s probably left on average day between 8/8.30 to 5.30/6ish 4 days a week. When we first had him my boyfriend was at home everyday for the first couple of months and to be honest was still the same, just getting increasingly worse.

    We did consider letting him into our room however he’s had a number of accidents on the duvet and we only really let him in if we can keep an eye on him. He even managed to sneak in one morning and wee’d on the bed even while we were in it! The other option I guess would be to have a litter tray in there but really don’t like the thought of having one in the bedroom...

    In terms of food I think we may have even been feeding him too much as the last time we went to the vets they said he’s getting a bit chubby! I definitely think it’s more attention but we said this evening we might try giving him a smaller dinner and holding some back to give him before bed.

    I’m thinking he must generally be a needy kitty but just want to try and get him out the routine of crying in the morning :(

    Thanks again, really appreciated. You might see plenty more posts from my with my 1000000+1 questions I have about my mysterious Monty!!
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @BeauBrummell,

    Following on from @lorilu's comments I have to say I feel this little fellow is alone too much. For 4 days a week, as you say, he is alone between 9 and 10 hours a day in the daytime, plus another 8 hours overnight, so the only human companionship he is getting for more than half the week is 6 hours day.

    Perhaps when your BF was at home he wasn't giving the kitten much focused attention...but was busy working?

    Young kittens need a lot of attention from their owners, up to 3 or 4 hours a day of playtime, divided into periods of about 40 minutes. I appreciate you play with him in the evening to tire him out, but kittens need short bursts of regular vigorous play throughout the day, then they sleep for a couple of hours to recharge their batteries before launching into another burst of play. Playing intensively with him just during the evening is not going to be enough for him I'm afraid. Can you play with him for 40 minutes in the mornings too, before you go to work?

    Added to that he is a ragdoll, a breed that is known for their sociable personality, and a temperament that thrives on plenty of close human companionship for reassurance. I am not sure that your boy is any more needy than many ragdoll kittens, judging by what my friends who have ragdolls tell me.

    But even my own 'non-pedigree' cats needed a lot of companionship for the first year of their lives. At the age of 5 months they were never left alone for more than 6 hours a day, plus they were always in pairs, so they had each other for company if I was out.

    When he cries he is probably asking for your attention. Stop what you are doing (when you can) and sit down on the floor and talk to him gently and stroke him (if he wants strokes) for as long as he wants the attention. Let him be the one to move away when he has had enough for now.

    I understand there is probably nothing you can do to shorten your working day, but it would help if you could employ a cat sitter to go in in your absence and spend an hour with your kitten at lunchtime, to feed him and play with him. At his age your kitten will do best on at least 4 meals a day, and wet food is healthier for him., so to have a cat sitter going in would be a good way of meeting this requirement.

    I appreciate you don't want him soiling your bedding but atm he does need someone with him at night, until such time as he is more confident and mature enough to be left on his own so much. Therefore I advise you to give the kitten his own room at night, with his food, water, litter trays, and you and your BF take it in turn to sleep in your kitten's 'night' room to keep him company. (a sleeping bag and a camp bed will suffice, :)) You may only need to do this for a month or so, so it is a fairly small sacrifice to make.

    As well as playing with kitty before bedtime, take time to settle him every night with a tasty wet food supper, and sit quietly with him reading while he grooms and settles for sleep. Then when he is settled, turn off the light and go to sleep too.

    If he still wakes too early it is perhaps because he's hungry. Provide some wet food in an auto feeder timed to open around 4.30 am. Leave some toys for him to play with, and if he does wake you up, ignore him. He has food, toys and your company, he will be OK. But I think he will go back to sleep after eating if he has you or your BF in the room with him, and is not alone and sad. .

    Kittens grow up so quickly, and all too soon they become adults. By giving your kitten more of your time now, and your companionship, you will be raising a well-balanced and contented adult cat. All the extra time you give him while he's a kitten will reap dividends in the future as it will help you develop a relationship with him of trust and mutual affection.

    A photo of him would be nice - we love kittens here!

    EDIT : is that him in your avatar? :)
     
    #4 chillminx, Nov 13, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
    Rhea mother of Zeus likes this.
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