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Small flat + bored cat = constant meowing. Help!?

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by SloopJB, Jun 27, 2019.


  1. SloopJB

    SloopJB PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all! I’ve been reading and reading around online to try and find something to help my situation but finally decided to post personally and see if anyone could offer some advice?


    I got my cat when he was 2 years old (he is now 5), and he is an indoor car. We used to live in a 2 floors, 2 bed flat in London. It was quite spacious and there was room to run around which was good.


    In April this year I split from a partner and we both moved out of the flat to north London. I didn’t want to move in with strangers (Spareroom) as he is an indoor cat and I didn’t want him to freak out a bit or be accidentally let out in the busy area. So what I was able to find for just myself and him was a small studio.


    He has toys that are out, he is well fed, and has water (even a water foundation!) yet he constantly meows at the door, or at me.


    I also have a Feliway plugin to try and help him calm, but it hasn’t seemed to help in the last week.


    I’ve been up on an hourly basis on some nights (4am, then 530, then 6, etc.) because he meows through the night.


    I think he is bored or lonely and I try to help but I simply don’t know what else to do. Are there any recommended toys or calmers, etc. that anyone can recommend? It is driving me up the wall, but at the same time I do feel bad that he doesn’t have as much space.


    I can’t build on the walls for him to climb because ideally at the end of my lease I want to find a bigger place if I can.


    Any help is appreciated! Thank you!!
     

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  2. Heather***

    Heather*** PetForums Newbie

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    Lovely cat. You could still make use of the vertical space by making a "lean to" piece of cat furniture, for example a couple of sturdy planks, which you could cover in carpet and some grips like pieces of rope stuck to it for him to climb up, prop against the wall at a safe angle, link them together with a hammock at the top, and other "rungs" he can balance and play on. Felt pads behind the top back edges should protect the walls, and you can hide treats on the top. The space behind can be used too, maybe a flat topped tunnel with a bed or scratcher on top. Does he like teaser/rod toys? I've rearranged furniture so that my cat can jump from piece to piece chasing it, as it's the only toy my cat likes, but you might have to clear surfaces.
     
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  3. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Space is not really the issue for him.

    How much time is he alone each day? How much time do you spend interacting with him when you are home? His whole world has been turned upside down, new home and he's lost half his family, so he is probably feeling very anxious. I would be spending every spare minute with him, playing taking, grooming and sleeping with him, to help he get acclimated.

    Make sure to feed him good quality wet foods. Meal times are important bonding times.
     
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  4. SloopJB

    SloopJB PetForums Newbie

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    These are all really great ideas!! Thank you!
     
  5. SloopJB

    SloopJB PetForums Newbie

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    I am with and around him every minute when I am home, I am constantly trying to play with him, hold him, talk to him, etc. The bonding is not an issue, I treat him like he’s my child, ha!

    We have been in this place for about 3 months now, which I know is still fresh, but it’s just that I am not seeing much improvement hence why I’m reaching out.thanks!
     
  6. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    How long is he alone each day?

    Some cats take longer to adjust than others. The crying may be, in part, him calling for your ex. Is he sleeping with you?

    I mentioned diet because it matters in all parts of a cat's health including his mental health. A wet (or raw) diet with scheduled meal times is what I recommend if you aren't already doing that. Scheduled meals create routines and bonding time which helps a cat feel content, and of course a wet low carb diet is always best for the cat.

    Cats like routines and his has been disrupted. It wil take him time to feel better, and you creating as many little routines each day as you can, doing things the same way at the same time in the same sequence, each day, will help.

    I don't doubt your bond with your cat but there are always ways to create new routines to help any cat feel more settled, especially right now when he clearly isn't.
     
  7. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    You could get things for him to play with while you are out:

    MissFox Three Levers Tower of Tracks Cat Toy Pet Ball Toys Amusement Plate (Orange) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01G59SFHE/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_v6sfDbRC4FV0Q

    DADYPET Cat Laser Toy, Cat Interactive Toys, 2 in 1 Auto Rotating Light Chaser Toy And Interactive Feather Toy, Pet Entertainment Intelligence Fun With USB Charging Cable For Cats And Dogs https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DCKVGJ8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_m9sfDbAVVN03Y

    DJLOOKK Cat Teasing Toy, Electric Mute Training Cat Toy Kitten Rotating Teaser Feather, Fun Playing Interactive Smart Game Pet Toy https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07JC8S97S/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_QatfDbS18XGRJ
     
  8. SloopJB

    SloopJB PetForums Newbie

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  9. SloopJB

    SloopJB PetForums Newbie

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    He is alone while I’m at the office during the day, but evenings and weekends I’m always around and this has always been the constant.

    My ex and I didn’t live together for that long, but I did have a flatmate preciously for a few years - so yes I think the decrease of people around is a thing.

    He does sleep with me, I have a little bed made of blankets on the window sill next to my bed that he usually uses. But it doesn’t feel like he’s been sleeping much lately

    I feed him wet and dry food mixed together lately, which he does enjoy and that helps for a temporary period.

    My main reason for asking for help is that we moved into this studio 3 months ago, and it’s just been in the last week that this has really gotten this bad. It’s a constant meowing and it just doesn’t stop. This past week I’ve been up every hour of the night from 4am, and I try to play with him, I try to love him, I try to create a routine, but it’s just constant. I’ve spent entire evenings on the floor with him and he is just not interested in 24/7 attention, yet he just keeps meowing if I try to do any other task like the laundry or cleaning or even watching tv.

    As it’s not something that has been really this bad since we moved in that’s why I’m a bit unsure, confused, and honest just really tired.
     
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  10. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    In that case I would start thinking about a health issue. A vet check would be the next step.

    I've just re-read your original post. When did you put in the feliway plug in? I wonder....have you always used one? Some cats don't respond well to them. Take it out and see if that helps.

    Ensure his litter box habits are normal, no straining to pee, no little pee dots instead of big healthy pees? And his poops, are they normal?

    I would also recommend you do away with any dry food and just feed low carb meat based wet foods.
     
  11. SloopJB

    SloopJB PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much for your help. It's really appreciated during this time.

    I got the feliway plug probably a month ago? Maybe 6 weeks. It's been a while, and I wasn't sure if it had helped or if it didn't really have much effect. I don't know if this recent behavior increase is because of that since it's been plugged in for quite a while. But I'm not sure it's done anything to help either. I have now taken it out though just in case.

    His pees and poops are normal, but he does have a big habit of peeing in my shower which is frustrating as ever (just peeing though, he still regularly uses the litter box normally too). He did it in the last flat in the bathtub too - this is something that I'm trying to tackle but have been struggling with too. But it isn't a new behaviour (and not medical, he's been checked) -- if you have any advice to try and steer away from this behaviour too I'd appreciate. I've just caught him trying to pee in my kitchen sink too..

    I change his litter weekly and clean the box daily. I have had this same box for a bit though - would you recommend changing if he's had this one for a while? If so, any recommendations on what the best ones are?

    I've just bought a new stack of wet food, so will attempt at only feeding him this in hopes that it helps too.

    Thank you again - I love him, and try so hard to understand that he is just a cat and is not doing anything out of anger toward me as I love him. But it's making it increasingly difficult to deal with and I love him so much I don't want to resent him but I can see myself getting increasingly frustrated. I just want to fix things so that he can be happy with positive behaviour
     
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  12. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't change the old box but would add another. Many cats prefer to pee one place and poop another. It's instinctual behavior for prey animals, of which cats are.

    Though peeing in the shower...well there are worse places! :)

    let's see there was something else..oh the feliway. So how much was left in the bottle? If you'd had it plugged in for 6 weeks already, and the crying started just recently perhaps I have it backwards and the feliway was helping and it's run out?

    Here is my experience with the feliway plug ins. Many many years ago I used one for a senior kitty I had with many health issues and it seemed to help her very much. I never smelled it at all while it was in use and I went through many bottles..

    Then years later, I don't remember why, I thought to use it again, and ordered a new one, not knowing they'd changed the formula. The smell was terribly strong all through the house and one of my cats became terribly upset. She would only just sit and stare at the plug in with her body rigid until I took it out and never used it again.

    You might try some Rescue Remedy, I have had a lot of success with that. I also see Zyklene recommended here a lot though I have no experience with it.
     
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  13. SloopJB

    SloopJB PetForums Newbie

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    Haha - yes, I have said this before - there are MANY worse places he could be peeing!! I'm grateful it's there and no on my floors, rugs, bed, etc :p

    I have read about getting a second box, I may try this - the place is small, but if this will help him then I can definitely make room.

    The Feliway has a bit left in it - but I would say a weeks worth maybe, as it is right at the bottom. Could be possible that it is running out and he's not getting as much as when it's full. I can order another one to place in. He's always been a bit loud, but it's just recently that the 4AM / hourly cries have been happening, and it's just never happened before that's why I just have no idea. The feliway I have sounds like the one you had years ago - there is no smell and it has been in the house just fine without me noticing anything. I'll have a look into another one - will also check out the Rescue Remedy / Zyklene as well.

    I have got him an appointment this week to take into the vet as well, so I'll be able to speak to someone there and can bring these options up too.
     
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  14. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @SloopJB - when you say a 'studio flat' do you mean one small room and a bathroom? If so, then I think you need to create the feeling of extra space for your cat. He needs to be able to get away from you sometimes and be on his own. I think you'd need to do more than put up a few shelves.

    My friend's daughter moved into a city studio flat. She took her cat with her and the cat became agitated at being in one room all the time; seemed to find it claustrophobic. My friend's daughter had a small mezzanine floor built to give extra space. This helped a lot and the cat was happy to sleep up there when he wanted to be alone.

    Providing you have reasonably high ceilings. a carpenter could make something for you from a heavy duty frame supported on the floor on legs though it would need fixing to the wall to add stability. There would need to be steps for the cat to get up and down safely and the steps should be no steeper than a 45 degree slope. if it was well made you could even put your own bed up there.

    Here are some ideas:

    https://www.houzz.co.uk/photos/king...y-traditional-bedroom-london-phvw-vp~18982745

    https://www.houzz.co.uk/photos/belsize-park-flat-contemporary-staircase-london-phvw-vp~13834676

    https://www.houzz.co.uk/photos/pavillon-style-loft-contemporary-dining-room-toronto-phvw-vp~17780139

    https://www.houzz.co.uk/photos/waln...temporary-living-room-london-phvw-vp~22173942
     
  15. Gemma47292

    Gemma47292 Guest

    To the right thing and rehome him to someone who has more space. Maybe a family member so you can still see him? Or move out to a bigger place.
     
  16. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    It does seem very strange that this behaviour is fairly recent given you have been in your current place for some time. I think the Vet's visit is a good idea as I don't know why but feel that it might be a medical issue. Try leaving a radio on for him when you are at work too. I'm assuming he is neutered. I can understand your concern and needing answers so hope some of the tips above help. Let us know how it goes.
     
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  17. SloopJB

    SloopJB PetForums Newbie

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    I don't think 'the right thing' is to just abandon my cat who I have had for 3+ years and I love as my own kid. This not a forever home, but it is where we are now, so I'm writing on here reaching out for advice from those who have pets, or familiar situations, or who at least understand and want to help.

    If you don't have any helpful advice, I'd appreciate you not commenting to tell me to get rid of my pet.
     
  18. SloopJB

    SloopJB PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks, Soozi. Yes, he is neutered, and he was just at the vet right before this move for his vaccines to which he was checked up and healthy as ever. I have got him an appointment in this week for another check up since we've been here, and to speak to someone else to be 100% sure he is okay medically as well.

    Will try to radio/music tip too!

    He did great last night, sleeping through the night, and today he's been lovely. But still going to tick all the boxes to make sure I've checked it out. I've been on the lookout online for some other toys and things to get around the flat to give him some entertainment and height to jump/climb/change scenery too.

    Thanks so much!
     
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  19. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    I’m now wondering whether there is an intruder cat coming around which he hears and that might be upsetting him.
     
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  20. Heather***

    Heather*** PetForums Newbie

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    Years ago when I lived in a block of small flats, my neighbour used to bring his cats out on to the communal stairwell for a change of scenery. I don't know whether this might be realistic for you in the building you're in, but I know my own cat loves playing with her rod toy on the stairs/ landing, and following me up and down.
     
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