Feline Advice - not a debate

[deleted account] ( 22 moms have responded )

I need suggestions because I am at my wit's end with one of my cats.

I have 5 of them. I love them dearly. I can't afford them but I go without a lot for myself to keep them. I left my ex-husband because he was cruel to them and threatened to kill me for protecting them. When my son and I had to move from our house (foreclosure) into a 2 bedroom apartment. It's not enough room but I thought it better than a shelter and potential euthanasia and frankly, the local no-kill shelters are generally unhelpful.

The one cat giving me trouble is Cosmo. He's 4. He wanders the house all day yowling. He did that at the house too only he did it in the basement so I didn't really notice it as much. At night, it's the worst. He'll sit in the bathtub and yowl over and over and over and ove and in the bathroom - IT ECHOES! Last night he was at it for 20 minutes straight. It's got to be driving my neighbors crazy! It's depriving me of sleep and that's dangerous with my medications. I have taken to sleeping with my door closed and no cats in bed with me (and I miss them) so I can get some quiet.

I've had him to the vet, he's completely healthy. I will get up with him, make sure the food dish is full, that theres' fresh clean water. I've tried cuddling him for attention. I've made sure there are lots of toys around. I've tried tiring him out with play in the evening but stil - MEOW MEOW MEOW!

I was ready to murder him last night because he woke me up over and over - even with my door closed.

Any one have a suggestion? I dont' want my neighbors complaining because I only just managed to talk my way into the landlord allowing my cat pride. No, I don't want to get rid of him. I want to make this situation better.

help (yawning!) please!!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/28/2011

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Julianne, get bitter apple for the cords. It tastes terrible and deters them.

Elfrieda - posted on 09/28/2011

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Our cat used to dislike it when we slept, and would try to wake us up so that we could entertain her. So aggravating! I combated it by keeping her up in the day (actually chasing her around, or just doing the chase-the-flashlight-light game) and keeping a water bottle to spray her in the face every time she meowed. If you're awake anyway, why not get the cat wet? That way you can both be unhappy! :) She doesn't meow much in the night anymore. Only if she caught a mouse in the basement, which is a whole other problem!

For the bathtub, I'd try to convince him that it's a bad place to be. Right before you go to bed, stack a bunch of empty tin cans (pop or canned food) up in a pyramid, right on the place where he usually stands and meows. Do it when he can't see, then turn off the lights and go straight to bed. He'll go to do his meowing thing, there will be an ENORMOUS crash, and you'll wake up in a panic and then snicker evilly in triumph as the cat scampers away, never to return. This is how I trained our cat to stay off the counters and kitchen table. It only took once with our cat.

Angela - posted on 09/28/2011

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Another way I kept cats from invading unwanted spaces what using double sided tape. I even stuck it on my couch when he was turning it in to a scratch post. Cats hate the sticky feel.
Bitter Apples as Marina said is very effective on anything they chew.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/28/2011

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Jen, just to ease your mind, the "kitty prosac" is wicked cheap, and usually is just 1 pill per day. Sometimes they start you on 2 per day to get them going (or I should say 2 doses) but really it is a minimal cost. But I totally understand not wanting to medicate. I hope you have luck with the feliway.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/28/2011

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Juleah on the CoM welcome page has some litter issues, and I gave her some advice to get something called Feliway. I will get you the link. It is a plug in or a spray that calms cats down. Thinking about it, it could be the new environment that could be making him anxious. He may just be uspet from new surroundings. Even if it has been a move up to 6 months or longer. Cats get anxious for random reasons also. This stuff is great. I will get the link for you. It is through pet edge express, and can help for litter retraining, anxiety issues, new cats being in the house...so many things.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/29/2011

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Your welcome Jen. It is better to exhaust all options rather than suffer.

[deleted account]

Marina, next time he goes to the vet, I'll talk to them again and see if they think it will help. Thank you soo much!

[deleted account]

My cat does the same thing. Hes really pissing me off. Aside from that, he chews the wires off of my electronics. My phone, 3 computer mice, and my boyfriends wacom tablet which he needs for his freelance animation to replace it is like 300$. If I knew what to do I would pass on that advice.. I'm at my wits end though.. Sorry i can"t help and i hope someone can give you advice that works. If you do find out let me know :P

[deleted account]

Lots of posts, thanks everyone. :-)

Yes, he's neutered and was before we got him. I want to make it understood that I don't mind any of their chatter during the day. I sing along with them during the day. (And for the record, they'll sing along to any Ethel Merman music). If it wasn't for it keeping me awake, I wouldn't care at all.

I think I will try the spray to calm him down if possible. The trouble is he's incredibly mellow already.

The vision thing may be an idea. When he was a baby he tried to make a big leap and hit his head hard. It caused seizures and temporary paralysis and blindness. (It was also a $2k vet bill). He got better after awhile but that may be an idea. I know it's not his hearing because he can hear a manual can opener at the other end of the apartment.

I will try some of the suggestions. I'm not that keen on medicating him unless I really have NO alternative. I'm already medicating my oldest cat and would like to keep my vet bills to a minimum.

Thank you all for the suggestions and the humor. I love all my furbabies but sometimes you do wish they TRULY understood English so you could say, "Cosmo Darling, you're making Mommy very sick by not letting her sleep. Please just yowl during the daytime. Thank you."

[deleted account]

Honestly, that was one of the primary reasons we ended up re-homing our sphynx cat, Oliver. He was doing the same thing all day and night. For him, I think it was just his personality (he was part Siamese and Siamese cats are vocal). With one set of twins and another on the way, there was just no way I could take it anymore and I knew him waking up the new babies was going to be a huge issue. Since it sounds like the problem existed before the move (albeit it was less noticeable), I don't know there is much you can do to make the situation better -- it sounds like it's just his "thing" to howl. You could try giving him some type of anti-anxiety drug, but do you really want to do that? I feel for you -- we went through the same thing and we couldn't really find another solution other than to find him a new home.

Angela - posted on 09/28/2011

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I know you tried it but it does help but takes time. You need to give it some weeks. I am sorry that won't help your sleep right away....
Try the play, eat and sleep routine. Meaning
Play with him first, then feed him after at least 15 minutes of solid play. The he should want rest.
Cats naturally hunt for their prey so that is the play, then the kill and then eat and then sleep....

Sherri - posted on 09/28/2011

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My cat does the same thing!!!! Drives us batty but we have chalked it up to just being his personality. He also does it during the day on occasion in the basement but most often at night. I just get up and yell Bandit and then chase him off and he usually stops.



Oh and mine is neutered and has been since the day we got him.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/28/2011

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Does he seem like he has hearing loss or sight loss? A lot of times that is when they start howling as such. But I think he is awfully young for that.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/28/2011

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It could be an anxiety thing, which I can recommend a drug for that....kitty prosac might help....it is called amitryptaline. It is great for so many things...but if this is an anxiety

Othertimes they howl like this (asside from distress from anxiety) could be a litter issue. Is he using the litter box? Peeing often, having any difficulty???? Just a thought....is he acting sick or strange in any other way???

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/28/2011

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My cat does the same thing. I actually have to take her toys away from her at night, otherwise she takes her babies in her mouth meowing all night long. She will carry them around meowing, drop them on the floor in front of her, and sing them a song...a LOOOOONG song.

Jenni - posted on 09/28/2011

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I agree with Kylie. My husband had a male cat when we first met. He was also *very* vocal. One of those cats who would talk to you back and forth when you meowed at him. My husband and his parents are the type who think it's 'cruel' to not let cats outside. Which I've always disagreed with. :/



But at the same time I can kind of see their point. At least with dogs you can take them on walks or they can roam the backyard. Cats are generally housebound and considering how naturally curious they are. How they are most active at night. How it's natural for male cats especially to have long ranges, I understand the biological concern of keeping cats indoors all the time. So I've since become a little torn on the subject.



Mind you, my husband and his parents lived in the county. But I fear the physical dangers of letting cats outside. Like cars, especially.



That said; my husband did end up letting that cat go outside even though we lived in the city. We did live on a very calm street where people generally drove slow. He had his immunizations and he was neutured. My husband started letting him go out and the yowling stopped for the most part. He never ran into any problems but it is a risk, especially in the city.



It's too bad you live an appartment. Building a run for him outside would be a great solution. There was a house down the block from us who had an incredibly long leash for their cat so he could roam the backyard. I'm sorry, I don't have much else advice. :(



I hope you can find a solution.

Cynthia - posted on 09/28/2011

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cats meow, it is what they do. how crazy is it to want him to stop. but i feel your pain. my cat was the same way b4 we got him neutered. now finally no more meowing at least not as loud thank god. this is my opinion.

Kylie - posted on 09/28/2011

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You could try only feeding him in the morning..so he uses the energy before nighttime.

Kylie - posted on 09/28/2011

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I have a male cat who is 10 years old. A few years ago, we moved him up north with us into a small unit and we kept him inside 24/7 until we couldn't stand the yowling any longer. He would yowl and go on and on especially at night. I thought he was mourning his freedom because he was an outdoor cat for many years before the move. Once we let him go outside to explore he got better but he would still yowl at night when the door was closed.
Maybe your cat needs more space...maybe he needs a backyard. My cat was always a very vocal cat..i think some cats just meow more than others.

Iris - posted on 09/28/2011

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I have no answer for you, I just think he likes his own voice?
Try keeping him up during the day so he'll need his sleep at night? That's easier said then done if you work though..
Is he neutered?

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