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Feeling So guilty, need advice or support

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for reading this long post. I think I'm the one who is neurotic, because I react so strongly to my 11 week old kitten's meows or crying outside my bedroom door at night. It feels just like letting my babies cry themselves to sleep at night, which I was never able to do. I feel so guilty when I hear these pathetic meows, it breaks my heart. So I let him in, and I'm up all night.

He will not leave me alone when I'm in my bed. He wants to suck on my fingers all night or sleep on top of my face or stick his tongue up my nose. The first time that happened I burst out laughing, but it's not so funny anymore! Everytime I try moving him anywhere else on the bed, even under my covers, he comes right back up to my face. And if he finally does fall asleep it's usually pressed tight against me, only for about an hour at a time before his whiskers are tickling my face again.

I've tried following the great advice I've gotten here about not letting him sleep in the early evening so he will sleep at night, but it's almost impossible. If I keep him playing, he will literally fall asleep mid-pounce. (I'm not kidding.)
Unfortunately, getting another kitten to keep him company at night is not an option for many reasons. We tried letting him sleep with one of my daughters, but he also kept her up all night and she really needs her sleep for school.

I guess it comes down to this question. Will he be okay if he is left alone for 8 or 9 hours at night? Will he get neurotic or have to see a cat therapist when he grows up? Are we abandoning him? If I really believe he will be fine, then here is the answer I have thought of. Because he meows ouside our bedroom doors and bangs on them when locked out, I thought of leaving him in our home office that is attached to the house through the laundry room. We would never hear him. It gets pretty cold in there at night without the heat on, but at least it's inside. It's carpeted, with a couch, and I could get rid of the kitty litter smell each morning before any clients come. I see people in there during the day. It's sort of down to him or me because I'm a single working mom, and I get sick if I don't get enough sleep. And he gets more than enough love and attention during the day and evening. Will this make up for being left alone all night? Thanks for any support you can give!
post #2 of 12
No, he won't need a therapist, and no, you are not being mean.

There has to be some discipline here if you expect to get some sleep. I love having my cats sleep with me too, but......2:30 am is NOT my getting up time, it is NOT the time to practice the rhumba on my face, neck, arms, legs, belly, etc. It is NOT the time to lick my face (darn, doesn't that HURT), nor is it the time to tackle my legs, my toes, my fingers, my ears or wash my hair.

I figure that if I have to go to work to get the food, at least I need my sleep.

Please DO NOT FEEL BAD, you are not hurting him in any way.
post #3 of 12
first remember that he is a baby and this crisis will pass. he is used to sleeping on family.

i think using the office is a great idea. Get him a heated bed or electric blanket set on very low place it on the couch so he can get up off the flor, cats like to sleep higher up. . and maybe put a ticking clock bundled in a blanket with him. make sure he has tons of toys and maybe some boxes to jump around in. Then if you can still hear him, put a radio on no channel ( just static) outside the room to mask the sound. He will stop crying and charging the door when he learns that behavior doesn't pay off.

Just like a human he will learn to soothe and regulate himself. He will still know you love him., mine was locked in a room other than the bedroom at night for the first six months and i felt like a total louse - but that was MY problem not the cat's. she still doesn 't get the run of the house at night- my lord she would raid the pantry- she sleeps in the bedroom suite but she has learned not to wake us up. EVER.
post #4 of 12
Originally Posted by Kiva13 View Post
Will he be okay if he is left alone for 8 or 9 hours at night?
He'll be fine, our cats have never slept with us. When we had only one, he slept in the large bathroom from the day we got him. Now that we have 7, we have a cat room. I keep the heat on low for them, 10 degrees celsius
post #5 of 12
Radar sleeps in the sitting room - My husband works shifts so we don't always sleep the same time every night, and it is important for him to get some sleep! Also the parrot lives in the bedroom and Radar shows way too much interest in the poor bird

Radar cried the first couple of nights, which was understandable as he had just come away from his mum, but settled down really well and got used to sleeping in the sitting room, and makes no fuss now at all. The best thing (apart from being able to sleep all night!) is that I get a happy cat greeting every morning when I leave the bedroom with him headbutting me in the face to say good morning
post #6 of 12
We tried having our two sleep in the bed with us between 6-8 weeks but it was a no go because they refused to settle so they ended up out on a fleece in the hall.

They are 12 weeks old now and are calm enough that when they see us going to bed, they will curl up on the bed and go to sleep finally.
post #7 of 12
I feel your pain. I hate doing this with any cat, but I'm having the same problem with a FelV foster cat I've had since August (he's quarantined in a bedroom until we get concrete results on his various test results). I lay in bed at night, listening to his plaintive howls and door-thumping. It's heart-breaking! He's very attached to me, and also misses his litter-mates (who all tested negative, and are living amonst the regular cat population). Even though he's in a largish room, with 3 windows, and a view of the street, he's miserable and lonely. Soemtimes, when I don't have to work the next day (in case he keeps me awake biting and chewing!), I take him into the guest room, and sleep with him. He's quite active at night, however, so I always end up back in my room--he bites and chews my scalp! However, he seems to have been doing far less crying lately since I've done this.

Luckily, your cat isn't in the same boat as mine, so don't feel guilty! Now is the time to "train" him/her. You need your sleep! As long as you spend quality time with your baby, you're doing the right thing. Cats are marvelous at taking a mile when you give them a centimeter! You have to set limits--and I've made the mistake of not doing that.

If you think this is bad, our 8 cats are so used to being in bed with us, we have to remove them from the room when we, uhh, want to be alone! They cry outside the door, and when we're ready to have company again, they're outside the bedroom door, giving us dirty looks! It's putting a cramp in hubby's and my romantic life!

You sound like a GREAT, loving cat mom to me!

Best wishes,

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much all of you for your encouragement that I was doing the right thing by leaving him in my office. I put him there last night, left the heat on just enough to keep the chill out of the air, and he had my bathrobe on the couch to cuddle in, his fleece bed, and an afghan. And a box to play in, a few of his mousies, and food, water, litter, etc. (And he had his own TV and the internet in case he got bored!) Just kidding.

Anyway, it worked. I did worry about him a few times during the night, but I didn't hear him, and when I went in to him this morning, he was playing. He greeted me by attacking my foot, while normally, when left in the bathroom all night, he greets me with meows and wanting to suck my thumb for an hour. We just kept playing after I got my foot back and it was great. I can hardly wait to go to bed. Aaaagh, sweet slumber!
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
That is too funny about your private time. Eight cats! Wow, you must be a cat angel.
post #10 of 12
I'm glad it worked!
post #11 of 12
the one thing i did that seems to work, is if they woke me up, I would put them out of the room and shut the door. After a few times of this they seemed to get the idea.
And left me alone.(however if i woke up they seem to think its time to play)

With the new kitten i had to move him off of my face about 50 times the first night i let him in the room now he just goes to sleep next to my head. with a loud purrr in the ear.
post #12 of 12
Hi there!

My Vader is just about 5 months old and I still don't let him sleep in my room ... simply b/c he doesn't sleep!! Well, at least when I want to sleep. I live in a one-bedroom apartment, so he gets free range of the place except the bedroom. The first couple of nights after I got him he'd meow at my door too and I found myself getting up a couple of times during the night to play with him, but now I think he does okay for himself during the night. I have a bell on his collar so I can hear him and know that if it jingles he's playing or running around.

He always runs to my door when he hears me getting out of bed and he sits outside the bathroom door while I take a shower .... he's a cutie!

He's very active at night right now, but I can't wait until he calms down a bit and I can have him cuddled next to me.

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