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New cat keeps us awake...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
OK, so we just got a new adult cat, aged 4. Coley is a great cat, but man, is he energetic. He runs up and down our hallway many times in a row, and he'll run right next to us, almost like a dog. For 30 minutes at a time he'll attack (but won't eat) the fake plant, thinking it's an animal. He loves to rough-house too. It's all hilarious and fun and cute ... until we go to bed.

After our bedtime (we hit the hay early, usually before 10pm), Coley's OK for a few hours, then by 2 or 3am he starts howling for company. It's play time again. We've been letting him in our bedroom at night but we're beginning to think that's a bad idea. We're also responding to his meowing, which we now think is a bad idea too.

We live in a city so we're not keen to let him outside, especially at night. There are cats outside in our neighborhood, but also lots of lost-cat signs. We know he can survive out there, because his previous owner lost him for two months. And he's REALLY itching to get outside. But, still, it's a pretty busy street and a busy intersection down the block, so we don't want him out there.

We're thinking of trying a squirtgun/spray bottle first, when he comes to bother us at night. Maybe a leash and walking him outside a bit to reduce his energy level? That's not something I ever did with previous cats, but we're considering it with this crazy guy.

If anyone has any ideas to help relax a lovely and friendly but WILD cat, please post. Thanks!
post #2 of 8
I've got 2 adult cats and a 13 week old kitten who have the night time crazies between 10-11.p.m every night as well.

Jack the kitten has me awake at 4.a.m every morning because he bounces about on the bed with one of my other cats playing

Can you play with him late at night, say an hour before you go to bed?, because tiring him out will help, along with a bowl of wet food.

I wouldn't use a squirt gun on him though
post #3 of 8
We don't let the cats in the room when we sleep. Sometimes I'm like, "Awww, can't they stay?" but my husband has always been firm with this point and I have to admit, I'm glad he is.

We did have some meowing at the door once upon the time, but if you don't respond, they'll figure out that the meowing is not going to work.

I do try to tire them out during the evening hours between coming home from work and going to sleep as much as I can so they're used to the schedule of playing during those hours.

If you DO want to keep the door to your bedroom open, I do have a technique our friends used with great success. Mom kept one of those stand up vacuum cleaners plugged in next to the bed (knowing the noise would cause the cats to run off) and whenever one of the cats started up the 4am fuss, she flipped on the vacuum cleaner and off ran the cats. Those cats quickly figured out how to avoid having that thing turned on and now mom and dad and 2 kitties sleep peacefully together!

Good luck!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
We do play with him before bed. I think we'll just have to dedicate a little more time to him though, because he seems to have an insatiable appetite for playing.

Additionally, we just got him a couple of weeks ago, so he'll probably adjust at some point. We're just planning in advance in case he doesn't!

Thanks for the wet food tip; we didn't think of that. Makes sense, I know I get sleepy after I eat too
post #5 of 8
I've learned it takes a new cat a couple weeks to get into the rhythm of the new household. So if you can hang on for two weeks, not giving in to him or doing anything else to reinforce the nighttime behavior, he should get used to you being gone to dreamland for eight hours straight at night. You could close your door, and if that's not enough, confine him in another room overnight (with all his necessities and hopefully a window seat.) Carpet can be protected with carpet runner and doors and woodwork can be protected with poster paper or kraft paper.
post #6 of 8
When we got Rajah and Lily, they spent the first couple weeks in our guest room as a transition/introduction period (we have one other older cat). Somehow, that taught them to consider that their "quiet room" and if they start acting up, we put them in there (we call it "jail" LOL) and they shut right up. It's the weirdest thing - almost like crating a dog. We have had to do it less and less lately. Is there a place that you could make the "time out" place, so he knows he'll get put in time out if he's crazy at night?
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
We gave him some wet food right before bed (he's absolutely insane over fish) and he conked out almost immediately, so thanks to the poster for suggesting that. I also played with him periodically from the time I got home to right before bed.

He slept soundly on our bed from around 9.30pm to 2am; he sleeps on our bed at night, by our feet, and we're OK with that. Last night, when he started the howling, we just booted him out of the room, closed the door, and put a chair in front of the door (he learned the other night that he's strong enough to open it himself, because it doesn't latch correctly -- old Chicago apartment building), and ignored the meowing. He stopped within 2 minutes, and we got a good night's sleep.
post #8 of 8
Wow!! Your cat learns really fast!!
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