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Help needed re: disciplining cat..

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I have a kitten who I have had for about 3 months or so now. She is probably 5-6 months old. She is the BEST kitten (s traveling, loves our dogs, is best friends with a dog) however she is HORRIBLE about going to sleep at night!

As soon as the lights go off and we get into bed she goes NUTS and runs around at full speed, plays with her litter, climbs on things, tries to attack the sleeping dogs, etc.

How can we stop/deter this?

We normally use a spray bottle. But this has little or no effect! I know this might sound stupid, but is there something I could add to the water (I dunno, a few drops of vinegar? hot sauce? )? Anything else we could use/do?

I'm open to any and all (kind) suggestions!

Thanks,
Kyle
post #2 of 11
Try a lot of interactive playing with her about an hour before you go to bed. This will wear her out. Cats are more nocturnal and are active at night. As she grows and settles in, things will calm down.
post #3 of 11
I agree, I find that if I don't feed the cats too late and play with them before I go to sleep, they tend to go to sleep too.

Also, if this is possible, try keeping kitty awake during the day. If you let them sleep all day like they want to, they'll play all night...
post #4 of 11
My guy was like that too, no matter what I did, he would not sleep with me at night... I played with him before bed and left quiet toys out that I wouldn't hear him bouncing around with and I managed to get used to the fact that he was up and about at night... but now, he's more content to lay down with me and sleep... he'll get up for a snack as I'm falling asleep, but he comes back and sleeps... she'll eventually outgrow it... just don't leave her anything interesting in the bedroom to bounce around with, put some things in a room far enough away that you won't hear her bouncing around too much.

Don't do anything harsh or drastic like spraying her with anything that could harm her... just yell at her and try to completely ignore her attempts to play after you yell at her, lock her out of the room if you can for a while... trust me, she'll outgrow it.
post #5 of 11
This will mostly be cured by time. Kittens have a lot of energy and being naturally nocturnal, this will naturally come out at night.

I would suggest a really active play session before bed along with a small meal if possible. The combo of play and food usually takes the edge off and she may even sleep part of the night.

Good luck!
post #6 of 11
Playtime before bed is a great idea. If she's really bad, you could try putting her in a room or crate at night. It might be difficult to do now that she's used to roaming, but that's how all my cats started out, then gradually we'd keep them out on weekends, until they learned the rules, then out all the time.
post #7 of 11
It's at least an hour of play, then a snack, then, if he shows no signs of calming down himself, I pull him into bed with me for some petting, and he usually calms down and drops off to sleep.

Kittens, just like children, don't know how to handle their own energy states. Just as we start a bedtime ritual to calm children down and let them get to sleep, kittens need these even more.
post #8 of 11
In addition to the before bedtime play and snacks others have advised, what I suggest you do is to go to bed on a routine schedule, and when you go to bed, totally ignore your cat. Do not respond to any demands for attention. Because that's one reason he bugs you at night -- he knows he'll get attention, even if it's just a squirt of water. Your cat will learn that you're not available for him at night and after a while will not bother you any more. You must be 100% consistent for this to work.

I've found that when a new cat comes into the house it takes a good week for them to adapt to the routine. So prepare yourself for a week of disturbed sleep, and once you get through that, things should improve. But the longer you go without teaching your cat your schedule, the longer and harder it will be for him to learn. If it's too difficult for you, it helps to shut the cat out of the bedroom. If he scratches, put kraft paper or poster papers on the door and carpet runner on the floor to protect against the scratching.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by saya View Post
Also, if this is possible, try keeping kitty awake during the day. If you let them sleep all day like they want to, they'll play all night...
That's sort of hard to do if one has to work, and if one doesn't work one can't buy kibble and litter and trips to the vet and all those other things the cat needs.
post #10 of 11
All of the above.

Throw the spray bottle out. Spraying a cat with a water bottle does not teach them what they are supposed to do, it only tells them what they should not do. If you don't have an alternative for them, it makes no sense to them. It's like yelling at a child when they say 2+2=5 without ever giving them the right answer. Redirect the kitten to an interactive toy, or as others say, give him a good workout and feeding before bedtime.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
That's sort of hard to do if one has to work, and if one doesn't work one can't buy kibble and litter and trips to the vet and all those other things the cat needs.
I work only a few hours in the evenings , I realize most people don't have my schedule though...
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