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anybody want a cat?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
i have had my cat for nearly 8 years now and love him to bits but at the moment i am really annoyed with him and am seriously tempted to find him another home
for a start, i dont think i have had an unbroken nights sleep since i have had him - i live in a flat (block of 4 with comunal entrance) and my bedroom is only a few feet away from my front door (cat flap on front door) so that is what alway wakes me up
i have tried keeping him in at night but its even worse then - he will just sit there winginbg and scratching at the locked flap which also wakes me up

the other thing is food - i have always fed him whiskas, tried other cheaper stuff but he doesnt like it
started with the tins but he was always leaving bits so switched to the pouches which for a while he never left at all
now he has even started turning his nose up at the pouches (certain flavours he has never had a problem wih before)
i do not earn a lot of money and simply can not afford for him to be picky

in fact i'm so skint at the moment i have taken on a 2nd job which is a 140 mile round trip every day. Have the option to stop where i work for the night but i come home every day to make sure he is fed etc only to discover he hasnt touched his food so i throw that, put some fresh food out and he leaves it again

i would seriously appreciate any help you guys can offer as i know it would be very difficult to give him up but i can not carry on like this
post #2 of 8
First, the cat flap. Can you modifiy it in some way so that it doesn't bother you when he goes in and out? Maybe even remove the flap entirely, just leave the "frame" in the hole. Or, replace the flap with a bit of material to cover the hole.

As for the food, is he losing weight? If not, maybe he is just eating less as he gets older. If you are having to throw some out because he doesn't finish it, it isn't really costing you any more than if he ate it all.
post #3 of 8
Maybe he's deficient in something as Whiskas isn't surposed to be a very good food. Try getting some free samples of the better quality foods to see if he likes them b4 you buy. Maybe on a better diet he'd be more content, although some behaviors become habitual.
post #4 of 8
Tbh, I'd keep him in at night. It's not a particularly safe time for cats to be outside and it's probably encouraging him to be active at night time which is not doing much for your sleep. If you keep him in at night he'll probably drive you mad to begin with wanting to be out or just being active. But eventually he should get the idea that he's not allowed out then and that he will get no response from you to whatever he gets up to. With luck, he will eventually decide that night time is the perfect time to have a sleep! Cats are naturally more active at dawn and dusk, so they need to learn that us humans are different!

Food wise, he may just be fed up with the same brand or flavour, or maybe they've changed the recipe to something he's not so keen on. Have you tried other brands in the same price range as whiskas? eg felix, supermarket own brands? Perhaps try the felix pouches. He may just want a bit of variety. Zooplus do a good range of cat foods and they're not all expensive. Mine like animonda carny which is about 60p for a 400g tin - about the same as tins of whiskas and felix - and has a higher meat content than whiskas. Natures menu do some good pouches that mine love. They are expensive but trying the odd one might just give him some variety (or make him turn his nose up at the cheaper stuff! ).

If he's leaving his food, is he losing weight? If not, maybe he's getting fed elsewhere which is why he doesn't want the food you put out.
post #5 of 8
Maybe its just his response to you not being home as much. He misses you therefore he doesn't eat while you're gone? Look on the net for free samples of food and see if he likes any of that otherwise I would check the vet. Maybe theres something wrong in there thats making him no longer hungry! Cats have a way of telling you when they need something. I agree with the flap thing. Maybe you can make it so it doesn't make any noise! Is it the hinges that squeek that wake you up? Or is it when the flap bangs? If its the hinges maybe try some WD40. I love that stuff! He may just be asking for more attention from you because he is lonesome! Keep us posted!
post #6 of 8
It does sound that you are very busy and one of the easiest ways for cats to get attention from us is through food. He most likely is feeling neglected and not eating either from depression, nutritional needs, or this is a way to get your attention. Maybe he doesn't like eating when you aren't there, my friends puppy refused to eat if she fed him and left. As far as sleep disturbance, you are going to get this with an indoor/outdoor cat, they will do what they have to to get in if out, and if you have been letting him out for this long, it would be impossible with your limited time, to train him indoors at night. The only suggestion I could make is to give him personal time and drain some of that energy he has before you go to sleep, play with him.
post #7 of 8
Is there a chance that someone else is helping to feed him? Outdoor cats tend to show up at neighbors' houses, and often time they appear to be stray cats and get fed there. If he is maintaining weight despite eating less food at your house, it's possible he's getting supplemental food elsewhere.

If he is losing weight, he really will need to see a vet soon to figure out why he isn't eating.
post #8 of 8
I'm sorry economic circumstances are forcing you to be away from home so much. He undoubtedly is feeling it, and you know, when you come in and say, "What, not eating, how about this, I got something new here," etc, it is attention of sorts.

We all know that bad attention is better than no attention at all!

If you don't have the money for a vet visit to make sure he's not sick, it seems your only choice is to try and pay more attention to him and see if that perks him up. After eight years of the cat flap waking you up, you haven't come up with a quieter way? Maybe it didn't used to bother you so much, but now you are overtired and short on sleep and patience?

He's probably lonely but I can't recommend you complicate your situation more than it already is if you don't have time to devote to him now, you can't take on a playmate for him.

If you wish him to be happy and you can't see how you can make him happy for the forseeable future, it sounds like it would be less stress on both of you to find better situations, even if they are separate ones.

Believe me, I don't make this suggestion lightly. I hope this is a short term situation that can improve. In which case, hang in there and do the best you can.
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