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Talkative Cat = Sleepless Nights: I need help!!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Dear All,

I am having the worst time as my younger cat Soleil (almost 2 yrs) won't let me sleep at night!

She hates being locked out from the bedrooms so I leave the door open just so she can get in and out although I rather sleep without the cats as I have been having bad sinus problems for 1.5 yrs now (with 2 OPs already).

If I leave the door closed she will not only meow non-stop (and I mean non-stop!) but also scratch the door and jump up to the knob (she's a smart one). So whenever I go to bed and she starts her little tantrum, I will open the door a bit for her. Previously, she would then just come in and roam around and perhaps bring her toy into bed to play (which is also quite annoying), but no more than that.

Since we moved to our new apartment she just won't stop talking though. I open the door, she comes inside. She'll sit next to the bed and talk talk talk. NON-STOP!!!

Last night she started when I went to bed and continued for abt 2 hours (fair enough she takes 15 min breaks for me to dose off before she wakes me with her stupid stories). Then at 5 am she starts again. I was about to kick her out of the house! (I'm just saying that! I love her dearly, but I'm really upset with her behvior). I am really tired!

I wish I could let her out of the house though, coz she is of that nature that she needs to keep herself busy else she gets bored (hence the endless stories she tells me at night). But unfortuntely, we have 6 or more street cats living in the near neighborhood and I'm afraid she will get into fights and/or catch some kind of disease as she has been an indoor cat after her first 5 weeks of life.

I seriously need some advice! I tried playing with her before I go to bed, but although she used to play fetch with me in the old house and I could tire her out that way, she just won't react to it that much anymore.

My colleagues are already questioning me why I look so tired everyday! Please help!
post #2 of 21
She's spayed, right?

Try playing with her for at least 15 minutes before going to bed. Stop, make a point to pet/snuggle/love on her before bed as well.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi!

Yes she has been sterilized and she isn't pinfully loud when she meows. She just talks. I should record it and put it online. It actually sounds totally cute, but not in the middle of the night!

Like I said, the playing doesn't help. She just gets bored at night. She even tries to climb through the blinds in my bedroom to get to the windowsill because she wants to look outside the window. That, btw, is super noisy too!

Argh!
post #4 of 21
I'd lock her out of your room, and just make your bedroom a cat-free zone. Eventually she'd accept it. Spend time with her in your normal waking hours; play, cuddle or just talk to her. To tire her out you could try a flying type toy or a lazer pointer.. something that she has to expend energy chasing.

I bet she spends the day sleeping when you aren't home, and has energy in the evenings. Maybe you could rig a window ledge for her to spend some of her time during the day bird-watching. Or maybe another cat to divert some of her attention?
post #5 of 21
Would leaving the TV on, on like animal planet, or a radio on low, help her to not talk so much? My boys are talkers to--much of the reason I love them, they don't come to talk at night luckily.

Leslie
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I have tried to make the bedroom a catfree zone, but she just won't accept it. My other cat is rather quite (ever since this little monster came into the house) and therefore I don't think that Soleil sees her as something to divert her attention towards.

I mean she is really smart and very active cat. She knows and remember things so much and I think she is perfect for outdoors, but she has never been and I'm afraid the area is just nor perfect.

Maybe I'll try the laserpointer. I have one, but the batteries just ran out so quickly...

The TV is an option, but it's such a waste of resources! Don't think the radio will work. She doesn't really care about that.

In my old apratment I never had the problem. Maybe it's beacuse she grew up in it or because there was more space to play fetch, but now she just doesn't go for it anymore.
post #7 of 21
My cats are a very active breed, I make sure to play with them at least 3 times a day and always for an hour or so before bed followed by their dinner and then they are very good at night.

Also, I have cat trees next to all the windows so they can easily reach them without crashing through the blinds.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately I work long hours and there is really not too much time to play. but even with one hour its not enough.

Soleil has no problem looking out any other window in the apartment. she just chooses to take the one over my bed because the blinds are down and that is more fun to look through then just looking out any other old window!

maybe i need to relook into my furniture set up so that she can run more.... the old place had more to run and less to climb and this new place has more to climb than to run. Though she LOVES climbing and being on top of everything, she still doesnt seem to get enough...
post #9 of 21
Hi! I was just wondering, do you free feed your cats or are they fed at certain times? I ask that as my kitty would be very noisy at night sometimes. I love my kitty on the bed though, he is my bed bug! I realised though that sometimes he was hungry and he would be so noisy until I put some food out. Also at night when we are in bed before we go to sleep I give him a treat and he knows that it is bed time. I also empty the litterbox every morning after work and before bed. If he wants to use one of the litterboxes and it is full he makes a lot of noise!
post #10 of 21
My 3 get a little wet food just before bedtime and they sleep like babies
post #11 of 21
When did you move? Maybe she is just feeling insecure because its a new place. When it's dark and quiet making she gets spooked and just wants reassurance that you are there and everything is okay.

As hard as it is just ignore her, honestly....they will learn eventually! The minute you give any attention, even negative attention is still attention!, it will reinforce the behavoir. Just ignore, ignore, ignore....she will get the point.

Where you do work long hours it can make it tough to give kitty attention it needs and feel like you also have time to yourself. I know! But give kitty lots of love and talk to it, play etc. She will eventually learn that she has a few hours to get love and attention so she should make the most of it and then leave you alone!

My cats used to bother me at night but learned they get NO ATTENTION....NOTHING!, and quickly learned to either sleep while I am asleep or entertain themselves with toys and each other.

Of course when i get home they are ALL OVER ME ...sometimes its overwhelming but I enjoy them so much that they usually do something cute and I get over my feelings of just wanting to be alone.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Althekitty View Post
Hi! I was just wondering, do you free feed your cats or are they fed at certain times? I ask that as my kitty would be very noisy at night sometimes. I love my kitty on the bed though, he is my bed bug! I realised though that sometimes he was hungry and he would be so noisy until I put some food out. Also at night when we are in bed before we go to sleep I give him a treat and he knows that it is bed time. I also empty the litterbox every morning after work and before bed. If he wants to use one of the litterboxes and it is full he makes a lot of noise!
I free feed and they get wet food before night time. Also the litter is cleaned right before we go to bed.

Soleil is really hyper and gets bored easily unless you show her attention. I really have no more clue
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fifi1puss View Post
When did you move? Maybe she is just feeling insecure because its a new place. When it's dark and quiet making she gets spooked and just wants reassurance that you are there and everything is okay.

As hard as it is just ignore her, honestly....they will learn eventually! The minute you give any attention, even negative attention is still attention!, it will reinforce the behavoir. Just ignore, ignore, ignore....she will get the point.

Where you do work long hours it can make it tough to give kitty attention it needs and feel like you also have time to yourself. I know! But give kitty lots of love and talk to it, play etc. She will eventually learn that she has a few hours to get love and attention so she should make the most of it and then leave you alone!

My cats used to bother me at night but learned they get NO ATTENTION....NOTHING!, and quickly learned to either sleep while I am asleep or entertain themselves with toys and each other.

Of course when i get home they are ALL OVER ME ...sometimes its overwhelming but I enjoy them so much that they usually do something cute and I get over my feelings of just wanting to be alone.

We just moved a month ago and although Soleil is the more adventurous of the two she was the biggest scaredy cat at the beginning. Wouldn't come out at all for a couple of days. But now she seems fine. I just feel that she doesn't have her usual routine. Maybe it's also that we have less time at home since we moved because there is so much going on...
But nonetheless she could play for hours with her toy alone before and now she just ignores it even if I involve in play with her. Her fav toy is just in the corner.

Ignoring is a bit difficult as she meows for hours!!! And not only that,she scratches at the door and jumps up, trying to turn the knob... it's a rental place and I am really afraid that she will ruin the paintjob of the door!
post #14 of 21
I have a cry baby, too, so just throwing this idea out there. Before I go to bed I have to pick him up, dote over him, put him in the bed with me, pet him, talk to him and get him relaxed and hes usually pretty good for the night, after that.
post #15 of 21
See, it sounds like she needs your reassurance. Her routine and everything she knew is gone. It is difficult on everyone when you move. I hate moving! Give it time. Try and get things settled as soon as possible. Get boxes unpacked and things in their permanent places so she can get used to her surroundings again. its amazing how differently the cats can react isn't it? Can you get some catnip? Do you guys have Feliway stuff over there? The cat cheek hormone stuff? That helps alot.

Hang in there! Make a schedule, stay on it and she will settle eventually. I promise. Just try not to move ever again! Just kidding.

p.s.-I know it may seem drastic but can you get earplugs, so she can stay in the room with you but you can get some sleep? Just an idea.
post #16 of 21
I truly sympathize with you because I, too, am suffering from lack of sleep, and I've tried EVERYTHING. My boy is 5 and adopted 4 months ago. He is the most social cat I've ever known, and I suspect he wakes me because he wants company! But every night, he's purring in my ear by 2 am, and if I don't respond, he begins patting me with his paw. It's virtually impossible to ignore him, but closing him out of the bedroom is also impossible (and I think cruel) because he has separation anxiety and goes really nuts.

I'm retired and can nap during the day, and that's when I discovered that he wakes me ALL THE TIME if I'm sleeping while he's awake. So unless I can coordinate my sleeping times with his, he wakes me up.

He's not hungry because I free feed, and he always has food available. And as for tiring him out with playing, I've tried that, but he won't play if he's not in the mood, so that hasn't worked.

I'm about to consult an animal behaviorist, which I've put off because her office is about 40 miles away, but I'm getting desperate.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fifi1puss View Post
See, it sounds like she needs your reassurance. Her routine and everything she knew is gone. It is difficult on everyone when you move. I hate moving! Give it time. Try and get things settled as soon as possible. Get boxes unpacked and things in their permanent places so she can get used to her surroundings again. its amazing how differently the cats can react isn't it? Can you get some catnip? Do you guys have Feliway stuff over there? The cat cheek hormone stuff? That helps alot.

Hang in there! Make a schedule, stay on it and she will settle eventually. I promise. Just try not to move ever again! Just kidding.

p.s.-I know it may seem drastic but can you get earplugs, so she can stay in the room with you but you can get some sleep? Just an idea.

Thanks for the reassurance!
Everything is already unpacked and in place, because our place is a bit smaller than before we wouldn't have been able to move around if we hadn't done so straight away

I'll try the catnip, but so far the toys that I keep in a bag with catnip don't attract her attention.
The Feliway spray doesn't really help. She isn't spooked out or anything, she is just a completely crazy and attention seeking cat. She still acts like a kitten.

I wish I didn't have to move all the time but unfortunately the worst is yet to come... at some point I'll probably move back home to Germany
I really gotta ger a chill-pill for her then!

For now I think I need to rethink the furniture set up so that she has more room to dart around without bumping into everything.

(The earplugs arent a bad idea, the problem is just that I dont hear my alarm then and I think my company may get upset)
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyRetired View Post
I truly sympathize with you because I, too, am suffering from lack of sleep, and I've tried EVERYTHING. My boy is 5 and adopted 4 months ago. He is the most social cat I've ever known, and I suspect he wakes me because he wants company! But every night, he's purring in my ear by 2 am, and if I don't respond, he begins patting me with his paw. It's virtually impossible to ignore him, but closing him out of the bedroom is also impossible (and I think cruel) because he has separation anxiety and goes really nuts.

I'm retired and can nap during the day, and that's when I discovered that he wakes me ALL THE TIME if I'm sleeping while he's awake. So unless I can coordinate my sleeping times with his, he wakes me up.

He's not hungry because I free feed, and he always has food available. And as for tiring him out with playing, I've tried that, but he won't play if he's not in the mood, so that hasn't worked.

I'm about to consult an animal behaviorist, which I've put off because her office is about 40 miles away, but I'm getting desperate.

My older cat Singa used to be just like that at night. It would wake me up 4 times a night at least. Then I decided to lock her out of the bedroom (also because of my sinus problems) and since she wouldn't stop coming to my door and scratching all night I decided to get her a friend - Soleil. What I didn't know is that Soleil would turn out to be such a monster! ...and then I had 2 cats scratching at the door at night

Singa has calmed down a lot and accepted that she should sleep outside - plus she is a bit depressed that Soleil is such an attention seeker. It's really difficult to connect with Singa nowdays as Soleil will always butt in and try to steal me away from my darling Singa.

sigh...
post #19 of 21
Albus is a night talker, too. Giving him his food before bed, rather than in the morning has definitely helped.

If you want to make you room cat-free and lock them out, one thing you could try is getting a can of compressed air, the kind used to dust off keyboards and other computer parts. Make sure the cats have plenty to do outside your room overnight. Go to bed a little early or do this on a night when you don't have to wake up early the next morning. Close the door and any time the cat starts crying, scratching, etc., spray the canned air under the door. You don't want to "hit" the cat in the face, you just want to scare her off with the burst of air and the hissing noise.

Albus doesn't freak out if we close the door on him, so I haven't had to do this to him. But when I lived with my parents, their cats were more persistent, so I did do this. After a few times, they got the hint. Sometimes they'd need a little refresher lesson, though

Also, I do sleep with ear plugs, whether Albus is in the room or not (we allow him in on the weekends) and I'm still able to hear the alarm. I use the radio function and just turn it up louder. I'm not really a light sleeper, I just find I sleep better if all those little night noises are eliminated- the cat and dog noise, the neighbor slamming a door (we live in a condo), a car starting outside, etc.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok, I have bought 60 SGD worth of toys so that Soleil has some type of distraction at night and also so I can entertain her before I go to bed. Worked well the first 2 days. I bought a wand with feathers and both cats are totally into it... or better were, because they managed to destroy it within 2 playsession, while I had a phone call and didnt swirl the thing around enough, they got hold of the feathery part and totally 'killed' it. I had a good nights rest that night but then no more.... and the wand was the most expensive of the all! 10 bucks!

Anywho.. I tried playing with Soleil without the help of the wand, but she jsut doesn't want to get into it anymore... she used to play fetch with these certain smaller toys, but now no more....

So it ends up the same. I go to bed and THEN she wants to play and cuddle... it's all at HER convenience, not mine

I will try to find that air thing, but I doubt it will help... she's the kind of cat that does care about being sprayed with water even... she ENJOYS it! hmpf!
post #21 of 21
If you find her sleeping in the afternoon and evening, wake her up. Don't let her nap so much. My husband and I used to have to do that for our boys, because they kept us up at night. Worked like a charm.

If they can't sleep during the day, they'll sleep at night.
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