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Crying at night

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
First post here

Let me give some background info first.

I have a 7-month-old rag doll kitten. I brought her home when she was 4 months old. She is currently my only cat. From an overall behavioral standpoint, she is pretty much as perfect as anyone could ask for. Very playful. Very responsive to "scolding." Usually if we tell her to quit doing something twice with a stern "no" and a little bop on the bridge of her nose, she stops doing it.

She was raised by a respected breeder until the age of 4 months. The cat was around about 10-15 other cats/kittens earlier on. This might have some effect on her behavior now.

Anyway, she gets attention most of the day. One of us is usually home during the day and both of us are home at night. We feed her on a strict schedule and don't cave in when her kitten-alarm clock tries to push back feeding time by 30 minutes. We also do not let her in our bedroom. Ever. It was an agreement my wife and I had when we took the cat home. I'd swear that for the first few weeks, she thought that our bedroom door was an exit from the house and just assumed we were gone :P

Usually when she is left alone for any extent of time she starts crying. It is rather pathetic. When she realized that our bedroom was just another room that she did not have access to, that was when the crying started to pick up.

For example, let's say we are both in the bedroom getting ready to go out to the store or something. Once that bedroom door closes and we are both out of her sight, within 5 seconds (and I do not exaggerate) she is crying.

What we did to start was we would not leave the bedroom until she stopped crying. At which point, we would ignore her when we left the room for about 5 minutes. We figured this would not allow her to associate "I cry and they come out of the room and give me attention." I think it was the right way to go.

When we would go to sleep, she would cry at the door intermittently for about 5 minutes or so. Then we wouldn't hear from her the rest of the night. For the record, we give her free range of most of the place at night, except for the den that has computers/wires/etc.

At some point in the last month (after we had her for 2 months) she picked up a habit of crying incessantly for about 45min to an hour usually at 4 am. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later. We stood firm and ignored her for about 2 weeks. While most nights were relatively sleepless past 4am when she would start, we figured it was just some phase she was going through.

The problem comes where I don't think I can do the normal "NO!" with a bop on the nose in this case. I think the cat would still see it as "I cry at the door and he opens it up after some period of time."

While I know this is commonly broached subject on cat forums, the threads I usually read have different circumstances. This cat's behavior is nearly impeccable otherwise. She doesn't cry (for no reason) during the day otherwise. She also doesn't keep up with the crying during the day if we are in the bedroom/outside. She'll do it for a few minutes and then stop. But at night, its a crying marathon :P

Anyway, thanks for reading if you got this far. I'd appreciate any input.
post #2 of 7
how often is she fed and how much?

post #3 of 7
She is probably lonely and scared that she can't see you. Is there a reason you won't let her in your room? We let our cats sleep with us for that specific reason. We don't want them to cry for us and be lonely at night. After Gus died and before we got Milo I was really worried about this. Even in the couple hours between when she has to pee and we let her out until we get out of bed I worry she will get lonely. lol Then again, our cats have free access to all parts of our house, except the basement (too much junk down there I'm afraid they would get hurt).

When we first got Nora we had her sleep in her cat carrier for the first week we had her, to make sure she knew to consistently go in the litter box, and so Gus wouldn't beat up on her when we weren't there to watch over them. She would cry and cry and cry. Finally we just let her out and the first couple of days we wouldn't let her sleep with us. Even with the company of Gus, she just wanted to be with us and has slept with us every night since a week after we got her. We did the same thing with Milo, kept him in his cat carrier for the first week, and then immediately had him start sleeping on our bed. That is his favorite place to sleep now, and has finally learned to get up on it by himself.
post #4 of 7
Our cat isn't allowed in the bedroom for allergy/asthma reasons. While she doesn't do it nearly as much as your kitten, mine does cry for attention and it's driving my husband crazy.

Any solutions would be greatly appreciated.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
how often is she fed and how much?
930am: 2/3 cup of california natural dry kitten food
930pm: 1/5 can of california natural

Actually, I need to check with my wife. She feeds the cat in the morning, so I'm not sure on the amount. But if I recall correctly, its 2/3 cup. Vet visits show she is a bit above normal weight. Vet agreed that the amount of food was appropriate. She usually picks at the dry food all day. Even when we give her dry in the morning, she doesn't eat it right up. She'll ignore it for a while and eventually start picking at it throughout the rest of the day.

The cat has allergies to some other types of food, and california natural seems to make her use the litter box less often and its less smelly

Is there a reason you won't let her in your room?
Allergy/Asthma issues. I don't think it is recommended to sleep in cat dander.
post #6 of 7
I don't know if I can be of any help to you but I do understand since I have allergy/asthma issues also and we share our home with one dog and one crazy kitty. I did not know about the allergies/asthma until after adopting both pets, however, I could not live without animals. My allergist suggested putting a sheet or some type of cover on the bed that is easy to take off and wash regularly. Another question I have for you is - If you have allergies/asthma what difference does it make if they are in every other room of your house, i.e. you are exposed to dander, fur, saliva, etc. regardless? I don't mean that to sound rude in any way, just curious?
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by rahma View Post
Our cat isn't allowed in the bedroom for allergy/asthma reasons. While she doesn't do it nearly as much as your kitten, mine does cry for attention and it's driving my husband crazy.

Any solutions would be greatly appreciated.
Cats do need attention... Maybe some toys that she can play on he own, or another cat would be good... My Lucky does need attention, she demands it actually... That's just like cats are; a very animated part of the family .

Ignoring her when she is crying might help.
Good Luck!
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