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Need help getting "wild-cat" on a schedule!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey there. Been a while.
It's Emily and her mom again.

Emily is now about 6 months old and has mellowed out a little bit but I could still use a little advice.

Emma is still a little goober. Once in a great while she's syncs with me and curls up in my lap, but most of the time, she's sleeping when we'd like to be playing with her (to wear her out before bed for instance) and won't do anything but lay around. Toys get a glance and she may jog half-heartedly after them but as soon as she's sniffed the toy she saunters back and plops down to nap again. Nothing will make her play.

Her other polar mood is totally nuts. She's attacking everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. Nothing is safe; not hands, feet, shoe strings, plastic shopping bags ( right after we come home with them), the television, electric cords, nothing.

And then there's her really-mega-annoying mood. She wanders the apartment meowing, ignores attention, ignores her food, ignores her toys, pushes out of your arms and jumps away if you try to hold her, swats at your hand if you try to pet her and again, nothing is safe. She wanders around looking for mischief to get into. She jumps on the television stand and paws the flat-screen tv (scratches are BAD!!), she jumps into the shelving on the stand to climb back behind the players to bat at or possibly chew the cords. She wanders behind the computer and tries to do the same with those cords and anything else that might look fun to mess with. (YIKES!) She jumps onto my bedside table and attacks my books, the candle, my phone charger, my phone, anything that moves if she can batt it or bite it. Lastly, she'll jump on the kitchen sink (not allowed there either but normally leaves it alone) or the bathroom counter top to find things to get into there. She ignores toys, nothing holds her attention and she doesn't want ours.

The last one is the worst. She gets so destructive and to top it off, it's a danger to HER as well. If she bites through a cored she'll get zapped. She understand "No" and "Get down" but when she's in the last mood she just looks at me and meows but goes on doing what ever she was doing with single-minded determination. She now understands that when my tone changes from "Emily get down" to "Emily, get down" I mean business, but in that mood, she just ignores me. If we're watching a movie and she jumps up to paw the television (she's normally in "that mood" when she does) she won't listen and she's taken to running under the bed when I get up to take her off the stand.

Also, now, if I get up to correct her, much of the time she'll jump down as I get half way there and then jump and grab at my legs as I walk away. She may even take a play bite at me but if I try to play with her she wants nothing to do with me.

I'm beginning to lose my cool with my baby-girl here. We're sorting out our small living space soon but nothing makes this girl happy. She's even started throwing her litter ALL OVER the bathroom! She doesn't just poo, she poos and then spend half an hour kicking half the litter out of the box and batting it around. I've caught her playing hide and tackle with the little box. *sigh* I'm so frustrated.

I know a cat tree would help but I'm fairly convinced that she'd love it for three days and ignore it (except to sleep in it, maybe, if she feels like it) from then on, like she does with everything else. We got her a giant furry mouse (or would that be rat?) and she was entertained for three solid days, a new record for her, and now she just doesn't care. It's her favorite. The only one she'll fetch,... If she's in the rare mood for it. But I toss it now and she just kinda looks at it. Then looks at me. Then.. *meow* And then back to wrecking the house.

I have even made toys for her. Nothing is working. She has a time out spot in the bathroom now. We put her bed in there at times and because she gets utterly out of control for often, water is always fresh in there for 5-10 min time outs throughout the day. (Sometimes I just can't get anything done or she's threatening to destroy something kinda expensive to replace.) *Sigh*

If I could get her snuggling when we're watching movies and playing when we're up and about and can play with her (which is fairly often, I'm home almost all the time) I'd be a happy camper. Or at least get her to stop being destructive. She won't play it out, nice, with me, unless she's in just the right mood so I have no idea what to do with her. I even drop everything to play with her when she's getting nuts... still no dice. She doesn't want my attention in any respect unless she wants it on her terms.


Thanks all! Hope to have good news on this soon.
post #2 of 8
If she doesn't like a toy for longer than 3 days, find ones where she shows interest then take them away at 2 days and rotate in another for 2 days. Don't bring back a toy for at least a few week interval.
post #3 of 8
Is there anyway you could get her a playmate? Also, I would invest in a squirt bottle, that way you wouldn't have to get up. Also, try getting one of those storage bins for a litter box. You cut a door in it, leaving about 5-6 inches from the bottom. This way she can get in and out easily, but won't be able to throw the litter all over because of the high sides.
post #4 of 8
Fill a soda can with washers and shake it whenever she does something wrong. Far better than spraying.
post #5 of 8
I'll be honest I didn't try to look for a past thread. But is she spayed?

post #6 of 8
My 9 month old gets into everything too. Not attacking things like your cat, but he knocks things down and gets into all sorts of trouble. He knocked a huge painting off the wall today. He gets on the mantle, on top of the refrigerator, climbs in the rafters in the basement and anywhere else he can figure out how to get to. When he starts running around like crazy and getting out of control, I put him in a small room to calm down for a while. He has beds, a litter box and food and these little "time outs" seems to work to settle him down so he's not getting him into so much trouble. (at least temporarily) Even ten minutes is enough. When I let him out again, he's back to normal. He does the same thing with his litter too...digs until it flies everywhere! I bought a littermate carpet on amazon on it contains most of the mess. I heard someone one here mention using a can of compressed air as a correction. Not to spray at the cat, but just to make a hissing sound to get their attention when they're doing something bad. There is also a product called "bitter apple" to spray on things she chews. Have you tried a "da bird" toy or a feather wand? The Bergan turbo scratcher is also good. It sounds like she's just a curious, hyper cat that needs entertainment to keep from getting bored. I'm hoping my boy will calm down when he's a little older because he's like a mini-Tiger tearing around my house right now lol
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. I'll try to can of washers. I use a hissing noise to get her attention already but if she's really agitated nothing can dissuade her from her "mission" whatever that happens to be at the moment. I make the correction noise (which she knows means she's doing something she shouldn't now), tell her no and get up and gently remove her from the off limits area and redirect her with a toy or, yes, we've tried the feather wands. Not even the feather wand will distract her if she's dead set on trying to eat the tassel on my book mark (or whatever else she's after at the moment). She adores the feather wand too. Even if all the feathers have come off and the bell fell off and has been thrown out, she'll still play fetch with the mangled plastic wand. LOL She's play with it for hours, but again, only if there isn't something else interesting her more, like the shiny tv screen.

I've started rotating her toys too. I think I need to buy a brand new one to start this off and hide all her old ones and then switch it up because just hiding one and leaving another she's already bored with.... LOL

If only I could get her play schedule flipped around a bit though. Like yesterday; she was lovey-dovey and cuddly ALL day long, snoozing on the bed when she wasn't in my face purring her cute little head off, but she had no interest in toys or playing. Last night she woke me up at 3am acting like a lunatic ON my feet. She was half playing with her favorite mouse and half biting and attacking my legs and feet and hands and jumping all over me. I finally had to put her on time out for the night in the bathroom and I HATE doing that. I gave her the little bed and made sure her water was clean but still...

We know she's part Manx but she may also be parts: Oriental Shorthair; which needs lots of exercise, Havana; which needs lots of attention, Abyssinian: which I'm sure a lot of you know are not well suited for apartment life and are very smart (Emily looks strongly Abby to me) or even part Bombay which she bares a striking resemblance to not only in the eyes but in attitude as well. She LOVES attention (though rarely goes about getting it the normal way: jumping in you lap or walking all over your book like a normal cat, she does it by getting into things on the other side of the room).

We didn't anything of getting a part Manx because we assumed she was just part domestic shorthair, standard American "mutt" cat and that we'd know more than enough between us to easily tackle any problems. We both know quite a lot about cats, or thought we did. LOL

As for being fixed, yes. We went through a shelter to adopt her. Although the selfish foster parent kept the cat we picked and switched her for her sister. (Only reason I could even tell was that the cat we picked hardly had a nub of a tail and Emily has a few inches that are hard to miss). Sometimes it feels like the woman used the "good twin" to lure us in and then sent the "bad twin" to the vet for us to pick up. Not that ANY cat is ever really bad, they're all good. Just some have different needs and if they're not understood they can get unhappy and start acting out. LOL

I wish I just knew which part is bugging Emz. The bored part or the lonely part or the not enough space part or all of it. We're moving to a bigger place soon so a friend might be an option for her later. 'Til then... have to improvise.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Finally Emz is calming down. No more jumping on the television to claw the screen, no more getting into things after being redirected 20 times from the same thing (now it's down to two or three times), no more late night attacks of feet or fingers...
I guess it's growing up that's mellowing her out but we haven't had to put her on time out in over a week! Plus, maybe her food is helping too. Switched from Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul to Royal Canin Kitten formula. (She's eating less and poo's not stinky anymore too.)
She's still quirky as ever but I wouldn't have her any other way! She's really turning into the perfect companion. Since she's not wreaking havoc anymore, she's actually playing with us now and finally cuddling a LOT more than when she was acting schizo. She still gets hyper and tears around the house like a wild cat but she's just playing rather than seeming to seek out things to get attention with when she does it. She still tries to eat plastic bags, my fav bookmark and various other things that look too enticing to pass up at the time, but she can be diverted now! It's so exciting. We can actually cuddle her again and play games like fetch the toy mouse.
Thanks again for all the advice!
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