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help! very vocal cat keeping us awake. advice?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Can anyone help me with a problem behaviour my cat is exhibiting?
About two months ago, our cat started meowing loudly all night, every night, and he also now meows frequently during the day. It was almost as if someone flipped a switch and gave us a different cat. We've tried ignoring him, but that hasn't worked. We've tried shutting him out of the bedroom, but our house is so small, we hear him anyway. I've recently started squirting him with a water bottle (if and when I catch him in the act), but after about a week, that hasn't had much affect.

He's a neutered 3 year old male, he always has food in his dish and fresh water, I spend a lot of time with him (playing, grooming, petting, etc.), and as far as I can tell, he's in good health. I do have a call in to my vet to see what he thinks.

Can anyone help me? We've gotten almost no sleep for several weeks now, and it's getting to the point where we may need to find a new home for him. That's the last thing I want to do! Help!

post #2 of 9
There is an unfixed female in the vicinity (probably feral) and she is coming around at night, he is getting a whiff of her. But have you had him vet checked? Maybe he is trying to tell you something, and cats do get vocal if they have an overactive thryroid gland. You can try isolating him in a room where he won't bother you- leave a radio on for him or some noise. Good luck
post #3 of 9
Just a suggestion: Have you posted your message to the "Behavior" forum also? If not, you might think about doing so. Perhaps you'll get more responses there. Personally I've not a clue myself as to what you might do about the vocalizing, but I'm willing to bet Hissy's covered all the bases.

post #4 of 9
lkc....I am moving this thread to the behaviour forums, I hope that is okay. You might get more responses here! Glad you have joined us!!
post #5 of 9
I am having the same problem!!!!!! we adopted my kitty, and for a month or so, she was an angel (well, at night anyhow). she slept soundly through the night. then she surprised us with kittens, and now she keeps us up all night. well, we went to the vet, and he suggested a few things. he gave us antibiotics for a possible infection that may be lingering. then, we got worm medicine because I spotted one one her (can I just say eeewwwwwwwww). finally, we went to our naturipathic doctor, and she gave us some chammomile tablets. well, we gave them all to her last night, and she was considerably quieter. she started up once, but quickly stopped her yowling. I don't know which of the treatments helped (I'm assuming the chammomile helped for a short-term fix) but whatever it is, it worked. I don't know if that helps you, but it's just my experience.
post #6 of 9
Cats are notorious for waking their owners up at oh-dark-thirty. If you wish to stop this, there are several steps to take.

The cat may simply be hungry and demanding its food. By feeding it when it wakes you up at an ungodly hour, you are simply reinforcing its behavior. If this is why it's waking you up, you can handle this either by filling the bowl just before you go to sleep so it will not be empty in the morning, or by ignoring the cat's wakeups
and feeding it at the exact same time convenient to you every morning. The cat will adjust fairly quickly to the second.

If it is trying to play, there are again several tactics you can try. If you make a practice of tiring it out with play just before bedtime, you can reduce its calls for play at dawn. What works in some cases is to hiss gently at the cat. You can also try shutting it out of the bedroom. If it pounds on the door, put it in a bathroom until you
wake up.

In persistent cases, try the vacuum cleaner, eater of noisy kitties. Go to bed, leaving him out in the hall. Position the vacuum cleaner next to the door, inside it. Plug the vacuum in, and arrange things so you can switch the vacuum on from your bed (eg, wire a switch into an extension cord). Wait for the scratching and wailing at the door. Turn the vacuum cleaner on. If cat comes back, turn it on again. The cat will eventually decide to stop bothering you in the morning. Hope this helps
post #7 of 9
Sometimes cats become vocal at night because their vision is failing. If this is not the case (and you've ruled out all other health problems) you may want to try just wearing kitty out before bed. Establishing a routine also helps. It takes a little time, but creating nightime rituals might work. Remember - that's how humans are trained to keep quiet through the night.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
To everyone who responded with advice, thank you!

I think the problem with my cat is that he's vocally pining away for all of the female cats in heat right now. I did talk to his vet, and she also thought that was the case. He does have his annual checkup next month, so she'll make sure that everything else is okay.

The only solution to his night time yowlings is a steady application of the squirt bottle. The water alone didn't seem to bother him, so the vet recommended mixing a small amount of bitter apple in the water so that it would taste and smell bad to him without being harmful. After about a week, he quieted down.
I've also made a point to play with him and wear him out a little right before I go to bed, and that might be helping as well.

Thanks again,
Laura (and her quieter kitty)
post #9 of 9
lkc.....I also wanted to add a big welcome to you, here....I hope you will start a thread in the lounge, telling all about yourself!!! I love Colorado!!!! My brother lives in Littleton, and I visit there every couple years or so....I love it!!! Thanks for joining us here!!!
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