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hello i am new, and my cat Zorro has issues...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi my name is Leslie and I have a cat name Zorro. He is a 3 year old black kitty. I love him a lot BUT he has issues. He will wake me at at 4 AM crying for his food. And don't think going to the bathroom before you feed him, he cries even more. And I can't "free feed" because he doesn't know when to stop to the point he will throw up. He gets 3 small meals a day. But I don't think he is happy about that. I need help with my little boy Zorro.


Thanks,

Leslie

And

Zorro
post #2 of 11
Let me ask you a question. How do you respond to him when he wakes you at 4AM, or cries out when you wake up in the morning?

I have had cats try to wake me up in the middle of the night for loving. I would ignore them and they learned quickly that it wasn't worth their effort. But I did have a long term foster that would sit by my face and if I happened to flutter my eyes, they immediately started their meowing routine. I didn't give in to it and he stopped that behavior. When he went to his permanent home, the new owner called me to tell me that he woke she and her husband up in the middle of the night, using the sang antics that I broke him of a year earlier. I told her to ignore him. Her husband listened to me and she did not. He persisted with her because she gave in to him. Once she stopped, he stopped trying.

My point in this: if you give into the behaviors you don't like, it only reinforces them to continue that behavior. When you wake up and he cries, go about your morning routine. When it is time to feed him, tell him its "time for breakfast" or something on that line. I use that line on mine in the morning and they all come running from all directions.
post #3 of 11
I feel your pain. One of my four does the same thing. Except he does it at 6am! I feel as if i really have a baby!!! He will be quiet once i get up and give him some dry food. At night you better believe they need their dry food. I cannot go to sleep until i give them some or in the am. I keep 4 cats in my room, the all sleep with me. It can be soooo irritating at times, especially on the weekend!! lol. During the week i dont mind too much because he is like my second alarm clock, and thanks to him i have woken up for work when i have forgotten to set my alarm!!!
post #4 of 11
I agree that giving in to pesky behaviors usually makes them stick. Maybe you can try putting a small amount of food down just before bed? If he really is waking you because he's hungry, maybe that will tide his belly over until YOU decide it's time to wake up, :-P. If that doesn't help (or you're already doing it), try flat out ignoring him and refusing to get up. If he's anything like my littlest one he will not give up easy! But if you can stand it until he quiets down, that may get your point across.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
How do I respond?? I yell at him them get up. I give him what he wants. I understand to ignore him but...he won't stop......Do I keep ignoring him untill he stops?? How long does that last. Thanks a bunch

Leslie
post #6 of 11
You might want to invest in a feed dispenser with a timer on it.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
You might want to invest in a feed dispenser with a timer on it.
Good idea, that is what my brother and SIL had to do with their cat.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
You might want to invest in a feed dispenser with a timer on it.
This is what I was going to recommend.

Unfortunately, breaking a "bad" behavior that has already been set can take a while - like weeks to a month or so. If you don't want to invest in an automatic food dispenser, you can invest in ear plugs. Trust me, the time it takes - a few weeks or a month - is worth the next 15 - 20 years!

The other thing you can try is a different way of free feeding him. Won't necessarily work, but you can give it a try over a weekend. Find a food that has a really large kibble - I know Nutro makes food that has large kibble. They're kind of forced to chew it. Next, put it on a plate instead of a bowl. This prevents the "gobbling," because they can't just "scoop" it into their mouths, they have to chase it around the plate. On top of those two things, put it on a stool that is at about head height, so he has to kind of "lean up" to get at it. This often helps stop the gobbling problem. It also takes longer to eat, so he'll full after having eaten less than in other free feeding methods.

Laurie
post #9 of 11
I second the earplugs idea! I know my cats go crazy all night, but I don't hear a thing.. and in the morning it makes it so easy to ignore them. They got the hint that I'm completely without hearing until fully up and about, so they don't bug me anymore.
post #10 of 11
What are you feeding him? You said three small meals a day, but what type of food and how much? If it's not enough he may really be hungry at 4:00 AM. If it is enough, then it's just a habit that you can work on breaking.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mycatzorro View Post
Do I keep ignoring him untill he stops?? How long does that last. Thanks a bunch

Leslie
Yes, ignore him until he stops. The length of time before he stops will decrease the longer you don't give into him.
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