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My semi-feral cries all night long!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've been fostering a cat that came to my local shelter as a feral. While she's made great leaps and bounds in her trust of people and general attitude, she still stays up all night crying.

Since she was at the shelter, no one knows whether she cried at night there or not.

She has food, water, and feline company (sometimes she cries if she can't find my cat). She has toys, room to romp and play, access to her litter box, and constant attention from me. Basically, nothing is different at night than it is during the day.

Talking to her doesn't help, ignoring her does nothing, and playing with her (rolling toys around or playing with a laser) doesn't do anything for the nightly crying. Though, she did stop when my friend stayed over-- basically she cowered silently under the bed, but I don't think upsetting her is the answer.

What are some reasons she would cry and what can I do for her?
post #2 of 6
This might sound really really stupid but is she afraid of the dark? The night our power went out from a storm we had some MAJOR issues with all our pets freaking out..We sleep with a TV on and thats our nightlight and noise factor and when it was pitch black and silent NOONE in my house slept good plus it didnt help that everyone was piled in bed together! Id try maybe a nightlight or something to that effect if you dont already have one it sounds dumb (even to me) but maybe its a fear of the dark or something maybe its triggering memories about being outside and shes scared something could have even scared her at the shelter at night causing this reaction.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I don't think it's the light thing-- I had a lamp lit almost since she moved in (part of an incubator), and she cried anyway. Plus, the crying usually starts earlier in the night before I'm going to bed, when all the lights are on, and continues into the sunny morning.

She also is unaffected by noise in the room
post #4 of 6
When something has changed in her house (like someone else sleeping in her room) my feral girl cries all night too. Usually, if I call her and let her know where I am, she comes in and sleeps with Billy, who sleeps with me, and the crying stops. In her case, I think its insecurity and feeling a little "lost" - Billy is something of a security blanket to her. Its certainly not me - she's still afraid of me, but is comfortable enough to hang out in a room where I am, where she won't do that with visitors.

How long has she been with you? Maybe its something as simple as the change of routine at night that she doesn't like?
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've had her for about seven weeks, and the crying has been every single night of it. I don't recall any recent routine upheavals... I thought maybe it was just confusion at the new place, and maybe it still is, but I thought it would have stopped by now... I'll try getting a more solid bedtime schedule and leaving a light on and see if that helps.
post #6 of 6
I was wondering if maybe confining her to a room at night might help, maybe with a night light and some soft classical music. Classical music is usually very soothing to ferals, and being in a confined space may help make her feel more secure. Of course, it might also make her feel trapped, so that she cries more.

But a more solid schedule might help her a lot. Good luck!
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