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Help! Siamese talker driving me NUTS!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hello all,
My beloved, just-barely one-year old male siamese, Manfred, has always been a handful. We got him way too young (6 weeks) and he's always been a needy cat (he's an ear sucker. Ouch! but it's the only thing that calms him down some nights) but he's a love.

However, over the past two months he's become more and more and more vocal. I know that when siamese do this, they're asking for something and you just have to figure out what they want. But I think he's mostly bored. We play with him constantly and are always trying to divert him (I often make forts out of the sofa cushions to give him a new thing to explore, for example). But we can't keep him interested 24/7 and we can't give him what he thinks he really wants: to get out. He whines at the back door, the front door, even the closet door. Lately he's started trying to climb up the front door, reaching for the chain lock. Once we forgot to lock the front door and he actually opened it up (he gets it between his front paws and wriggles it). Since we live in an apt. building, this didn't let him out into the wide world, but it did mean that I woke up at 3am to find the front door open and Manfred out in the hallway. Ultimately, he's a scaredy cat, and doesn't even want to go far, he just wants to go. Or something. He stops if we shush him. Sometimes we can get him to leave the door and come snuggle and/or suck an ear, but often we just can't comfort him.

I don't know what he wants, and he doesn't know what he wants, but that peculiarly-siamese wailing is keeping us up at night, waking us up in the morning (yes, sometimes this means he wants breakfast, but then he starts again as soon as he has eaten). I'm afraid it's going to get us in trouble with our neighbors.

Is there anything I can do? His sister, also a siamese, same age, different breeder, is absolutely content and only talks when she wants her belly rubbed. She provides a certain amount of diversion, but it's not enough.
post #2 of 26
Is he neutered?

~gf~
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Yes. (I hoped you would answer, Gaye!)
post #4 of 26
*grin* OK, well then if he is neutered, then let's take a gander at what else could be the problem ... if you think he wants to explore the great hallway outside your apartment door, could you try a leash and harness and walk him? Is the hallway outside your door really outside or is it an indoor hallway? Could there be other cats outside your door is what I am trying to determine, might as well just ask. *grin*

How is he otherwise, eating, pooping, peeing, playing, sleeping all normally? Do you think a vet visit is needed?
post #5 of 26
interesting situation. first i thought, ok, let's get him a playmate, but he already has one - his sister.

Do you have a cat condo/house for them? can you place it near a window so he can look outside?
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you for responding, Gaye and Rarepuss. You ask good questions. Here goes:
1. The front door opens onto a hallway, and sometimes I let him walk down with me to get the mail. I sit on the bottom step and allow him to sniff around and see what's there for about five minutes and then we go back inside. As far as I can tell, there are no other kittens in the hallway. When he gets out there he either tries to jump onto what he thinks is a ledge (but it's really just where one pattern of wallpaper ends and another begins) or sniffs at dust balls in the corner.
2. I do have a leash and harness for him and I sometimes take him on walks outside. He loves this and walks like a dream on leash, but I worry that this just aggravates the problem, because then he wants more outside adventures.
3. Yes, we have a nice, tall cat condo in our den, set along a row of windows. The cats love to perch here and play all sorts of tag games here. We're thinking of getting one for the living room as well. We also have lots and lots of window in the apt., all with nice big sills for the cats to curl up on.
4. Otherwise, he eating, sleeping, playing, pooping, peeing just fine.

This might sound weird, but really, I think he is just a deeply unhappy soul. He is devoted to us, even clingy--following us everywhere, rarely settling down to sleep without us being in sight. I think his first few weeks must have been rough. I think he's from a backyard breeder who kept him caged. But, you know, I just get the feeling he doesn't want to be in this body, that in his mind he is a fierce jungle cat, or a cat on a ship, with the wind in his fur and the wide world in front of him. I think that this round of embodiment is just going to be hard for him.

And despite the crying, he's a dream of a cat. All our friends adore him--he's very social, and plays with everyone he meets, and he's never once showed any negative or aggressive behavior--no hissing, scratching, or even hiding.
Thanks for the responses. I guess I just need to keep reassuring him and holding him when he's sad.
post #7 of 26
Perhaps you could contact the breeder from which you got him from and see if their cats tend to be more talkative than most siamese. Maybe they could help you and give you ideas that help the parent cats or the other cats from them. I may be way off here, but it cant hurt. A window seat is a good idea, and maybe other things for them to watch, like a goldfish tank, or one of those dvds that make your tv look like a fish tank. Another option is once all his general needs are met for the night, playing petting water and food, just ignore him (try) maybe mostly he is crying cause he knows you will get up and give him attention. If the night crying stops getting him attention maybe he will start to do it less...
post #8 of 26
If you find a solution, let me know. My boyfriend's Siamese mix is the same way. We adopted him at four months from the shelter, so I don't know his original background. He is amazingly loud and always wants to get outside. When we let him out on the harness, he is never satisfied and always wants to go out again. I know I'm not much help, but I'd love to find out if you find a solution to keeping him calmer.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
I definitely can't contact the breeder--Manfred was my first cat and I didn't know much about the process and bought him from a backyard breeder whose phone was disconnected almost immediately after we got him home. And I think that's where some of this comes from--she said he was driving her crazy and thrust him at us.

But after the encouragement about windows I've been keeping the living room window open more (it helps that it's finally warming up) and he spends a lot of time there, now. The cats have learned to bolt to the window as soon as they see us leaving out the back door (at the other end of the house) so that they can watch us walk down the sidewalk. Very cute.

I've also been putting a high chair by the kitchen door so he can sit and look out that window. He's been jumping half-way up that door and hanging onto the latch like he's doing a pull up for a long time. He seems very happy about this quick and easy change.

I hear ya, Cloud_Shade, about the harness backfiring. No amount of time is ever enough and he seems even more desperate to get out afterwards. Oh well. I think R-loves-CJ is right: I need to practice ignoring him and sleeping with earplugs.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissyB
I definitely can't contact the breeder--Manfred was my first cat and I didn't know much about the process and bought him from a backyard breeder whose phone was disconnected almost immediately after we got him home. And I think that's where some of this comes from--she said he was driving her crazy and thrust him at us.

But after the encouragement about windows I've been keeping the living room window open more (it helps that it's finally warming up) and he spends a lot of time there, now. The cats have learned to bolt to the window as soon as they see us leaving out the back door (at the other end of the house) so that they can watch us walk down the sidewalk. Very cute.

I've also been putting a high chair by the kitchen door so he can sit and look out that window. He's been jumping half-way up that door and hanging onto the latch like he's doing a pull up for a long time. He seems very happy about this quick and easy change.

I hear ya, Cloud_Shade, about the harness backfiring. No amount of time is ever enough and he seems even more desperate to get out afterwards. Oh well. I think R-loves-CJ is right: I need to practice ignoring him and sleeping with earplugs.
Do you have an adjustable leash my siamese kittys loved a little fetch outing to the park at times...
post #11 of 26
No help, but just wishfull thinking. I lived 17 years with a loud mouthed Siamese. *sigh* I sure do miss him. I loved our "talks".
post #12 of 26
Perhaps you could bring enrichment items into your house... like a long peice of grass you find on a walk .. or a leaf .. bringing a little of the outdoors indoors...a little flat box of cat grass.

I know our cats LOVE branches, leaves, or grass they pounce and play and sniff at them.

Maybe some self entertaining toys like those balls that have the springy thing tooked into a base so they are elevated. A string hooked to a door knob is a HUGE hit around here.

Maybe getting a Huge teddy bear might help something he could cuddle with that would be bigger then himself and more like his mommy when he was little. Maybe open it up and put a little ticking clock in it and then re sew it.

I am not sure if this will help .. but when Shadow gets really stressed out she will come start biting me like she used to do when she was a baby. If i get up and give her a little glop then she is fine. It is sort of like Glop is her comfort food, after she will clean herself leasurely and usually come sleep with me with out biting and give me kisses before laying down and going to sleep. So maybe just a touch of warm KMR will calm him down in the evenings? It might not work if he was never on KMR though.
post #13 of 26
No help either, but just want to say that its a GOOD thing that you happened to be the people who took him in if the breeder thrust him at you due to his vocal behaviour.
It sounds as if you are doing everything in your power to make this cat a happy cat
I wouldn't want to imagine what would his life would be like if he was picked up by someone less attentive or caring...

Good Luck and hang in there!
post #14 of 26
First of all, what a beautiful pair of Siamese you have!

I really understand your situation.

I myself, have two siamese cats. One male Simon (seal point) and one kitten Elle (blue point).

When I first got Simon he was very quiet but he did became a bit vocal later in life, however, Elle on the other hand talks your ear off!

We just got her a little over a week ago, she is only 8 weeks old and meows non-stop. She meows if you hold her, let her be, you name it she meows. I thnk she's still getting used to the house and her surroundings. I also have a cat tree right in front of large windows and have a leash and harness for both + lots of attention and playing.

I have a feeling that some siamese cats are just more vocal then others, wether it be how they were handled as young kittens or when they were separated from their mothers, I'm not sure.

I love having someone to related with though, we actually encourage Simon to meow by mimicking his meows. My boyfriend and Simon can have cat conversations! It's pretty funny!
post #15 of 26
Our daughter's little female, Mika, has a birth defect and thus no voice - no problem.

Bijou wasn't a talkative kittie until my husband has started letting him outside - now he stands at the door and makes the most mournful meowing sounds. If you heard him you would think we were abusing him. I took him out to the store with me yesterday and he was quite happy with the car ride. Unfortunately he's outgrown the largest cat harness we can buy - so now I guess we go to a small dog harness!

I think the thing I love most about Siamese is their "talking". Hope you get your problems sorted out to everyone's satisfaction.
post #16 of 26
What sort of toys does he have?

I know I need to get new, more interesting things for Simon when he starts yodeling...he adores the cat racer, and the balls, and the chase things. He also adores feather wands, which he chases, captures, and then walks around proudly dragging them between his paws...he's "killed" it, don'tcha know, and is mighty proud of himself.

Maybe some very interactive toys; or even a paper bag or two on the floor with some sort of toy buried inside.

Siamese are so darned smart, it's hard to keep them entertained...but it's doable.

Best-
Michele
post #17 of 26
Isis is my Spayed Traditional Siamese and she is very much a vocal cat. She will back talk you or tell you how her day was. You tell her no and its like she says why. And don't get me started on her being so mean!. This little kitten I got was very sick I babied her and now she is just plain out rotten. I think I spoiled her when she was sick as a kitten. The only way I can get her to calm down is putting her harness on her and leaving it for an hour or so. I watch her so she does not get into any trouble but it is almost like a security blanket with her. She still runs through the house like a horse on a race track and still thinks she owns the place. But my biggest kick came tonight when I got out my Turkish Angora Samona's Kittens out on the floor. Isis went over to investigate the new rug rats and one surprised her by trying to nurse. Needless to say Isis was shocked and ran for cover. She will be good to the kittens as she has not made any move to harm them. Although she wants to try and play with them even though the boys are only 3 weeks old.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
I love all this commiseration over our precious and precocious, but very challenging Siamese! Our cats go through toys like crazy. What keeps them interested this week is sure to be the last thing they would deign to play with next week. A perennial favorite is stick, where you take a, well, stick, be it chopstick, end of toy wand, or my cats' favorite, a Victorian swagger stick, and poke it out from under a blanket or a pillow. They go crazy. Our friend is such an afficienado of stick that he has invented stick bag, where he rattle the stick inside a bag and then pokes a hole through the bottom of the bag to tease the cats (and, inevitably, Manfred crawls inside the bag and tries to get at the stick from inside. Last night he sat on my partner's lap inside the paper bag for about a half hour), or stick leg, where you sit on the couch and poke the stick out from under your leg. No matter what they are doing or where they are in the house, they come running for stick.

Thank you for all the encouraging words and anecdotes. Things have been much better around here, in part because we've been setting a chair in front of the kitchen window, but also because we've made an effort to pick Manfred up and cuddle him constantly. If he's sleeping, I wake him up and cuddle him, if he's minding his own business, laying in the sun, I pick him up and cuddle him, if he's trotting down the hall alongside me, I pick him up and cuddle him. I think we're giving him so much attention that he doesn't want to provoke us by whining!

JaneMary, Elle is just precious! Congratulations on the new kitty. Yosemite, I'm thinking about taking Manfred on errands with me, too. He's so good on his leash and the owners of a local pet supply store have said several times that he's welcome into the store--I think in part because they want to sell me this nifty catholder that you wear like a messenger bag.
post #19 of 26
I am having major problems with my siamese Tai. I got him Dec 31 2004 and he was not very healthy. I fixed his problems and he is doing well health wise. He is a pure breed seal point, no papers because the breeder was not very good. I just wanted a siamese for so long so I paid for the little guy and left. Glad I did, because I think he was not treated very well. Anyway, he goes after my 3 yr old cat zoe. (She is not siamese by the way). He wont let her be for a minute. She screams and howl and hates it when he plays with her. (He is fixed bye the way) Anyway, he cries so much when I am trying to sleep, so I end up locking him out of my bedroom . He then cries all night long and it breaks my heart . What do I do?!? Just let him in my room and keep me awake? Or keep him out? Oh, and my fiance hate him! He says Tai is stupid, but in reality I believe Tai is very smart and just cant keep his mind occupied
post #20 of 26
I have tried a new thing with my little Skeeters and it seems to work.....I have put some of his favorite toys in his kennel and he sleeps in there at night now, seems to work well for him. I have to make sure to cover the kennel with a blanket or else he will cry all night but if can't seem what is happening outside he is OK and is quiet....
post #21 of 26
You do indeed have cute Siamese - I agree with JaneMary. My little YY- (Quan Yin actually but we call her YY and Yin Yin) - also is very vocal and she can talk your ear off. I talk back to her. If she does not see me, she will call me- sometimes she is playing hide and seek; other times, she just wants me to come and talk to her and is trying to drag me from my work. I actually take her to work and she talks to my receptionist, my patients, my nurses and anyone else who comes in. If someone does not talk to her, she asks them why, lol

You seem to be doing all the right things but you know how Siamese are - they can be very talkative!
post #22 of 26
I had similiar problems with Chichi. She isn't siamese but she used to meow all the time. It got to be irritating after a while. So I went online and started searching for solution. And I found a few articles where they talk about cat talking problems.

They said most of the times the meowing is encouraged by the owners without them realizing it. I know you love your kitty and want to make him happy, but you don't have to have him the run of the house and control you if you don't want to. You are the boss and you can train him to follow your rules of the house. I've read that some cats meow exessively because they know meowing will get them what they want. So the trick is to let them know that on the contrary, silence is rewarding. Try ignoring him completely whenever he meows and giving him attention, food, playtime etc when he is silent. It worked with my cat really quickly, but it may take a bit longer with yours since he's older and siamese.
post #23 of 26
I am a modern siamese breeder. I can give you one piece of good advice earplugs at night. I have two females one of them has a very low nice voice. The other is a monster she screems like she is dying and keeps the whole house awake. When she is in heat we wear earplugs.
post #24 of 26
I have two Siamese and you can ask anyone who has ever been to my home or talked with me by telephone - there is normally always a cat meowing somewhere in my house. We have epic conversations - Tonka, my male, is the most vocal. I do encourage him though. Lexus is quiet unless she is in heat or chasing a bug. She chatters at the bugs and she scolds the birds outside the porch window.

Just a thought - you mentioned that your little boy wasn't quite healthy when you got him ... has he seen the vet recently? Everything going OK with him?

~gf~
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef
I have two Siamese and you can ask anyone who has ever been to my home or talked with me by telephone - there is normally always a cat meowing somewhere in my house. We have epic conversations - Tonka, my male, is the most vocal. I do encourage him though. Lexus is quiet unless she is in heat or chasing a bug. She chatters at the bugs and she scolds the birds outside the porch window.

~gf~
I am with you. I love it when my cats talk. My parents cat is a tabby as is my cj and both cats are big talkers, we encourage it though because we talk back to them and they answer us, and Tigger will even talk on the phone to me. I figure that trying to keep a cat from talking is like keeping a person from talking. I mean they have important stuff to say too, why not let them. He is usually pretty quiet at night though so I dont have to deal with that.
post #26 of 26
What age did he leave momma and littermates? I bet it was before 12 weeks! usually cats have the sucking behaviors and seperation anxiety because they did not learn adequately how to deal with seperation before they were taken away from the momma cat.
Our little stud bengal wants attention all of the time too. When he sees us through the glass door he cries so loud and wont stop. What I have been doing is when he starts in on the crying I take him and put him in a small bathroom with the light off. When he calms down and stops being noisy I take him out and put him back out in his enclosed patio. He is beginning to learn that all of the crying and fuss is just going to get him in a dark bathroom with nothing to do. Perhaps you can try this with your cat. But bE SURE not to let him out untill he stops fussing or you will make the problem worse. he needs to understand that when he's crying/fussing he is asking you to put him in the dark, boring bathroom and not to get his way. In his mind he'll come to believe that when he cries he's asking for the bathroom and the behavior will eventually stop. Also BE SURE to be CONSISTENT! Don't let him get away with it one time and then out him in the bathroom another time or he'll never learn and just be confused.
PATIENCE and CONSISTENCY!
I came up with this training method by training my horses in much the same way. When they had a bad behavior i'd make them do something they didn't like so they think that each time they present that behavior they are asking me to work harder. For instance if my horse refuses to walk on the trail home (most of the time horses want to run home) I will turn him around and head away from the barn. Each time my horse speeds up without asking I turn him away from the barn for about 10 steps and try over again for him to walk towards home.
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