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I might have to give up Stumpy

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I mentioned that she's getting really naughty in a previous post, and I've gone back to work now, so she doesn't have that company during the day.

Last night she just spent all night trying to play with me while I was trying to sleep. I played with her before bed, and gave her lots of cuddles and attention, but she needs more stimulation. I went to a friends place for dinner last night, so only saw her for a bit between work and going out, then came home, played with her and went to bed. I would hate to think she's going to do this every time we have something on in the evenings. It's 5:20am and I can't get back to sleep now because I'm stressing about the situation. I tried ignoring her, but she plays with the sheets, and sticks her paws under the bed, and sticks her claws out. I trim her claws, but there's always one sharp enough to hurt! I'm going to try the Soft Paws, but it won't fix the underlying problem.

My husband is really against getting a second cat. I have no idea why, he can't give me any good reasons, but he refuses to get a second cat. I'm going to try and change his mind, but I don't want to be begging him for another cat until he can't stand my begging any more - that's not healthy in a relationship!

When we were first fostering Stumpy, she was really sweet and affectionate which is why I fell in love with her, but since she's healed from her accident she has just gotten more and more playful. I still adore her, but if I had have had any idea she was going to turn into such a playful cat who needed this much stimulation, I wouldn't have adopted her. She needs more than I can give her on my own.

She has heaps of toys, heaps of interactive toys to play with on her own, but it's not enough. She needs more.

I know it's horrible to get a cat than after such a short time be considering giving her back, but is it better than having her bored, attacking us all night, and having us growing to resent her???

I don't know.... I'm so confused and upset by it all... I'm just going to have to give it time and hope she get used to us being out during the day and settles down.
post #2 of 21
How old is your kitty and how long have you had her?

Bootsie was the same way when I got her. She would always get me up around 5 am each day by running around the house like a goon, running around on the sheets and on top of me, digging her claws into the mattress and dragging herself along the floor, and making gooney noises. She even learned how to turn on the radio.

I dealt with this for about 3 months. Getting Monty about a month and a half into this time did help. But, I think the situation would have resolved itself in 3 months regardless. She just needs to get used to being in a new place and not being a wild kitty anymore. It's like extended jet lag for kitties.

Don't give up Stumpy. You'll be miserable and always wondering if she is okay. I was almost forced to give up Bootsie against my will and that was the worst week and a half of my life.

Also, you need to have a less appealing blanket on top of your bed and make sure you are really well tucked in
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
We've had her for about 6 weeks now, and she's about 11 months old.

I know I can't give her up, I'll constantly stress that she's gone into a bad home. Or she'll continue the baheviour and go from home to home from doing the same thing.

As for the blanket and being tucked in... we're in the middle of a Californian heat wave. Last night was the first time I've used a doona in weeks!!!
post #4 of 21
Stupid question: Can you not keep her out of your bedroom?

Singa had her silly nights chasing some weird non-existant mouse in my bed. It was sooo annoying, but when she did that I locked her out so at least I could sleep.
Of course she would go mewing in front of the door, but if you ignore her long enough then she will give up on trying to get back inside
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
I thought about that... but I feel like if I shut her out of our room, I'm completely shutting her out of my life. I don't see her all day, so I don't want to lock her out all night.

When we first got her, she slept on the bed all night and never disturbed us. When we started to stir, she would come up to our heads and she'd get pats then, and she would snuggle back up again. We had a couple of nights a few weeks ago of cooler weather, and she discovered under the blanket, and snuggled up to my belly which was lovely.

I want THAT kitty back! I want her to be a nice bed cat, I don't want to isolate her from us.
post #6 of 21
I had this problem when I first got Fergus...he was an abused stray that somehow showed up at my doorstep. The first month he was sweet, affectionate, and needed lots of cuddling. Then the night terrors began. I chalk it up to Fergus being finally comfortable, and realizing he had a home...and being that he was only 10 months old, he wanted some nighttime play sessions. I ended up getting him a young female kitten friend (Ripley), which did help...for a while. Then they both decided to terrorize me during my sleep. I didn't have a bedroom door at the time, so I did end up locking them both in the bathroom overnight for about two months...I needed rest! They are now both 3 and 4 years old, and much more subdued...remember, Stumpy is still a kitten! She'll want to play whenever SHE wants!!! I would suggest placing her in another area of the house if you do want some sleep...it doesn't have to be a forever thing, because she will mellow out more with time. Just keep on playing with her at night before your bed time...please don't re-home her if you can resolve this.
post #7 of 21
You can do a search through the forums and find many suggestions on ways to work with Stumpy. Shortly after we got Dori, I started evening classes. 3 days a week I left the house at 7:30am and didn't return until 10:00 pm. Dori was very energetic when I got home. We would play and spend time together before I went to bed. She started out playing in bed, but in time learned that the bed was for sleeping.
I don't really understand your suprise when you mention that since she has healed from her accident she is more energetic She is still a kitten. You and hubby need to be patient with Stumpy and work with her. Do some homework here on the site, and as I mentioned, you will find a lot of helpful information. Dori spent the first 3 years of her life being an only animal, and was very happy.
Just a reminder.. Animals are like children, they aren't disposable. You can't predict their personality. I find it very sad when I read stories like this from people who are considering giving their pets up because they aren't acting the way they want them to. Stumpy sounds like a very sweet energetic little girl who is very happy and healthy in her current home.
post #8 of 21
When we first got Midir, he was awful at night. He was a rescue kitty and was about a year old, he was not only still as playful as a kitten, but he seemed to have a lot of night time anxiety as well. The second the lights went out and we went to bed, he'd start crying and howling and picking fights with Etain and getting into everything else you can possibly imagine. It really was like he was acting out. We found for the first year or so that we had him he had to be secluded at night, in a bathroom or closet (with litter box, water and a bed of course). I often gave him a few treats when I put him away so that he wouldn't feel so bad about it (ok, it was really so I wouldn't feel so bad about it ) I tried so many nights to let him stay out with us, but as soon as he started his old habits he would have to go back to his closet. He honestly didn't seem to mind, he would just walk in and lay down and go to sleep. It became his safe place, even during the day when he just felt like sleeping he would often go in there and curl up. Gradually he was able to spend more and more nights with us and fewer in the closet, it was stressful for us to do that to him, we felt so guilty, but we all got through it ok. Sometimes he still gets rowdy at night, but it's not like the constant crying and mischief making that it used to be, he just plays with things that make noise now (why does is seem like there's always something that he can make noise with in the bedroom?). Some nights he lets me sleep, some nights he doesn't, and he almost always tries to wake me up an hour early ... but he's just being a cat

You'll feel like a big ogre for putting your kitten in another room at night, but don't worry about it. You've got to sleep so you can go to work so you can afford more toys and food for her! Make sure she has her littler box, water, maybe a few treats, a cozy bed and some quite toys, she'll get used to it after just a few days. And when she learns that night time is for sleeping, you can trying letting her out to sleep with you, and when she gets rowdy in bed, teach her that it's not ok, by putting her back in her own room. She'll get it eventually
post #9 of 21
I understand your pain! Stoli howls and howls when he gets put in his room when we go out or when we sleep.

We have a 'safe' room for Stoli that doesn't have anything in it that can hurt him. His food water and litter too. If Stoli is brought up by one of us to our bedroom and he's sleepy, he'll usually stay the night. If he's awake when we go to bed, he goes to his room. You need your sleep and kitty needs his sleep. You'll all be much happier. I don't let my kitten roam the house at night or when i'm napping because i worry. I installed a cat door between out room and his so when i'm away for a while, he has two rooms to play in. And one smells like us.

you can do this. you just have to let him know that bed is for sleeping. If he wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to play, into his room he goes. He'll cry for a while, but you have to ignore it.
post #10 of 21
Please don't give up on her! It's partly a matter of establishing discipline and partly a matter of waiting til she gets a little older. She isn't going to be a naughty kitten forever (or indeed, even for very much longer).

The other posters suggestions sound good. Let her start off in your bed, but if she's naughty, out she goes! She'll quickly learn.

I think your instinct to get another cat is a good one. What about a foster? You BF might find that acceptable, especially when he sees the change in her.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
It's ok, I feel a little less tired and emotional now... 5am is a bad time to post. The way I was feeling this morning, I would have quite happily given her to the next person who walked by our house!!!! She actually scratched my back and got a small mole on my back, and has almost completely removed it!! It bled all over the bed, stung when I had a shower, and still feels sore!

But.... I don't think I could bear to give her up no matter how naughty she is! I do think she will settle in time, and she just has to learn the new routine. For the 6 weeks she'd been with I have been with her in and out throughout the day, and now for 2 days in a row, there's been nobody home all day! Poor thing looked so abandoned when I left her again this morning

It's just hard with JUST starting studying part time last week, as well as starting a new job this week - I'm tired as it is!!

And Squirtle - it's not that I'm surprised she's gotten more energetic as she's healing, it's more that when we first fostered her, she was a snuggly lap cat who loved to curl up on the bed with it. Now she never snuggles with us. It's been a very long time since I had a cat this age since the last two cats we adopted were older cats, and when we did have kittens (15 years ago!), we had two, and a large house!

If in 6 months time she still hasn't settled down and seems really bored and unhappy, and I'm still not allowed a second cat, then yes I would sit down and have a really good think about rehoming her to a home that can give her more attention. It would absolutely break my heart, but I'm sure she would prefer that than to go through the frustration of having nobody to play with!

For the moment, I'll persist, play with her lots tonight and see how it goes. If she continues to wake me all through the night, I'll lock her out of our bedroom.
post #12 of 21
Glad to hear you have had a change of heart I know how it feels to be frustrated to the point you want to give up.... Just be patient with Stumpy and things will settle down soon
post #13 of 21
Originally Posted by squirtle
Glad to hear you have had a change of heart I know how it feels to be frustrated to the point you want to give up.... Just be patient with Stumpy and things will settle down soon
Me too!

Good luck with your girl child.
post #14 of 21
I think the "Night Time Crazies" are pretty common. Spike has always been a quiet snuggly bed cat, but Cotton can be disruptive. It's taken several months but he's now learned that the bed is for sleeping and rarely disturbs us anymore.

When I started working at night and sleeping during the day it took awhile for him to adjust to not playing with me on the bed during the day, but he's doing okay now. (Although yesterday, he woke me up about every two hours with something or another, heh.)

Still, my boys are only a year old and they're happy, healthy cats. I can deal with having my sleep interrupted from time to time.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, looks like we may be getting a second cat!!!!!! I mentioned to my husband that Stumpy is just incredibly needy at the moment and she would like a friend (he's overseas for work at the moment), and he said maybe! There's a really cute feral kitten at the shelter who we both fell in love with and has been there a while now. I think my husband realises I want a second cat for Stumpy's benefit as much as anything! Two cats really isn't much more work than one anyway...

Anyway, so this feral kitten... He came in as a feral, hissy and scared to death of people. I spent a lot of time with him when I was volunteering and he's at the point now where when you open the cage door for his cage he runs to the door, puts his paws around your neck, nuzzles into you and purrs like mad. A few weeks ago, when you opened the cage door, he would shrink back into the cage, and flatten his ears in a real defensive mode. So now he will sit in your arms forever and be cuddled. There's 3 other feral kittens, and none are as affectionate as him.

The only thing with all of them is that when you put them down and try to catch them again they run away. This little guy in particular runs, but when you play with him for a bit and get him comfortable, he settles down fast, and is a lot easier to catch. He's been at the shelter for weeks now (he was there last Friday, I hope he's still there), and the ferals are so hard to find good homes for.

So he's in a cage with 3 other feral kittens, who all came in at different times, but he gets on with them well. They also get put in the play areas with the socialized kittens, and they do really well.

So do you think this would be an ok match? I know this little guy LOVES to play, and he doesn't play too rough. I guess he's about 4 or 5 months old now. I've wanted to "save" this guy for a while since there's a really lovable kitten hiding under that fraidy-cat exterior, but I have to think about whether he would be a good match for Stumpy.

There's another cat who I really like, he's 2 years old, gets on well with other cats, and is playful but loves to sleep a lot as well.

What would be better do you think? A really playful, cuddly, but shy kitten who could potentially be just as crazy, or a slightly older, sweet, but potentially not as playful cat?
post #16 of 21
I'd take the crazy loving one myself! A young cat who sleeps a lot may be trouble, but the feral sounds great. I've always gone for the active ones myself, think they're brighter, and he sounds like he's earned a new home with you already (plus I think you like him better :-).
post #17 of 21
Hi there!

glad to hear that you are getting number two... there are some great posts at TCS on introductions etc.

I just thought i should mention the 11 months is a very very trying age....

All my cats were very very testy from the age of 10 months to about 15-16 months.... i call it the troubled teen period... but the good news is that by the times you are into the 17th-18th month your cats adult personality will become more apparent.... and the usually mellow out a LOT in year 2.
post #18 of 21
Sarah - I'm glad you had a change of heart about Stumpy and are considering the feral kitten.

As you might remember, I also have a "Stumpy". He was a feral kitten when I found him with his tail half chopped off. He came into my house at the time when our alpha was a true Manx like your Stumpy. We got Max at about 6 months old and he was a wildman until he grew older. Max was Stumpy's teacher so we had wild times with him also.

Don't know why I'm telling you this, but perhaps because I have a fondness for Manx's, feral kittens and cats named Stumpy. You can have all 3 in your house and I will always be rooting for you!!!

(I vote for the feral kitten)
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
My Stumpy is a Manx through accident, not a real Manx! Her tail got removed after a car accident.

Turns out the little feral and one of his feral buddies had already found new homes (yayyy!), so we went for a new little kitten who was there. She seems very sweet and I'm sure they'll be good friends
post #20 of 21
Originally Posted by sarahp
Turns out the little feral and one of his feral buddies had already found new homes (yayyy!), so we went for a new little kitten who was there. She seems very sweet and I'm sure they'll be good friends
I'm soooo glad that those kitties found homes And I'm glad you found a new friend for Stumpy. Let us know how things go
post #21 of 21
Wow this turned out to be a good ending, for now....

It seems all you really needed was some rest!

Seriously, when Stumpy is freaking at ghost mice in your bed, just calmly get up and put her outside the bedroom door. Try bringing him back in in 15 minutes, maybe a little longer if he is mewing--wait until he is not mewing to let him back in.

Just try little things like that--you know your cat best, or, I should say, cats plural. I can't help but be thrilled at your adopting a feral. Wonderful!!!
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