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Desperate - loud cat, can't sleep

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi there. I am desperate for help. My boyfriend moved in to my studio apartment with his cat. I have two, well trained, well behaved cats. His cat, no offense to his kitty, is pretty dumb. She doesn't seem to be trainable. The problem is...she cleans herself too loud. When she licks, she makes horrible sucking noises that wake me up in the middle of the night. I can hear the noises from the other side of the bedroom, in the bathroom, and anywhere else in the apartment. I am a light sleeper, so I am missing out on sleep. When my cats licked themselves on the bed, I just said no, and pushed them off the bed. They quickly learned that if they want to sleep with mommy, they can't lick on the bed. She licks anywhere, and it wakes me up. I've tried squirting her with water, but she just runs away, licks the water off loudly, and comes back to the bed area....help! I can't sleep anymore because of the cat licking!
post #2 of 7
May I suggest earplugs? Honestly I know what you are talking about, I too have super sensitive hearing and can hear one of my cats grooming herself at night. Foam earplugs do the trick to muffle the noise and yet I can still hear important sounds. Other than making sure kitty is not miserable with fleas and needs a dose of frontline, I suggest the earplugs.
post #3 of 7
Not to sound callous, but perhaps you should get some earplugs so her licking doesn't disturb you. She is only doing what cats do, and I'm sure you don't want to teach her that bathing isn't acceptable (which is what you are doing by punishing her for cleaning herself when it bothers you). Then you would have a stinky, and miserable cat in your house. Perhaps it will just take some time for you to adjust to the new noises. I'm a pretty light sleeper, too, but after a while I just don't hear "normal" noises and can sleep through them. Heck, I grew up living not even 1/2 mile from train tracks and if people can get used to that, people can get used to anything.
post #4 of 7
My Fred does the same thing! The loud, slurpy licking drives me NUTS! I use earplugs at night, and in the morning until my sweetie gets up. Between the cat licking and him snoring, it is enough to make me pull my hair out.
post #5 of 7
I had to laugh, because one of my cats did the same thing. The noises could be pretty disgusting at times!

But....I found out that the reason he was licking and chewing and snorting so loudly when he groomed was that he had mites!!!! He was making all that noise and grooming so hard because he could feel those evil creatures chewing on him and sucking his blood. :disturbed

Once we treated him and got rid of the mites, he stopped making the horrible noises while grooming. Now, he licks and grooms the same way as my other cats.

This long story is my way of suggesting that you ask the vet to see whether the cat has any skin allergies, fleas, or mites that might be leading to the loud grooming.

In the meantime, I agree with the others....ear plugs can do miracles!
post #6 of 7
Sounds like you are unusually sensitive to noises and are stressed out. I certainly wouldn't consider a cat dumb or untrainable because the licking noises the cat makes while normally grooming sound loud to you. And the cat certainly is not misbehaving. You certainly don't want to try to "train" a cat to not groom (though sounds like you are just punishing the cat for happening to lick himself in the only way that he knows how, due to feeling annoyed with him). Squirting a cat for doing a good, normal, natural necessary thing is just going to cause stress in the cat and make him not trust you. Stressed cats tend to groom even more and since you can't stand it as it is, you will make things worse for both you and the cat.

Don't drink any caffinated beverages or smoke past 6PM. Don't eat 4 hours before going to bed, so that your digestive system is not in full swing. Try exercising some before going to bed, a long walk or jog, perhaps. Don't take any naps during the day. All that will help you feel tired as well as less stressed and you will likely be able to sleep better at night. It is difficult to get used to another person living in your space, even if you like or love that person. It is more difficult to share a small apartment with another person, let alone three cats. If you are taking any medications, they might need to be adjusted. Some medications interfere with sleep.

This is not a cat problem. The cat can't change the way he licks, nor should he be expected to. Cats will clean themselves where ever they are when they take the notion to do so. That is normal and good. You need to try to find a way to adapt and adjust- to all the new changes. Perhaps now that there is another person to share expenses, you and your boyfriend can find a larger apartment. That might help with the tension. If you really do feel desperate about hearing a cat lick,find the sound to be "horrible", and can't sleep, it really is time to see a doctor for help. The cat is being a totally normal cat.
post #7 of 7
Hi Kim

As soon as I read your post I thought 2 things instantly. Firsty, when cats are nervous they will tend to overgroom, remember that kitty is in a new place with 2 new cats to contend with. The other thing is that she may have fleas - my Tatiana used to groom very loudly if just one flea was on her, it would drive her and us nuts!

So I'd make sure you use a good flea control regime on all cats in the apartment and be extra patient and loving towards the new kitty. It can be very difficult I know to remain patient and understanding when you are sleep deprived! I'm sure that it's temporary and that once these issues have been dealt with and kitty's settled she'll come to understand that noisy licking is not allowed on or near the bed at night!

Good luck, be sure to keep us up to date!

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