Itchmo Forums for Cats & Dogs

Pet Behavior => Cat Behavior & Training => Topic started by: bug on March 11, 2012, 05:29:20 PM

Title: Almost at my wits end
Post by: bug on March 11, 2012, 05:29:20 PM
So this new little kitty I picked up doesn't stop meowing. All day long, he just walks around and howls. Unless someone is playing with him, or it's nighttime or I deliberately put him in his room and shut the door and ignore him until he goes for a nap, he's meowing. I now understand shaken baby syndrome. I'm waiting until Thursday to retest him for FeLeuk/FIV a full blood panel and he gets a wellness checkup on Friday. I gave him his wormer last night and the poor boy has had diarrhea all day long. He was not too bad this morning, but after about noon, he started up and hasn't let up until now, which is about 8:30 pm. It doesn't matter that I'm there on the couch or that dh is on the other couch. It doesn't matter that he has a ton of toys. It doesn't matter that I have an open window for him. I think he just wants to be outside. He's not used to being indoors all day and doesn't know what to do with himself. This had become so stressful, I'm thinking about getting him anti-anxiety meds to calm him down and keep me sane. Or maybe I should take them.

I just don't know what to do to make him stop. If I take out his favorite toy where he plays until he's near a heart attack, I get worried that it'll harm him in some way. That, and I think he'll just get dependent on it. I don't know if any of you have had a similar experience, but I'd love to hear some strategies on dealing with this. It's all so upsetting for me because I just wanted a good home for this guy and I know he'd be happier back outside where I found him.

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: mikken on March 11, 2012, 05:59:38 PM
Are you sure he isn't deaf?  Some deaf cats are bizarrely vocal...

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: bug on March 11, 2012, 07:06:27 PM
Oh, no. He's got 20/20 hearing. My mom has a deaf cat and I know the signs. This guy can hear things I can't. He's super sweet but so distraught, I think, because he can hear my other cats and wants to be with them and he wants to be outside. Right now, we're ignoring him. We're doing the tough love thing and only paying attention to him when he's quiet. Makes me sad to have to do that, but I don't know what else to do. Tomorrow I'll be buying him a tall tower and hopefully, that'll keep him busy climbing.

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: alek0 on March 11, 2012, 07:16:44 PM
How young is he? You could try those cat sitter DVDs, works wonders on young cats. Tough love sounds like a good approach, but you have to be really patient (anyway, I guess you know that, and it will be hard).

Another thing you can try is one of those treat balls, fill it up with pieces of freeze dried chicken and he'll have fun for hours until he gets all the pieces out.

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: August on March 12, 2012, 12:00:24 AM
Well, my experience:

Yoyo has periods of time where he runs around mowling his head off.  It's mildly ... um ... annoying.

Ultimately he wants attention - specifically a good tummy rub.  I give him tummy rubs all the time, but there are times when he must feel that he needs extra special more more more attention, and the only way he knows how to do it is to literally run up and down the house mowling.  Once he feels satisfied with my gazing in his eyes and chirping to him while pulling on his tummy a bunch, he goes for a nap.

The first time I got Da Bird, Chami played with it so hard that I thought I might hurt her.  She would pant and look like she might pop (to me).  But we played a lot like that (it was when she was the same age as your new little guy) and she just genuinely was having a blast.  I thought it was a really great way to get a lot of energy out and it never turned into a problem.

I'm sending good vibes for your little guy.  He might have thoughts of the outdoors, but I'll also bet he's curious as all to see what on earth is beyond the door where he can hear and smell everything!

And here are some big good vibes for you, too.  Hang in there!  <<<<hugs!!!>>>>

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: catmom5 on March 12, 2012, 03:01:41 AM
What was his reproductive status when you got him? I'm wondering if he has some serious testosterone issues to work through. At any rate, he may hate being alone and once you get him sorted out and he can begin to meet your other cats, it might settle him down.
I agree that the tough love approach (and a nice tall cat tree to climb) is your best bet. (It IS hard to hear them all the time - Lucy starts in about 4:00 am and I cannot imagine if she cried all the time.)
Some of mine love the cat video, too.
You're doing a good thing!

Earplugs? :-\

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: lesliek on March 12, 2012, 04:55:51 AM
It sounds like he just wants outside to hunt & keep active. I would try a food puzzle & the tree or cat shelves to climb might help. We put up with it for months with Punkin & eventually had to let him go outside. Punkin was 11 though & had been outside his whole life. Even then I wouldn't have done it except that he started peeing on all the sofa, chair & loveseat cushions if we wouldn't let him out to go. Plus we are on a cul de sac backing onto the woods. If the food puzzles & climbing don't work, can you & DH maybe make him an outside run ? I've seen some designs that just use heavy screening or small opening chicken wire & 2x4's.

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: Spartycats on March 12, 2012, 05:29:01 AM
Perhaps there is something helpful here: (

Hoping he will settle, when he is checked out and can meet your other cats.  Perhaps eventually you could harness-train him?

Hang in there - it's very nerve-fraying, I know.

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: bug on March 12, 2012, 06:35:13 AM
Thank you, everyone.

I am a type "A" person by nature, so this is more stressful on me than dh or many other people. This is one reason I don't have kids. Couldn't deal with the constant craziness in the house. BUT, a glimmer of hope. Last night, after I let him out of his room again (after a nap), he started up again and both dh and I completely ignored him -- didn't get up off the couch, just watched TV and talked amongst ourselves. He finally gave up and laid down on the carpet near us. Then, he went off to make his own fun by climbing all over the bar, chairs, etc. and that's when I went and paid some attention to him. He was purring and rubbing on me -- like he was a different cat. Then, when I went back to watch some TV, he came up on the couch and made himself comfy on a soft blanket beside me. I hope there will be more of this and less of the incessant meowing.

He was also more affectionate this morning for some reason, and when I put him back in his room so I could go to work, he didn't cry. Either he's a quick study or his hormones are dropping off even more.

@Leslie: I will be leash training him for outside so he can walk with Mr. T. I put T's harness on him yesterday and he tried chewing it off, but as soon as I took out his favorite toy, he forgot he had it on. The only thing I have reservations about is his urine marking and if it might come back when I let him outside.

@CM5: He was not neutered when I found him. We got that done two weeks ago and I know it's going to take maybe another 4 weeks before his testosterone is as low as it will get.

@August: Thanks for the support and letting me know that Chami played to the point of panting, too and she was OK. This guy will go forever with the mousie tail toy.

@Alek: He's between 1 1/2 and 2 years old.  He does like freeze-dried chicken and I have one of those balls, so I'll give that a try and I'll look into the cat video. I guess the only problem with that would be my husband, who plays video games almost 24/7 when he isn't out on a job. There would be a tug-of-war for the TV or I'd have to get Cooper his own, lol!

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: catmom5 on March 12, 2012, 07:24:05 AM
That does sound like progress to me! He must be a smart boy to start figuring out that the wailing will not get him what he wants! Hoping that calm, peaceful days (and nights) are coming.

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: Fizzy1 on March 12, 2012, 08:39:29 AM
I feel for you, bug.  I'm hoping that once he gets his hormones regulated that he will become less vocal. 

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: Mandycat on March 12, 2012, 10:04:14 PM
Sounds like he is learning fast! Hope the progress continues.

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: lesliek on March 13, 2012, 04:48:09 AM
Glad its starting to get through to him ! That constant crying can drive you crazy .

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: catwoods on March 13, 2012, 01:49:04 PM
Oh I'm glad he's doing better with this, bug. As he settles in more hopefully he will continue to improve! Many blessings for giving this guy a home!

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: merrihart on March 14, 2012, 10:18:04 AM
I think we need a pic of this new furbaby.

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: NedF on March 14, 2012, 08:45:26 PM
Yeah, lets see a picture of your new kitty!

Is that him in the Spraying thread? He's a handsome one!

Title: Re: Almost at my wits end
Post by: bug on March 16, 2012, 06:23:21 PM
That IS him, Ned. I want to post some better photos of him and almost got one with him, Mia and Mr. T in the cat tower but then Mia left and then T and my picture was not to be. I will get some for the Den very soon. I've been extremely busy doing a LOT of overtime (that I'd rather not have to do) and it will end at the end of next week. So, I can have my life back after that and promise to get some good pictures of him. In the meantime, he's still meowing, but not as often.