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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
Cool Cat
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,229
Bored kitty

I'm looking for some advice. It seems that especially lately my cat Barnaby is bored and maybe lonely at times. I live alone and he is the only cat in the house. I work nearly 60 hours a week at times and I am busy doing other things as well where I am not at home.

The problem is that when I attempt to play with him, he quickly loses interest in the toys. He has no interest in balls. The fuzzy mice he chews the tails off and then lets them sit. The string on a stick is about 50/50 and the feathers on a stick which he loved when I first bought, does very little for him now. He will sit in front of the fireplace and look up at the mantle (where I keep the 2 stick toys) and beg. When I take the toy down, he will take some interest in it for maybe a minute, then he will just lazily lay on the floor. But if I put the toy away and walk away he will get up and chase after my feet. It's like he doesn't want to play with the toy but doesn't want me to put it away either. If I leave the toy alone with him he will chew on it and destroy it.

I have thought about getting another cat (kitten) but I am so afraid of the risk of changing Barnaby's behavior. He is such a sweet cat and I don't want to make him feel betrayed or do anything to change the way he is. He has had litterbox evasion problems in the past and I am also afraid that another cat using his box will cause problems because he is very fussy about the smell of the litterbox.

I would like to have another cat but what if I bring one home and it causes complete chaos with Barnaby? Like I said, I am gone quite a bit and I feel it would be hard to introduce a new kitten to the household.

What do you think? Any suggestions about the toys or another cat?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2003, 03:02 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Poor Barnaby! I guess he wants to eat that stick, huh? He doesn't want cuddle time?

We have 4 cats and have added them all one at a time. Two are littermates, but we brought one in first, and then the other a month or so later. Everyone had adjustment times, but I honestly think most of them are happier having each other around to play with. They aren't overly affectionate with each other, but I think it helps with loneliness and boredom.

If you decide to try another cat/kitten, give it plenty of time. And be sure to give Barnaby some alone time, since a kitten is overwhelming in energy. Our poor male adult became very fatigued with our new kitten b/c he wouldn't make the kitten leave him alone!

If Barnaby seemed unhappy after a month or two, you could consider finding the new kitten a new home.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2003, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
Cool Cat
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,229
That's my dilemma. I would become too attached to another cat to be able to let it go if there was too much trouble. And with all the homeless cats, finding a good home for a kitten that might not work out here would be so hard to do. It would be nice if I knew someone who would like a cat and would agree to take a kitten if it didn't work out here but I don't know of anyone in that position.

Barnaby hasn't wanted cuddle time in the last month or two. It used to be a nightly thing for him to lay on my lap but lately, he gets his "purr" time laying on the floor and being brushed once or twice a day. I guess that's what has taken over for his lap time. I try to call him to my lap when I'm watching TV but he's not interested.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2003, 03:48 PM
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How ols id Barnaby? Maybe you could try the laser pointer as an alternative to his other toys. ( I have heard about it here on the catforum and purchased a cheap one at Office Depot - PetsMart was out). I prefer not to use it when I play with Frosty because I don't think it is fair for him not to catch anything at the end of the chase. But my husband likes to and so does Frosty - a lot! He doesn't mind and Andrew laughs all the time at my sweet little boy because he looks puzzled when there is nothing to catch.
Besides the toys and my time with Frosty (- which is a little more than you have it is true ..) I see that my kitty enjoys so much playing with the doggies and climbing up on the window ledge to watch the other kitties that live outside.
You are in a tough position because you don't have much time to spend with training another pet but I think it would be a good idea. Have you left the TV on for Barnaby? We need to try everything ...I hope something will work out for you and Barnaby!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2003, 08:32 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 210
He Misses You!

Poor Thing! He must get really lonely and probably thinks that since you are away so much, he feels like you abandon him and only come back when you feel like it. My advice: try spending more time with him. See what happens!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-02-2003, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
Cool Cat
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,229
I do have a laser pointer which he also quickly loses interest in.

I don't think he feels abandoned. He's still my shadow much of the time when I am home, following me around the house. There are times (usually weekends) when I am home quite a bit during the day but for the most part, he sleeps the day away.

Now with the changing of the weather and it getting dark earlier, I'll be spending more time in the house as well. I just need to find something that interests him more than the toys he has now.

Are male cats usually agressive/angry toward a helpless little kitten coming into the house?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-02-2003, 11:26 PM
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You could let Barnaby come live with me...I have 3 other kitties for him to play with. hehehe

Have you tried hiding his toys or putting them away for awhile and then getting them back out? I think my cats lose interest if the toys are always in sight where they can see them.

I brought my cats into the house one at a time and they seem to tolerate each other pretty well. (They are not best friends, of course.) Sophie whines if the other 2 get close to her or sniff her. Kittygirl beats everyone up that takes attention away from her. Kitty never relaxes when the girls are nearby, he won't even get in bed anymore because he doesn't want his tail bitten by Kittygirl. (She has this habit of laying behind the other cats and biting their tails so they will leave and she can hog the bed and the attention.) They love to get frisky and chase each other in the evening, so I always thought that they kind of enjoyed having each other around????? It just stinks that you have to spend so much time away from the little guy.
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