Please Help! READY TO LOSE IT WITH MY CAT! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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We adopted Louie about 4 yrs ago from the SPCA when he was about 6 months old.
Louie is a very friendly cat to family and friends. He is not a 'cuddly' lovey' cat, but does love a good massage when he feels like it.
He has always had this thing where he will not drink from a bowl of water. Has been like this from day one. He will ONLY drink from the running tap in the downstairs bathroom. Not ANY other tap, must be that one. Ok one little quirk we can live with.

He is a cat that has a 'routine'. When the first person in our house gets up (around 5am), he likes to have 5 or 6 temptations treats, then he goes and eats his regular food, then wants his water and then goes outside.

He comes back inside after I drop my daughter at school, around 9am. He then goes through the treats/food/water routine again. SOMETIMES he wants back out, but most times he comes and finds me (I work from home and my home office is upstairs) and bugs bugs bugs. I go down to see if he wants out. NOPE - he wants more water. Now the tap is still running from 10 mins before, but he REFUSES to jump up and get his own water. We have to lift him up. Not this is a VERY fit cat that can scale a 6 foot fence no problem. Ok -so he has his water, I come back upstairs and he appears a couple of minutes later BUGS BUGS BUGS. So I give him rub and hold him for a min - he squirms out. I try putting him up the top of the closet (his fave place to sleep). Sometimes that works if I pray hard enough, but other times he hops back down and bugs. Ok another cuddle? Nope - he coaxes me downstairs by standing at the top of the stairs and meowing NON STOP until I give in.
Back downstairs. He wants 'walking to his dish' of food. He will no longer go and eat unless you WALK HIM TO THE DISH. This has started in the past 4-5 months.
Ok he is eating - I come back upstairs. I shut my door so he gets the point and goes to have a sleep.
NOPE starts meowing at my door NON STOP. I go out - this time he wants up in the closet, or back outside, or wants the whole food/water routine again. I refuse the treats.
Its gotten so bad that at times I know he is fed and watered, and I put him outside and shut the door behind him.
It is out of control.

Now - later in the afternoon - same thing all over again.
Then all evening - same thing all over again. Someone is constantly lifting this cat up for a drink or walking him to his dish. Yes, he has us wrapped around his every whim, but if we don't give in he will whine and meow, scratch the back of the chair we are sitting in and keep pestering.

Its getting worse and worse every day. I could go on and on in this post, but I think I have given the general picture that this cat is becoming a royal PITA!

I am ready to find him a new home because he is DRIVING THE WHOLE FAMILY NUTS! We have tried cuddling, massaging, playing with him - he is not lacking for attention - I swear this cat exhibits autistic behaviours. Can a cat be autistic? He has to have his routine several times a day, does not really show us any love or affection. He is not a lovey/cuddly cat at all. All of my previous cats love to come cuddle in the evenings. Not this cat.

HELP! I am at my wits end with this cat.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 02:37 PM
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Hi, and welcome to the forum! I'm definitely not an expert but here are my two cents.

Have you tried buying him a water fountain? You could try placing it in the downstairs bathroom.

As for the other routines and quirks, I think all cats have their own little quirks that we become used to and accomodate to. So it also depends on how much you will budge. For example, for the most part we let Kringle out during the day. We've been trying to keep him indoors more often now by letting him out everyother day. So on the days he's in, he will meow and complain and complain and cry these pathetic meows by the door, but we don't budge.
Also, in an article by Dr.Jean (she's a vet who frequents the forum), part of the cat introduction phase (I've been introducing my 2yr old single child cat to a new kitten) is to put food on opposite sides of the door. And the article says that if he will not go to the food you can't just give up and move it back for him, if you do then he will learn, "If I wait a little bit, then she will put my food where I want it."

So again, I'm not an expert, but I would stop doing all these routines one at a time so that you dont change his whole environment at once. Don't go to him when he meows at the stairs if you know he has everything he needs. (I was doing this once and it turned he was meowing bc I had closed the door to where his litter box is, so be careful too). Then cut back on the treats. Maybe he doesn't like his food? What kind of food are you feeding him?
But please don't give up on him yet.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 03:24 PM
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He sounds like he loves to be the center of attention. Moarias1984 had some great ideas, especially with the water fountain. Another thing that came to mind is feeding him upstairs in your office during the day. If nothing else, the walk to the food routine would be shorter for you .

Would love to see pictures of the little stinker.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 04:52 PM
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Ah, he has you all trained very well!
Cats are very clever little creatures and will wrap you around their paws and have you do their bidding...if you let them!
It sounds like you've set up a routine with him that he enjoys and it will continue unless YOU stop it. Just stop doing it, plain and simple. He will drive you crazy for awhile but, if you do not give in, he'll stop. When he starts begging COMPLETELY ignore him. Don't look at him. Don't talk to him. And whatever you do, do not pick him up and take him to his water or food. If it gets too much for you, you could pick him up, no eye contact and no talking to him, and put him in the bathroom for a 5 minute time out. He will, soon enough, figure out that begging is not going to get him the results he wants. The key here is consistency. Do not give into his demands at all. Giving in once will only give him hope and you'll have to start all over again. Although, it may be a annoying for awhile, I really think this is a pretty easily solvable problem.
I doubt there is anything wrong with your cat. It just sounds like a routine was set up early on and this has become his way of getting attention and showing affection.
Also, a water fountain is a great idea. I used to have a kitty that refused to drink from anything but the tap. He would stand in the sink and howl until I turned it on. Yes, he had me trained, big time! It took a few weeks of having the fountain and absolutely not turning on the tap for him but he did start drinking from it and stopped begging at the tap. He actually got to love his fountain!

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 05:52 PM
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Yes, sorry, the main problem with this cat is you. You cater to his every demand. He's got you wrapped around his little paw. The water problem is very easily solved with a pet fountain. And if you feed him wet food, he needs very little water anyway. Remember that cats do need routine; that's just the way they are. If you gradually alter the routine over a period of time to a routine that's more convenient for you, he'll be just as happy with that. It's going to take willpower. You have to be more stubborn than a cat. Are you up for the challenge?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by coaster
It's going to take willpower. You have to be more stubborn than a cat. Are you up for the challenge?
I completely agree with Nanook and Tim... the only way to break the cycle of this demanding routine is to just refuse to give in, and be inflexible. Cats are very smart, and once he realizes that the old way of whining til you give in no longer works, he will get used to it. Just switch to a routine that works better for you, and he will adapt to it.

You can always use earplugs if his whining gets out of control... or put him in the bathroom for a few minutes like Nanook suggested. I know exactly how persistent, non-stop whining can drive you crazy, believe me, I have a cat who used to love vocalizing like the Castafiore for HOURS every night after we turned the lights off... she would stop only if I threw her mousie for her to play fetch.
I followed everyone's advice here to play with her before bed to allow her to vent some of that energy, and then completely ignored her once we were in bed. I swear some nights I was ready to throttle her But after a good month of this treatment - she IS stubborn - she finally gave up... she will still try it every once in a while, but for the most part now we can finally sleep in peace! There is hope
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I have to say I am not sure what you mean by the water fountain - I have never heard of one of these for cats - can someone point one out on the net so I can see what you are talking about?
I will have to get the whole family on board and make sure everyone is on board with the behaviour modification he is about to receive! LOL.
Thanks again.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 06:28 PM
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Here is what a water foutain looks like:

It provides running water, and entices most cats to drink more, helping them to stay hydrated (thus helping keep urinary tract infections at bay). Several brands make them, off the top of my head I only remember Drinkwell and Petmate, but I am sure there are a few others.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks....I am off to buy one this weekend!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 10:53 PM
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Good luck and keep us posted!

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