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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Greetings, first time I've ever seen a forum that forces you to post in the introductory area. Interesting

I am a first time cat owner, but been around kitties quite a lot.

My new kitty is 5 years old and came from a shelter, her name is Minto.

Minto really adapted quickly and accepted us very fast.

While she's still a little nervous when we move too quickly, she does not hesitate to show us affection.

She will rub on our legs, climb on our laps, lick us wherever bare skin can be found, and playfully bite when she wants attention.

Overall, she seems to be a good kitty and we love her already. My main reason for coming to these forums is to find a solution to her morning behaviour.

She's been with us for two nights so far, and both nights we've let her roam freely, including our bedroom.

First night she spent a lot of time out in our living room, but also came into the bedroom to snuggle with us. The second night, she spent almost all night snuggled on my chest/arm.

The issue is, that at about 4AM she wakes up and decides it's time for me to get up too. So I get the paw in the face, purring in the ear, nibbling on my arm, and even a few quiet, but strategically placed meows.

So, I need to come up with a strategy on this. Ideally, I would like to continue to allow her to roam the place freely at night, and to come snuggle in bed with us if she so chooses, but if I need to lock her out of the room to get a good night's sleep, I will.

I'm looking for some suggestions while she's still adapting to her new home.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 06:33 PM
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Hi and welcome! I would try three things. First, play with her for 10 or 15 minutes before she goes to bed...preferably an active game, and then give her a little snack. Hopefully, that will tire her out and settle her down for the night.

Second, when she disturbs you at 4am, ignore her completely. I know that's difficult, but once she sees that paws in the face, nibbling and meows get no attention, she should stop. Conversely, once (if) she learns that those sorts of things get your attention (whether good or bad attention) she'll continue and you'll have a much more difficult time reversing the behavior later. It may take a few days to a week, but hard though it may be, I would do your best to ignore her.

Third, if you currently feed her as soon as you get up in the morning, then I would stop doing that. I wait at least at hour before I feed my girls in the morning (I have my shower, make the bed, make my coffee, etc., first). That way, they don't learn to associate my getting up with their getting fed...and so they never bother me in the wee hours of the morning in the hopes of an early breakfast.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Last night worked quite well

She seems to really want to go to bed with us, which is fine with me. She will snuggle up to my chest and go right to sleep. Last night, it was 3AM when she woke and decided to wake me.

I simply put her outside the room and closed the door at that time. I heard one meow in protest, then she was quiet the rest of the night. I'm not sure if I make this a routine that she will eventually stop waking me, what do you guys/gals think?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Meet Minto!

This pic was taken immediately after she was let out of her crate when we got her. She was very scared and stayed in this spot for about 4 hours before she started to explore. Today, (2 days later) she seems to think she owns the place.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Firebreak View Post
Today, (2 days later) she seems to think she owns the place.
No. She knows she owns the place.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, new issue

The store I picked her up from had her on a specific (and expensive) food. Literally like 5 times the price of regular food.

It's not a big issue if I need to keep her on that as she doesn't eat a heck of a lot from what I've seen, that $20 bag would go a long way.

Anyway, I've noticed that she will only eat food if it has a strong smell

The expensive food she's on has a very strong smell, and she'll eat it no problem.

If I put out cheaper food, can't remember the brand, she sniffs it, but it's almost like she doesn't recognize that it's edible.

I've experimented with a couple different treats now, as well as wet food and a couple scraps of human food. (Which I don't intend to give her much of) and the only two things she's eaten is this expensive food, and the wet food we give her in the evenings. (Which also has a very strong smell)

Is this something that could be overcome, or am I stuck with only strong smelling foods. I haven't tried opening a can of tuna yet, but I'm sure like most kitties, she'd be nuts over that.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 06:14 PM
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Hi and welcome to the forum! lol She's a cutie!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 06:23 PM
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Minto is adorable! If putting her outside worked, then I'd give it another shot.

As for food, you will likely save money in the long run (i.e., vet bills) by feeding her a better-quality food, and it will be better for her. However, not all expensive foods are necessarily high quality (although they might be). You refer to a "bag", so I assume this food was dry, which is not the best food for a cat. You would be much better off feeding her wet food. What was the "expensive" food? And what other foods (wet or dry) are you feeding?
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 09:32 PM
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I agree with Susan, if you feed better quality food she will eat less (so you'll be buying less) and her litter box will also not smell as bad. There is a lot of info here about foods: try to give fish infrequently as they tend to become fixated on fish flavors and a diet of all fish foods is not optimal. Go for quality and variety of meat sources.

Try to stay with wet foods if you can, they are much better for cats.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 10:11 PM
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My father has recently switched to making his own cat food. I'm not sure the exact process, but it involves a chicken, lots of vegetables, and a freezer. I'm sure there are some tricks and tips.

PS Minto is a cutie!
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