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My first question has to do with one of my cats who trained me (for at least 1-2 years on and off) to wake up in the middle of the night and feed her. I've been going on about a week now of just ignoring her scratching attempts at waking me up (she'll go under our bed and just scratch to make noise, try to reach up and claw at me, go on our headboard and scratch, etc). As soon as I even move, she runs out and waits at the door to see if I get up (most of the time she doesn't even want food). I think the ignoring is working ok - last night I didn't hear any attempts, but other nights there will be several attempts at waking me up - a couple times i had to get up and lock her away. Any suggestions on how long this usually takes? Anything else I should be doing? Is locking her away going to hurt/help the training?

...Second question. We currently have 3 cats, 2 that grew up together (2.5 & 3 years old) and our newer 7+ month kitten. We've had the kitten since the beginning of February. Did the slow intro and separation from the other cats. The kitten is off the wall (as most are), sometimes my male cat will play with her and sometimes he gets mad and hisses at her (that's just his personality though - does it to me too, so this doesn't worry me). Once he hisses, she leaves him alone. However, the kitten seems pretty insistent on tormenting my female (who never really wants to play with the kitten) - tackles her any chance she gets. The kitten doesn't usually continue the play fighting unless my other cat runs away - if she stand her ground/just lays there and just hisses, the kitten will usually back off. Anyways, besides this, the cats will peacefully eat together, lay near each other, be in the same room together, chase bugs in the house together, etc). My main concern is my two older cats (up until a few months ago) would play together daily, romping around and chasing each other with absolutely no hissing. Lately, with the new cat around, my 2.5 year old female never wants to play :(. Will she eventually relax and go back to play wrestling (at least with my male) or no way to really know? (oh yeah, and to add to the drama for them, we just moved to a new house 2 months ago, but everyone is pretty much acclimated now - but could this be a cause of the reduced play too?)
 

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My first question has to do with one of my cats who trained me (for at least 1-2 years on and off) to wake up in the middle of the night and feed her. I've been going on about a week now of just ignoring her scratching attempts at waking me up (she'll go under our bed and just scratch to make noise, try to reach up and claw at me, go on our headboard and scratch, etc). As soon as I even move, she runs out and waits at the door to see if I get up (most of the time she doesn't even want food). I think the ignoring is working ok - last night I didn't hear any attempts, but other nights there will be several attempts at waking me up - a couple times i had to get up and lock her away. Any suggestions on how long this usually takes? Anything else I should be doing? Is locking her away going to hurt/help the training?
ANY attention is detrimental (even locking her up). When you finally do wake up, do you feed her right away? DON'T! Wait at least an hour to feed her after getting up, b/c otherwise the chain "wake Mom up/get fed" is just too darn obvious.

Do you feed her before bed? I would try that. Hopefully you are meal-feeding canned or raw food, not leaving food available throughout the day. Move your PM meal to as late as possible (like RIGHT before you go to bed) so she'll be full all night long. Then wait an hour to give the AM feeding. :) It may take a while to break the cycle but it WILL happen if you are consistent.

However, the kitten seems pretty insistent on tormenting my female (who never really wants to play with the kitten) - tackles her any chance she gets. The kitten doesn't usually continue the play fighting unless my other cat runs away - if she stand her ground/just lays there and just hisses, the kitten will usually back off. Anyways, besides this, the cats will peacefully eat together, lay near each other, be in the same room together, chase bugs in the house together, etc). My main concern is my two older cats (up until a few months ago) would play together daily, romping around and chasing each other with absolutely no hissing. Lately, with the new cat around, my 2.5 year old female never wants to play :(. Will she eventually relax and go back to play wrestling (at least with my male) or no way to really know? (oh yeah, and to add to the drama for them, we just moved to a new house 2 months ago, but everyone is pretty much acclimated now - but could this be a cause of the reduced play too?)
It's hard to say. Adding a new family member simply DOES change the dynamic. And it's possible that she's just too worn out by the baby to want to play w/ the other older cat. It wouldn't hurt to give the older cats some baby-free time (put the baby in another room w/ toys AFTER you have had a good interactive play session w/ him to allow the other cats a break). :)
 

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ANY attention is detrimental (even locking her up). When you finally do wake up, do you feed her right away? DON'T! Wait at least an hour to feed her after getting up, b/c otherwise the chain "wake Mom up/get fed" is just too darn obvious.

Do you feed her before bed? I would try that. Hopefully you are meal-feeding canned or raw food, not leaving food available throughout the day. Move your PM meal to as late as possible (like RIGHT before you go to bed) so she'll be full all night long. Then wait an hour to give the AM feeding. :) It may take a while to break the cycle but it WILL happen if you are consistent.
I agree with this. In college my roommate used to feed the cats when she woke up at 6 but it kept getting earlier and earlier as the cats would wake us up for their food. We stopped and moved that to an evening feeding and it works MUCH better for us. Ever since then I will only give mine wet food at night before bed otherwise they can get insistent with it.
 

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Hi - thank you for your responses! Things have been going well so far with the middle of the night wake ups. Nothing last night - just slept on me, and the night before she only scratched at my headboard once for maybe ten minutes (tried to totally ignore her - did not even move). I've also been tried to wait as long as possible to feed them after I wake up in the morning (easy on the weekends, harder when I have to leave early for work during the week). The funny thing is, it used to be my male cat who would wake me up - he will pull up at the edge of a 2x3 area rug in the middle of the night, eventually I took that away and it instantly turned into my female who constantly woke us up (never was her before, and it hasn't been a problem with my male since).

But regarding the problem with my 2.5 year old female and newer female kitten, I think my older cat is finally learning not to run away when the kitten tries to play. No major hissing in the last couple days.
 

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Lisa88, All the suggestions you've received are good re waking you up. We recently moved too, and my Devons are usually playful with chase games at 7 y.o., but it really has taken them almost 2 mos. before they started this again. With the addition of a rambunctious 7 mo. old kitten in the most active stage of its life, your girl will not likely enjoy her games. It may be that the kitten will have to settle down a bit (at 1-2 yrs.), before your girl plays with her, and that will depend on how dominant the kitten is with her and what will be her place in the group. If your girl maintains her dominance over her as she does now, she should return to normal playing soon. A lot will depend on the kitten's personality as she matures, but she does sound like she respects being hissed at and backs off....not like some that will just keep on bugging and won't take "no" for an answer.
 

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Update: My older female has been getting much better at waking us up in the middle of the night - she still tries, but we continue to ignore her and have been trying to wait longer to feed them after we wake up.

Also, she seems to be getting along with the newer kitten well enough (see attached picture). The kitten (although you couldn't tell by her size) is the fluffy/orangish maine **** in the picture and my older female is the gray/black striped. They'll both sit together side by side peacefully waiting for me to get out of the shower.
 

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...Second question. We currently have 3 cats, 2 that grew up together (2.5 & 3 years old) and our newer 7+ month kitten. We've had the kitten since the beginning of February. Did the slow intro and separation from the other cats. The kitten is off the wall (as most are), sometimes my male cat will play with her and sometimes he gets mad and hisses at her (that's just his personality though - does it to me too, so this doesn't worry me). Once he hisses, she leaves him alone. However, the kitten seems pretty insistent on tormenting my female (who never really wants to play with the kitten) - tackles her any chance she gets. The kitten doesn't usually continue the play fighting unless my other cat runs away - if she stand her ground/just lays there and just hisses, the kitten will usually back off. Anyways, besides this, the cats will peacefully eat together, lay near each other, be in the same room together, chase bugs in the house together, etc). My main concern is my two older cats (up until a few months ago) would play together daily, romping around and chasing each other with absolutely no hissing. Lately, with the new cat around, my 2.5 year old female never wants to play :(. Will she eventually relax and go back to play wrestling (at least with my male) or no way to really know? (oh yeah, and to add to the drama for them, we just moved to a new house 2 months ago, but everyone is pretty much acclimated now - but could this be a cause of the reduced play too?)
We have the exact same issue - I just posted about it above - although our older female is 13 and the new kitten is just 3 months. I don't have any answers, but I'm pleased to see it's happening with a 2.5 year old cat as well as our ancient moggy. How long did it take your big girl cat to stand her ground with kitten, rather than running off?
 

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It has been about 5 months now and she is finally starting to stand her ground more often than running away. The running away provokes the chasing and makes the kitten think they're playing. However, if she lays there and hisses at the kitten when the kitten tackles her, the kitten will back off and find something else to do. As you can see above in the picture, I think it is helping their relationship and my older female has started to relax around the kitten. My male on the other hand likes the romping and chasing so he'll trill back and for with the kitten and run around the house. However, they all now enjoy chasing any flies that get into the house together.
 
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