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Discussion Starter #1
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.

Thanks!
 

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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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Discussion Starter #4
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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Discussion Starter #6
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.

Thanks
 

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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Hi Everyone, and thanks for all the helpful replies

The dry food that she enjoys is called Holistic Pro Series: Chicken and fish formula

The guy who told me she was doing well with this food in the pet shop said it's made right here in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

On the front it says:

-No Corn, wheat or soy
-Urinary Tract Health
-Hairball Control

On the back:

-34% Crude Protien
-14% Crude Fat
-7% Crude Fibre
-10% Moisture
-7.5% Crude Ash
-0.1% Magnesium
-0.1% Taurine
-0.25% Omega 3
-1.7% Omega 6
-315 ppm Glucosamine
-250 ppm Chandroitine

Calorie content - Metabolized Energy (ME) - 3362 kcal/kg

In the evening before bed I also give her 1/3 can of Purina Fancy Feast

She didn't eat much when we first got her, but I think she was just getting used to the new environment. Yesterday and today she visited her dish frequently and seems to be eating normally.

I'm a little worried as this is day 4 and her litter box hasn't been touched yet. (And I've found no evidence of an "accident")

Even though she hasn't used the litter box, she seems very healthy and happy. I don't know if this is just because only yesterday she started eating well

She is very cute and affectionate. When I open the door in the morning she is so excited to see me. She has a cute high pitched meow. She will jump up on the bed so I can pet her. I know she's excited when she pulls my hand with her paw and nibbles my palm. The nibbling seems to be the sign that she's happy and excited from what I can see.
 

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Here is the list of ingredients if anyone is interested.

INGREDIENTS:

Chicken Meal, Whole Oats, Whole Brown Rice, Chicken Fat preserved with Mixed Tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), Fish Meal (Herring & Anchovy), Dried Whole Eggs, Dried Brewers Yeast, Kelp Meal, Fish Oil (Herring - natural source of DHA and EPA), Dried Cranberries, Dried Blueberries, Dried Green Peas, Dried Rosemary, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Fennel, Safflower Oil, Mint Leaves, Ground Sage, Ground Ginger, DiCalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine Hydrochloride, Methionine, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Calcium Proprionate, Flaxseed, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Iron Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, D-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Acetate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source Of Vitamin K Activity), Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Cobalt Carbonate, Folic Acid.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Immediately after I posted the above, I heard the scratching noise I hadn't heard yet and thought "Odd, she hasn't gotten into anything, better check it out".

It was her finally using the litter box.

She is going nuts right now by the way, very vocal and chasing nothing around the house
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've done a lot of reading about this pet food this morning and it sounds like real quality stuff that makes a difference, so I think I'll keep her on it, along with some wet food.

This brand is what our local SPCA uses and recommends. I suppose that's why she was on it, she was with the SPCA for close to a year before we adopted her.
 

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I love it when they get the "zoomies" and run around the house like crazy!

I would curb the biting. Even those love nibbles can - and will - become more of a bite. When she does this, make a sharp noise, like "AH AH!!" and replace your hand with a toy and she is allowed to bite the toy. The problem is that they don't understand that the teeth and claws can hurt someone - like a child. So don't allow her to bite. Make a noise to stop her right away when she does this.

She sounds like a very nice kitty. Good luck with her and keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Here she is again in a bit more of a frisky mood (The biting/clawing doesn't hurt, she's pretty careful, even with the rough play)

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just an update on the whole 3AM friendly wakeup call from Minto.

The problem is pretty much gone now after following a strict set of rules with my kitty.

-I pay no attention to her food dish in the mornings, there's always dry food in there for her to eat. She get's her wet "treat" in the evenings before bed. There's no reason for her to associate me getting out of bed with her getting food.
-She goes to sleep with me every night, but she is free to roam the house as she pleases.
-If she starts licking/pawing/meowing at me in the middle of the night, she immediately gets put outside my room with the door closed

It took a while, but now she still wakes up in the middle of the night, but she'll either go roam the house, or sit quietly on the bed. I had a nice sleep last night, I noticed her wake up and do her thing for a short while, but she came back to snuggle until my alarm went off.

I think I've got a pretty good kitty here. I'm having some trouble finding toys that she enjoys, but I've still got a couple ideas left and haven't tried the "da bird" or laser pointers yet.
 
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