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Our cat, a black british shorthair neutered male, is fifteen this year and we've had him since he turned up as a stray aged one (oh, what a long time ago!). He's always been lazy and never had any interest at all in playing- probably part of the reason why he quickly became a fat cat and stayed that way, although we've suspected vaguely that he's probably done a bit of sneaking to other houses! I know of one cat up the road who has been displaced away from it's own dinner! In any case, last year, on a new diet food, he's finally started to lose weight and has started playing and, annoyingly, bringing us gifts of a squeaky or feathery variety, which used to be a reasonably rare occurrance. I know I can do nothing about that (he's already got four bells on his collar, I don't know how much more warning I can give them!) but it's the other habit he's just started that is driving everyone insane- for the last fourteen years, he has sat by the door when he wants to go in and out with the occasional meow to let us know he's there (we don't have a cat flap and can't get one). Now, he's suddenly decided a better way to do this is to go to the front door or outside someone's bedroom, claw up the carpet and yodel at the top of his voice until someone does what he wants. He has always had a habit of conveniently forgetting we've fed him and trying to get more food a few minutes later, so he goes all day thinking he's due food- now he's yodelling for it. I don't know why he changed the habit of a lifetime- his tactics before worked so there was no reason to change... but you can hear him screaming throughout the house and then you hear various people yelling "shut up, cat!" I love the cat, but honestly, it's driving us mad. It's not as though you can train him out of it by ignoring him, because our patience always breaks first. I don't know what to do about it...
 

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Since this is a significant behavioral change with no explanation, I would recommend a vet visit. He is at the age where he is at risk for many of the typical cat medical issues that affect them in advanced years.
 

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If his vet visit clears him of health problems, and no one has the patience to ignore him, then I think I would just get up and give him some attention before everyone in the house becomes ready to kill him.
My childhood cat became a little 'forgetful' as she grew older. She would walk out of my bedroom, stand in the hall and cry her little heart out as if she was lost in a strange land. She was a Siamese-mix and had *quite* a voice on her. 8O It took me either calling to her or poking my head around the door jamb for her to hear/see me and her entire demeanor would change from low, slinking, mournful crying to head/tail up with a surprised or happy meow of 'Oh, there you are!'

I have had trouble with cats wanting into closed bedrooms when we are sleeping, but that consists mostly of pawing at the door and clawing carpet, no yodeling. I would use my vacuum to deter this. Most of my cats respect (fear) the vacuum as a Cat-Torturing-Instrument-of-Death and will not go near it. I park it right outside the bedroom door in the hallway when I've got a cat digging at the carpet to get in. If just parking it doesn't do the trick, I unwind the cord a bit so the plug can reach an outlet in the bedroom and I don't plug it in, but I *do* turn the vacuum on, so when I *DO* plug it in for a quick moment, it comes on out in the hall and right next to the bothersome cat. They do *not* think that is cool and they make a hasty retreat.
I do not know how this would work with his yodeling, but maybe it would...? If the vacuum comes on when he uses his "big voice" he could eventually associate the 'big voice' with the vacuum noticing him, so he changes his behavior so the vacuum *won't* notice him...?
It seems like the concept would work...maybe give it a try? ***I would not use this method if my cat were suffering from any age-related problems like dementia, kitty-alzheimers or other forgetful problems related with age. The kitty just wouldn't understand.***
Best of luck,
heidi

PS... Do *NOT* forget the vacuum is in the hallway and stub your toe on it in the morning! Yes, I speak from experience.
 

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I *love* the concept of cat-doors that lead to secured enclosures, but I am not a fan of cat-doors with access to the whole-wide-world. It only took ONE, unnoticed-by-me, mortally-wounded and escaped-to-inaccessible-place-from-cat vole to cure me of THAT ever happening again in MY home. :yikes
 

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Poor old fellow, and poor you! I wonder whether a Feliway diffuser would help (synthetic cat pheromone) if some of the behavior is related to senility or insecurity?

A good friend of mine has an elderly pug dog that has developed similar issues in old age - since the poor dog can't hear or see she has become so insecure and afraid...

Fran

P.S. Gracie is a BSH, too...
 

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Is he throwing up along with being ravously hungry? If so it could be his thyroid. Id have him vet checked. Theyll want to do a blood panel to check thru everything to make sure but its worth the peace of mind youll have.
 

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Thanks for replies!

He went to the vets not long ago so no major problems, although I think he needs his teeth scaling or something, but unfortunately he doesn't come under my account (I have the rabbits on mine, the cat comes under my parents so I can't take him, it's up to them to).

I think, as an alternative to the cat getting shouted at at 8am, me switching the vacuum on at 8am is liable to get me screamed at too rofl Nice idea though, and made me laugh :D

Yeah, if we got a catflap, he'd be bringing in all kinds of squeakies now I think :( My previous tactic of having some cat treats by the door to get him to drop the gifts is not working as well as it used to. He doesn't like his loving gifts getting away :roll:

The cat flaps aren't an option because my parents said it wasn't. We have panels in the back door so I think it wouldn't be that hard to take one out and replace it with a cat flap, but for a start I doubt the cat would work it out, we tried it before with a flap into the boiler room where he sleeps and he couldn't work that out. I'm fairly confident that he would sit next to a cat flap and meow to come in.

No, no throwing up. I don't suppose the diet helps! Ever since he was young, he has always demanded more food and now he's getting less of it, he's not amused!
 
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