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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice to get me through this transition with our new boy. His rescue details say he's approximately 1 year old, but its obvious he's MUCH younger. Maybe 8 or 9 months. Very kittenish, so playful and absolutely TINY in comparison to our other boy. We didn't realise how small he was til we got him home, so we realise much of this behaviour comes from 1. being a rescue, and 2. still being immature.

We already have one rescue boy who is about 2.5years, and he's super cruisy and wonderful. We adopted our new boy a month ago, and he fits with us SO well. He's always after cuddles, he's gentle, loves the kids, and gets along fabulously with our existing boy - so we are super motivated to make this work SOMEHOW.... We really love him and want to keep him.

However... he hasn't let us sleep for a month! We're at breaking point, and my hubby works a really demanding job, plus he's a light sleeper so the slightest thing wakes him! He can't even sleep through the cats bathing on our bed at night! lol

When he first came home, he just didn't seem to understand that people sleep at night. Lights out and eyes closed really confused him. He'd jump on the kids faces, play all night long and meow around the house. After a few nights he started settling for small periods of time - those lengths of time have been extending, but very gradually.
We still have him waking at about 3am every morning, going to the litter box, and then walking around the house meowing... just as you're dropping back off to sleep, he meows again. Sometimes he'll start playing, and pounce from our bedside tables onto the middle of our bed and then race off. Often he pounces on the kids or meows in their rooms, waking them up too.

We've started taking him to the garage when he does this, where we've set up a bed and a litter tray etc... but you can still hear him meowing from our room. The other night he wouldn't settle, and at midnight I had to put him in the garage. He didn't quiet down, and then early the next morning somehow he was out... the kids all swear they didn't let him out... so he's somehow managed to open the garage door (still puzzling that one out!). He's extremely clever, but training him (obviously) is proving difficult as he's so stubborn. We've had many cats, this is proving our most difficult case - so PLEASE throw at me some ideas on how to handle this without my husband loosing it and insisting he has to go back?!

NOTE: Currently looking at buying a large dog crate for the garage - it's the only thing I can think of. Also considering sourcing CBD oil (on the recommendation of a friend) to calm him, but unsure if this would even help behavioural issues like this? Have tried essential oils that are considered safe for cats too - they appeared to work for a couple nights and now they don't seem to have any effect. We have also wormed him, thinking the night-time meowing was related to worms - no luck.

I'd really love to find a long term fix that doesn't involve dog crates etc.

PS last night we had some small wins, so we're hopeful we might be starting to win overall... but we are aware that these things can regress (one step forwards, two steps back)...

(Extra Edit - he's voraciously hungry too. I've literally had to lock away our compost bin into a cupboard (even if it's handle is 'locked'). He chews through the compostable bags and somehow unlocks the bin handle and creates chaos! Any plates left on the bench get emptied, even pots or baking dishes soaking in the sink - he drinks the water?! I cannot leave lots of extra food out though as my older cat will just hoover it and get even fatter - just mentioning this as someone might find it relevant).
 

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Your little guy sounds like quite the rascal. Mine was like that until he was 13 months old and I got him neutered. Then he stopped climbing the walls and let me sleep, but yours is too young for that yet. As an adult my cat is still a rascal but in a more mature way that is usually more endearing then irritating.

I wonder if you left dry food out for him all night, if that might help..... if he is meowing because he is hungry.
I am sorry I don't have any better ideas for you.
If anyone has ideas on how to curb a cat who meows all night, I'd love to hear it.
 

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He's well beyond the minimum age for being neutered. Most rescues and shelters will spay and nueter as long as the kitten is at least two months old and at least 2 lbs. And it seems the younger they are, the faster they recover. I would schedule his operation as soon as possible and ask the vet for some anti-anxiety medication in the meantime.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your replies.
He's definitely neutered - as he's a rescue, that's something they're non-negotiable about. They all must be desexed to be adopted.
I have been thinking about giving him extra food before bed, but have to find a way to do this without feeding my older (fatter) cat.

Funnily enough, last night we had another awesome night.... almost let us sleep the whole way through!! (WINNING!) Maybe he was just so stubborn he needed a full month to adapt. Also considering getting a Feliway diffuser for nighttime to handle any possible distress.

His foster mum got back to me yesterday, and said at nighttime she kept him in an outdoor cat cage... so I'm wondering if he just got used to running amok with other cats for all that time and that the adjustment is that much greater for him.
 

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Winning is right! Making progress with any issue is exciting and encouraging. Congratulations!
 

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Hi Sarah. It seems your new boy has a lot of pent-up energy he needs to burn off, as most young cats do. If he doesn't release it during the day, he'll be having the zoomies at night. You could try having several interactive play sessions during the day, and one right before bedtime to tire him out. Mine love the wand toys and laser lights and get a good run out of them. Getting everybody in your family involved makes it easier to do so it's not all on you.

Cats need consistency and time to settle in to a new routine. He's already been through so many changes, any more may make him even more anxious and hyper. I would avoid a cage as much as possible. You could set up a small cat bed in your bedroom and the kids' room so he'll have a place of his own to sleep, and give him a stuffed animal to cuddle up with so he doesn't feel alone. A snack before bed and first thing in the morning, and small meals several times throughout the day instead of free-feeding may make him feel more secure.

I too am a very light sleeper so I use white-noise like an air-filter or vaporizer in the winter and a small fan or air conditioner in the summer, whatever helps to drown out any background noise or total silence. Earplugs may help too. I've never used it, but very good idea trying the Feliway diffuser.

Best of luck to you, and let us know how things go!
 
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