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Nighttime Kitten Problems!

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Old 01-22-2011, 06:54 PM   #1
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Default Nighttime Kitten Problems!

Hello all!

I've been having kitten problems the past few weeks and I figured maybe you would have some help!

My six month old kitten has been refusing to go to sleep! When we got him back in August, he was fine. After the initial shock of being a 1 month old in a new home, he calmed down. Every night he would attack me for 10 minutes or so and then calm down and fall asleep... whenever I woke up he would be curled up next to me.

Now, since the beginning of January, he has been really needy at night! No matter how much I play with him he freaks out and cries all night long. The first few nights it was just until 4 or 5, recently it has been as long as 7AM. I feel bad just kicking him out of my room (he cries outside the door, too, so that doesn't help too much). I don't know what to do with him! He's fine and cuddly as soon as morning comes, it is JUST at night as soon as I am trying to sleep and not paying attention to him!

Any help or suggestions would be great!
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:50 PM   #2
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Water bottle. You don't have to spray him with it, just near him, he should get the message.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:16 PM   #3
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My cat did the same thing as a kitten. He was so loud and would cry all night. Water bottle does nothing for a loud cat, just makes them cry louder out of spraying range. I asked my vet and she said some cats will eventually adjust to their owner's sleep schedules and some never do.

He's 3 now and most of the time, he goes to bed about an hour after me and is gone (but at least quiet) when I wake up. But every once in a while his schedule gets off and he gets all needy. It's been happening on and off since I left him for Thanksgiving. It seems to mostly be when I'm gone alot. He sleeps all day and wants to play all night. I try to make sure I play with him for a few minutes in the morning and then give him lots of attention after work. The more entertained I keep him during my waking hours, the less he demands of my sleep time.

ETA- Oh, and when he was younger, I would go to bed with about 3 of his toys. When he got needy I would play fetch with him for a few minutes and he'd calm down. (yes, my cat fetches, but not as often these days)
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:55 PM   #4
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Aclai4067 - I think our cats are lost siblings! Mine also loves to play fetch! It always confused me when he first started doing it... we thought he was confused about himself and thought he was a puppy.

I'm also glad you mentioned it happened when you were gone... I had left him for 2 and a half weeks when I went home for Christmas break (he was with a good friend who works in a Vet's office, so it went well). After he readjusted back to us it started up. I'll definitely try playing with him more during the day... he has been sleeping a lot and I wasn't sure if I should just let him be or wake him up to play! I have 2 roommates so I think if we all team up we can wear him down by nighttime!

Thank you so much!
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:09 PM   #5
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Hi there. Lifetime shelter volunteer here. Sounds like you have a typical, healthy baby cat who has the normal baby cat habits. Babies, whether they are feline or human require constant attention. Understandably felines are more difficult to raise properly because there is the language barrier. You should definately make sure to provide attention for your growing baby when he needs it, despite how inconvenient it may be for you. Spraying with a bottle at this developmental stage would be traumatic and will most definately lead to even greater behavioral problems such as litter box problems and destructive behavior of household items.

This (and about 100 other issues) is why I always suggest people with busy lives to adopt senior cats who are already set in their habits and do not require constant attention. I myself adopted two senior cats and I live in low-maintenance pet heaven.

If you have not had your cat spayed or neutered yet, doing that now would also be a good idea. Domestic cats are so much more willing to communicate effectively without their reproductive organs intact. In fact, this might be the solution to your problem entirely.

Lastly I will add for anyone else reading this thread that adequate research into owning a pet should always be done BEFORE the pet is brought home. I cannot tell you how many kittens and puppies we get in our shelter because people do not realize that raising an animal is just as difficult if not moreso than raising a human baby. They still need to be taught everything and comforted and instructed on manners and communication. There is no such thing as a low-maintenance, ready-made pet.

Hope this helps.

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Old 01-22-2011, 09:10 PM   #6
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AWWWW ...... My kitty used to do the same thing. It took a while, but he calmed down and got into the routine again. Yeah, it was a rough couple of months, but he caught on after a while.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:31 PM   #7
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Give him a nice long play time and then feed him right before bed. The natural process is: hunt, eat, groom and then sleep. I used this with my kitten and it works. Make sure it's part of a routine. Once he's used to the routine he'll settle down.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:30 PM   #8
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TheLastNoel - Thank you! He is set to be neutered in about a week, right on time for what the shelter I adopted him for had scheduled. We did all the research before and spoke to a bunch of our friends who either work for vets, in shelters, or are studying to become vets! I think my biggest problem with everything was that it seemed really out of the blue that he started having problems... a few weeks ago he was fine and now he isn't. I just wanted to make sure it was a normal cat problem and not a symptom of something bigger. I suppose the year-change (and semester change, with everyone being out at suddenly different times!) is probably the issue, and he'll calm back down in a bit. We pay absurd amounts of attention to him during the day, so that seems the most likely culprit.

I was always really worried about the spray bottle technique with kittens... it always felt to me a bit extreme to try on a kitten. Mine seems to respond to NO so far, so I don't think I need to progress to that.

Thank you everyone for the reassurance and suggestions!
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrizia View Post
Mine seems to respond to NO so far, so I don't think I need to progress to that.
My cat absolutely understands "no" and "get down." I used the spray bottle breifly (and they learn what it is very quickly so just holding it is enough as a prev poster said) but found it impractical as you don't have it handy every time they misbehave. Vocal commands are so much easier.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrizia View Post
Aclai4067 - I think our cats are lost siblings! Mine also loves to play fetch! It always confused me when he first started doing it... we thought he was confused about himself and thought he was a puppy.
Our Fishy cat loves to fetch too!! It was weird to see him do this, but got used to a new way to play with him.
We always tried to wear him out with play when he was a kitten. Feathers on a long cord, attached to a pole are his favorite and so are laser pointers! We can keep him running and playing till he collapsed and slept soundly. The feather toys would be left out and when he woke up, he could entertain himself till the morning.
Does he have toys to play with during the night? He will calm down later when he gets to be a bit older.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:32 PM   #11
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Oh, you poor thing. I know that feeling, sleep deprived and frustrated.

As someone who lives with two playful, young cats- one of which was doing the same thing your kitten is now and an animal rescue volunteer I recommend purchasing a few interactive cat toys and rotating them various nights can help a great deal. Or, get another kitty for your little friend to play with.

We started off with this one, although the ball on our lights up when moved and it can be a little loud, although we sleep with a fan running so it drowns out any noise and we put it in the spare room.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2753802

There are many fun toys out there to choose from. Just make sure you don't leave them out during the day so that at night time it's something new and interesting. Good luck!!!
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:32 AM   #12
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My boy's 6 months old now and a pain in the backside at night too. Solution: stick him in a different room with toys and bedding (and his water & a little dry food too). He keeps quiet all night then starts crying to be let out around 7am. I don't really like locking him up like this but it's preferable to having a lump of fluff trying to smother you at 2am.

Just remember that cats are nocturnal, they're going to be more active late at night/ early morning no matter what you do.
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