The crying won\'t STOP!

Rusti SavageRusti Savage Long BeachMember Posts: 806
edited 20 June, 2010 in Behavior & Training
Attila's mom here - I have been keeping Attila as an indoor cat since we moved into our new house at the end of May. I knew there would be some crying about it, but it isn't stopping. He's not eating his food much anymore, he won't play with toys, he just paces and cries all night and in the early morning. I personally cannot handle bad sleep, and it breaks my heart because I used to have night terrors until I got Attila! He was my comfort and I could sleep all night without waking up, and he would mash up against me the whole time. Since his accident he has been the opposite. He can't sleep at night anymore and this yowling is keeping SO and I from sleeping well. Plus he's just so miserable! We live in a pretty quiet neighborhood off the main road, but I just get so worried. I don't know. It's really eating him alive having to be an inside-only cat, and out harnessed outings are not satisfying enough. I don't know what to do.

Comments

  • Linda AbramsLinda Abrams Joanna, SC 29351Member Posts: 555 ✭✭
    edited 17 June, 2010
    Could you build an outside enclosure out of 2x4s and chicken wire, for instance, for a deck or porch or driveway. Put a litter pan, a house in case it rains, food, water and something to climb on in it and make sure the door locks work and can't be opened by kitty paws. Mom's been thinking about doing that for us but right now the weather is so hot that she isn't thinking about letting us out.
  • Stephanie JohnsonStephanie Johnson Member Posts: 556
    edited 17 June, 2010
    I second the idea of an outdoor enclosure! Yay, fun! ;c; Do you happen to already have a porch that could be screened in? Oh just think of all the exciting things that could go in it - a cat tree, house, scratching post, toys, oh my! ~a~ How is he doing with the litter box inside?
  • Valerie McMullenValerie McMullen PhoenixMember Posts: 35,203 ✭✭✭
    edited 17 June, 2010
    I think an outdoor enclosure would be a great idea. I do see where you can buy them already made but I have no idea how much they cost. If you had one you could let Attila outside for longer periods of time and not worry about getting away. I would also consider putting bird feeders up by windows and a perch for viewing. That might keep him entertained. Maybe those Feliway plugins might help ease his anxiety. I've never used one but I see many parents have good luck with helping to calm their kitties down. Please keep us updated and let us know how things are going. Good luck! Hugs and purrs, Simon
  • Dawn HarmanDawn Harman SpeedwellMember Posts: 1,079
    edited 18 June, 2010
    I see that you live in California, I would think coyotes would be more of a problem there. My Sister\'s cat was killed by one when she lived there. We had that problem here in Fla. where we live. I had to keep all my cats inside for 3-4 months. They all did the same things the whole time. They also ripped up the blinds/shades and molding around the windows, trying to get out. After the trappers removed the coyotes, I let them back out. I was finely able to sleep. But I do love the idea of building a porch or some other enclosed place for him to enjoy the outdoors with relative safety, Good luck and please let us all know what you decide to do.
  • Renee RyzRenee Ryz Member Posts: 2,164
    edited 18 June, 2010
    The screened porch is a life saver. Tigger was feral (we think) when we found him, and he def likes to be OUT. We have a screened porch attached to our house, and he will sit out there for hours at a time. He does go on the harness too, but he goes insane if he cannot go out. I know it is kind of a big undertaking, but I really think that might be the answer for you. I know you have had so much happen, and now you finally got him home. I'm sure something simple could be built reasonably. Good luck.
  • BambergcatBambergcat Member Posts: 838 ✭✭✭
    edited 18 June, 2010
    Natasha was probably an outside cat until the people at the pound found her. She has not wanted to go outside since I got her at about 8 months old. She likes her cat tree and watches the birds from inside now. She is over fifteen. I did watch her that first year. Does he like some catnip or some cat de-stress spray? Eventually, he will stop crying. He has stopped eating that could be a problem. I would cook his favorite foods whatever they are. Get some toys for the inside. Do you have two cats or just the one? He may be bored. He is safer inside. We had a warning recently that somone was mistreating pets that are outside. You are doing well by keeping him inside. My neighbor's cat was hit by a car about one year ago. Call the vet he stops eating completely. There may be something else going on...
  • Rusti SavageRusti Savage Long BeachMember Posts: 806
    edited 18 June, 2010
    The thing about building an outdoor enclosure is that during the day Attila sleeps. It's typically between 9pm and 5am that he is most rambunctious and demanding and scratching at the windows...the hours when I am trying to sleep! Bird feeders is on my list anyway, 'cause I like watching them almost more than the cats and dogs do, but that would encourage crying for sure. Those plug-ins kinda weird me out, so I'm not sure if I'll use them. Oh and they weird my big dog out! In our old apartment he would bury plug-ins with my clothes. So those probably wouldn't work, but thank you! We don't have coyotes in this area, but we do have pumas, bears, and a freakish amount of misbehaved and unrestrained dogs. It was a puma that got Attila in the first place, and even though where we live now is far enough off the woods that a big cat wouldn't come into my yard, I'm worried about dogs and cars. Attila isn't one to leave the yard, but I just worry since he's only about 80%... I was looking into getting an outside kennel run for my dogs...maybe it can double as something for Attila too. Again, my main problem is at night. You know, he is an only cat now. I talked to my mom and she said Attila's brother, Genghis, is still walking around crying too. I didn't think about Attila being lonely because of how ruthless he is with other cats/animals, but I bet he misses his brother! Although before Attila moved back with me mom had been telling me about how he was pinning down his brother and holding him until he screamed, definitely not in a playful manner. Well, I'm going to pick up a cat tree and a bird feeder for sure. Maybe watching birds all day will make him a little sleepier at night! As for the eating, I caught Tyson (my big dog) eating Attila's food (which explains his ugly poops lately), and I know Attila doesn't like eating out of a dish another animal is using. Also, I got a bag of the new EVO fish flavor, and then switched back to the turkey and chicken. He REALLY liked the fish, and perhaps is boycotting the dog-drooly chicken and turkey. I'm going to fix that today, but if he continues to not eat I'll be at the vet lickity-split! Attila does love to eat!! I really want Attila to get used to being indoors, because we are moving to Long Beach in August, and I ABSOLUTELY don't want him outdoors in the city. This crying is just so tedious! Thank you everybody for the suggestions :) I always appreciate it! And Isabelle, he's doing great with the litterbox! He adjusted to it much easier than I expected.
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 18 June, 2010
    I wonder if you could try fostering with possibility to adopt a second (grown, and lifelong indoor!) kitty to see what would happen; maybe it ould keep his attention enough to stop him worrying about going out. . If it didn't go well after doing all the reccommended introduction methods, he/she could go back. (I know, that's awful...) When I got here, I wasn't crazy about Rocky who was already here, and we never hung out together a whole lot, but after he died I got very clingy and had to be actually TOUCHING Meowma all the time. When she found out from a guest that I was sitting at the door squalling for half an hour anytime she left the house, she decided I needed another kitty around and got Ringo. Now, I'm not super in love with him either, but he gives me something to keep an eye on. And while I still love Meowma more than anything and am always near her unless she sneaks away while I'm asleep, I'm not so clingy as to be a major pain in the rear like I had been, and no more crying when she leaves, so I guess it's a good thing. I know it sounds nutty when Atilla is being a problem, but it might be worth a try. It could even make him want to eat more (competition!)
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 19 June, 2010
    Honestly between the puma attack, the moving you've done and his loss of a companion (note: cats think of even a cat they bully as a companion), I would think that Attila is a little depressed. I would definitely try the Feliway plug-ins. First of all, they won't smell like regular plug-ins, their scent is only supposed to be calming to cats, so your dogs shouldn't feel compelled to mess with them much. Secondly, Feliway does wonders in calming cats. Third and last, your only other option if he is indeed depressed is to put him on antidepressants. That would require daily pilling. I don't know about you, but I'd do anything to avoid having to pill either of my cats. Have you talked to his vet specifically about the crying? While it's a good guess that he's just depressed over his loss of independence, there might also be a medical problem that he's trying to alert you to.
  • Rusti SavageRusti Savage Long BeachMember Posts: 806
    edited 19 June, 2010
    UPDATE: The past two nights Attila has made it through the night without crying, but as soon as 5am rolls around he's at it hard. I guess I don't mind it so much for me, since I'm getting up about then anyway, but I am super concerned about his loneliness. The second I am actually touching him he is quiet and loving, but then wants to be rough and playful. I don't mind that so much except that I am obviously not able to satisfy his needs, so I really do think he is lonely. BooBoo, since we are moving again in the fall I hadn't considered adopting or fostering, but I will have through July to perhaps foster? Would that be too short of a time? I've never fostered before...just rescued, rehabbed, and re-homed! But I know an organization locally that currently needs foster homes. After moving I'm going to the shelter to rescue a cat on death row first thing, but until then... Gracie, I will look into those plug-ins. Perhaps they have them at my local pet store. Or do they have them at Petco? We have one of those here too.
  • Linda AbramsLinda Abrams Joanna, SC 29351Member Posts: 555 ✭✭
    edited 19 June, 2010
    If you plan to use the dog run for the cats, be very careful. Mom was thinking the same thing but the lady at the pet shop warned her that because the doors have open spaces at the corners, I could get out very easily. Also, you'll probably need to put a top on it. The ready made enclosures like Suncatcher are horribly expensive. There fore we'll use the screen porch when the weather moderates and then maybe she'll be able to build an encloure for the back yard too.
  • Eva viezelEva viezel MontrealMember Posts: 3,008
    edited 19 June, 2010
    The best prices that I have found for Feliway plug-ins diffuser is eBay. And yes, they do make a difference. Good luck!
  • Kat WhickerKat Whicker ToledoMember Posts: 1,695
    edited 20 June, 2010
    the best way to find a kitty is to check out petfinder.com mommys rescues are on there. i advocate supporting a smaller rescue. expect to pay anywhere from 25-100 dollars for a cat, but be sure it has shots and is fixed. good luck.
  • Rusti SavageRusti Savage Long BeachMember Posts: 806
    edited 20 June, 2010
    I called a local rescue group who had just put up ads about needing foster homes. I'm going to go apply today!! I think it would be a good idea. UPDATE: Attila didn't cry at all tonight....I bought him a new toy that he is absolutely in love with! It hangs in the doorway on a little bungee and he has been at it for hours. He did meow a lot this morning, but not crying. More like, "Mom, are you awake? Hey, pet me maybe?" There was still some food in his bowl when I got up, but he ate most of it (I switched back to the fish flavor) and he was eating the dog's new wet food so I'm not worried about him being hungry. I wonder why he likes the dog's food though and hates all cat wet foods....
  • Shelley CoxShelley Cox CarbondaleMember Posts: 2,752
    edited 20 June, 2010
    This is Delyte. Did anyone see the big article on outdoor cat enclosures in the NY Times Home section on Thursday [6/17]? Interviews with lots of people with very ambitious outdoor areas and runs for their cats. Some practical help, but at a very high level of expense, as typical for NYT. Our person has wanted to get or build something like that for us. She used to let me outside with her and we would sit on the deck together. Then one night a thunderstorm and a stray dog frightened me, and I spent 6 days in the wild outside. So now I am not allowed outside. :( She has been thinking of putting me outside in the dog cage we have. It's not very big but I can sit and watch the birds and things around twilight. I am pretty old and not very active anyway. She would like something bigger and stronger so that the Grays could go out. Remember if you do build an outdoor enclosure, you have to keep the cat in and also keep other animals that want to harm your cat out. They sell net enclosures for cats in the cat catalogs, but if you have dogs/coyotes/pumas/bears, they could tear them open easily. Even if your cat couldn't, and these Grays have torn holes in the floor to get outside! Plus there is the problem if you live somewhere with mosquitos and heartworm, as you would have to protect your cat from that with medicine, and also the tick problem. There are lots of interesting toys being sold online, if he likes those. Would he watch TV with one of those cat videos? If you didn't live so far away, I would be glad to lend you one of our cats until you move! Maybe there is someone else online who has too many cats and would lend you a companion for Attila? Purrs to you from all of us!
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