See My Cat From Hell for tips on fixing bad behavior. The hardest to ignore is a meowing cat when you are trying to sleep. We are so lucky that Symon does not bother us at night much (see below). Because our previous cats did and I nearly killed them.
Here is your faulty logic:
Cat is making noise.
If I feed the cat, then the cat will shut up.
**DON’T DO IT!!!**
If you feed the cat, then the cat learns that making noise results in the reward of food.
We made this horrible mistake with the old cats. Griffin would pull books off my bookshelf, then dig on the book to make noise. When I moved to Memphis, I thought I outsmarted him. I had hardly anything in my bedroom – bed, lamp, clock, clothing, nothing else. I couldn’t afford furniture so there was no dresser or bookshelf to knock things off of. And it was blissfully quiet for about a year. But Griffin’s little Cat Brain was thinking. And then it occurred to him: Wait a minute! I MAKE NOISE! Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow.
Seriously. When it’s 4:00 am and you haven’t slept well, that cat’s life is in danger.
When Mooshie was older, and the only cat, she would poke Steve in the eye with a paw.
Awhile after Mooshie died, a friend sent me this Halloween e-card with a witch stirring a cauldron, dropping things into it, and her black cat walked by, so she picked up the cat and dropped it into the cauldron. I emailed my friend back with, “Awww, that was mean!” She replied, “You obviously haven’t had a cat wake you up at 4 am in a long time.”
Symon has never bothered us at night. Sometimes he will dig at the bed with his claws if it’s close to alarm time or if I’m sleeping too late on a weekend. He sleeps by my feet a few nights a week, especially when it’s really cold. If I wake up while he’s on the bed, he may come to snuggle, either settling on my stomach or if I turn on my side he’ll snuggle up beside me. We began to see a pattern of night-time snuggling coinciding with his dry food dish being low. Now that it's gotten colder, I think when he snuggles he's complaining that it's cold. But I love nighttime snuggles.
RESPECT THE CAT
For any cat, the best thing you can do for them is to respect them and let them tell you what they want and what they need. If you’re willing to listen, you can learn to speak Cat and make sure your furry friend is happy, healthy and content.
I hope these tips and stories have been helpful.
We are so much happier since getting Symon. We love having him around.
Part I is here