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My cat is being obnoxious

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Rigby

1292109
 
 
Purred: Wed Apr 17, '13 7:26am PST 
Profile-
Rigby
~2yrs
Male
Neutered
FIV+ asymptomatic
2BR/1BA 2nd floor apartment w/ balcony. (He doesn't have access to the balcony and only partial access to the second bedroom.)

Crimes-
MEOWING!
Restlessness
Escaping
He paces the apartment yowling/meowing at the top of his lungs.
He managed to push out the screen in the screen door.
What did he do when he got out?
Pace around YOWLING even louder (good to know it could be worse, I guess)

Motives-
Outdoor Cats, he sees them but can't get them.
When he does get them- doesn't really know what to do.
He's just so frustrated.

What I've Tried-
At first I tried taking him for walks, but quickly realized it would make him more possessive of the area outside of his control. I will probably restart them once the meowing is under control though- because he did have fun.

The Current Plan-
Lockdown.
All blinds closed, curtain in front of the screen door closed.
Windows and doors closed.
Febreeze around the perimeter (should buy something specifically for animal scents- any reccomendations?).
When I'm home and he meows too loudly/too long- locked in the bathroom for five minutes or longer if he's still meowing. Don't let him out while noisy. Repeat as neccesary.
When I'm gone confined to my room. Oddly enough he doesn't meow at the back window.
Increase playtime sessions intensity. I bought a new attachment for his DaBird and this toy. He gets two sessions of making him play till he pants. Usually about 20 minutes first go and 10-15 mins second go.

If this doesn't work I'm considering catching the outdoor cat (there's one in particular he seems to want) and taking him to the SPCA. I don't know who the cat belongs to- if anyone at all. So I can't talk to a neighbor about keeping their cat inside more.

I hate locking him up. I hate punishing him for being a cat. But he's so bad even my neighbors have mentioned it. And honestly he doesn't seem happy like this. I'm worried about him stressing himself sick. Oh, one last thing! This JUST started like a month ago. Right around daylights savings time. He wasn't meowing (obnoxiously) during winter.

Does anyone have anything else I should add to my game plan? Any tips?
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Iba

World's Best- Kitten- Socializer
 
 
Purred: Wed Apr 17, '13 12:21pm PST 
A few thoughts:

Regarding outside cats--check and see if there is a TNR (trap-neuter-return) program in your area. Most reasonably sized cities have one. They will either put a trap out or give you a trap to put out. Once the outdoor cat is trapped, he will be neutered, then returned to the area. Once he's neutered, he won't be marking territory and his scent won't be driving your cat nuts.

Regarding kitty jail/timeout--Locking your cat in the bedroom is probably only going to exacerbate the problem. His frustration will grow and he won't be able to expend much energy. I understand the impulse, but it may not be your best option.

Regarding playtime--Increasing his intense periods of play is a good idea. Make sure you play with him at night, about an hour before bed. Get him nice and tired, then give him food (maybe a special treat of canned cat food, etc). He will eat, groom, and sleep, hopefully through the night.

Other suggestions--Feliway diffusers can create a sense of calm for cats. Something to look into. Does your cat like to jump, climb, etc? Maybe a cat tree or two would be a good investment. He would be able to explore and climb and otherwise be active.

Hope some of this helps.
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Delyte, Dark- Angel, at- Bridge

Me and my- person, together- against all
 
 
Purred: Thu Apr 18, '13 7:18pm PST 
This is Delyte. You got some good advice but here is one slightly less common cause. Are you sure he is completely neutered? Some male cats have undescended testicles which get missed in the usual procedure, and if the cat is young and everything is tiny, then it would be very hard for the vet to tell. Or alternatively is there some other source of testosterone in his body? Because he sure sounds like a tomcat wanting to prowl and it is spring.

We don't think the complete lockdown will work either, but no idea what else to do except Feliway or other calming things.

Good luck! cat on moon
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