|Purred: Mon Aug 20, '07 7:17am PST |
|Cooper's mom -
If he's on dry food, get an automatic feeder and set it to give you food twice a day, at 5 AM for "breakfast" and whenever you want to give Cooper his "dinner". This will divorce your role of food dispenser from you, and once Cooper gets it that a machine is actually in charge of feeding him, he'll stop trying to get you up (though he occasionally might if something happens and the timer does not go off - I do that to mom when I've managed to lock my food out because I played with the lid, and after waiting a while it doesn't pop back up ). If you want, you can start to gradually move breakfast time to a little later in the day, until his feeding schedule is more in line with his sleeping schedule.
If he is on wet food, it will be a bit harder. Somehow down the line, you have given him the idea that you will get up when he wants you to if he pesters you enough, and that idea will be hard to dislodge. You're on the right track if you do ignore him and refuse to feed him early, but be forewarned that even if you do not waver (and you should not waver, as that itself teaches Cooper that all he needs to do is be more obnoxious), the behavior will get worse before it all gets better.
See, when we go to an extinction period, we try harder to use the same stimuli to achieve our goal. Think of it as a little kid who learns a swearword, figures out mommy gets upset by it, and when mom decides to no longer let on how saying the bad word gets her attention, the child starts saying it more often and louder because he is puzzled that mommy is no longer upset by the word, and does not pay attention to him saying it.
Just stick to it, and use a couple of aids like -
- get a noise machine - either something commercially made, or even something simple like a portable fan you turn on in the evening. It should cut down on the cat's noise
- get a noisemaker or other type of deterrent - mom has a can with coins in there that she taped the top of. If I get really out of line, she uses that to tell me to stop. Since the noise scares me, it usually gets me to stop pestering her (and if I am really bad in the morning, she starts sleeping with it ). Something else that worked early on was turning on a handvacuum. Vacuum noises are really scary to most of us cats...
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