bags under my eyes

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!

mo mo mo

Purred: Fri Jul 1, '11 1:35pm PST 
Hi guys!

My mo mo mo is keeping me awake all night, and I could use your help figuring out what to do. The problem has several facets to it, so please forgive me if I do not separate each one into its own post, as I think they all contribute.

Mo mo came to me at less than 2 months old from a pound - her litter had been found weak and starving with no queen. I got on a waitlist to adopt after they were to be nursed back to health and then weaned. However, I think they sped up this process too fast, as she was still very infant-like when I got her and would suck on everything in sight, though she was totally litter box trained.

She found my ears are a nice substitute for teets and nurses on them like I am her mommy. ALL NIGHT LONG. I don't mind so much, even though my ears are sore and have permanent red spots at the favorite locations.
The problem is I live in one room, so there is no escape or rest for my ears. I do have a door between living space and kitchen area. I tried isolating her there at night, with her pet carrier and favorite pillow, but she spent THE ENTIRE NIGHT throwing herself at the door screaming, crying, and scratching at the door. She's got huge resolve...

I tried re-introducing a bottle, but she CHEWED THE NIPPLE OFF. I made her a catsifier-like pillow with teets, which worked for a minute, and then she ran screaming back for my ears. I had to leave her with a baby-sitter for 3 days, and the baby-sitter had no problem with being nursed on and I thought I was free, but then she rediscovered my earlobes and I am her captive all night again.

The other problem is she pees on my bed. My bed is a futon on the floor. Actually, we'll go all night without a problem, but I wake up to that smell and find that my blanket is wet around my legs. I've tried every suggestion given by all the people on the cat boards: cat box by the bed, enzyme soak of everything, then washed all the bedding multiple times with vinegar. It doesn't matter, if there's a sheet or comforter or blanket re-introduced, she'll pee on it. I even threw away my futon. So then I was just forced to sleep on the floor, but the behavior would continue with no mattress and just a comforter. I even tried switching out different textured bedding, and it doesn't matter - I've cycled through it all. Deodorizers, vinegar smell, nothing works. The only thing that's worked is sleeping on the love-seat sized vinyl couch I have, which is too small so I again don't sleep well.

I also took her to the vet who said she didn't have a UTI.

She's also a hand-biter, purring the entire time. I scream and pull away so she knows she's hurting me, or I put her down and ignore her, but also to no avail. I thought spending time with other kittens at the cat sitter would help put an end to this, but I think it's even worse now. The times she purrs are when she's biting or nursing. And the peeing seems to only be after a night of gnawing on my ears as she wakes up in the morning. I have a sneaking suspicion she pees on the bed because she loves me so much, which is great and all, but I'm really cold and uncomfortable without something soft to sleep on and without a sheet or blanket...

Anyway, I'm at my wits end, exhausted. She's cuter than the average kitten, a bundle of playful energy, very healthy, and affectionate. But she loves me TOO MUCH. What can I do to alter her behavior?


Tons of toes!
Purred: Mon Jul 4, '11 7:24pm PST 
Unfortunately that's all very normal behavior for orphaned kittens that are raised without littermates or their mother. She's substituting you for a playmate! It's always best , when you get a kitten, to have a second kitten to be its playmate to prevent them from thinking you're another kitty. for the litter thing, have you tried Cat Attract litter? that can be a big help.
Feliway diffusers can also be helpful for stressed out kitties but it won't solve a kitten's normal behavior.

mo mo mo

Purred: Wed Jul 13, '11 6:07pm PST 
I'm in S. Korea and don't know if I can find cat attract litter. She DOES use the litter box fine - just not in the morning. It is my new alarm clock ring. It's only in the mornings, only on sleeping areas - I think it's passive aggressive anger for not getting up to play with her at 3 a.m....

I have also ordered, at great expense, the feliway stuff and hope it arrives in the mail soon, but it may take a week.

I'd take on another kitten, but I'm due to leave the country in six months and didn't want/couldn't afford to cargo two cats, but can afford to take one as a carry-on. I'm going to go see if I can foster in the mean-time...or will that just train the foster cat to pick up the same bad behaviors?