Almost 1 year old won't stop whining

BeccaT

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Nov 9, 2021
Messages
100
Purraise
100
So our youngest cat who is almost 1 year old, Annie, has started to incessantly cry for our attention and it only started maybe 1-2 weeks ago. I mentioned her age because I'm wondering if it's an age thing, but she's never been this bad before, even when she was younger. She'd still cry a little for our attention but it was never this persistent and she'd usually be satisfied after some play time.

She'll sit and cry at us no matter what we're doing. It's breaking my heart to hear her cry like this but we end up having several hour long or so play sessions multiple times a day until she's panting, then she'll take a break for 5-10 minutes, or sometimes take an hour or so long nap and then go back to crying when we sit back down to do our own thing or go back to work.

She has plenty of toys to play with alone, but isn't interested in them that much. We have another cat that we adopted for her benefit so she wouldn't be alone, but they aren't the closest of friends yet and don't like to play with each other as much as they enjoy us playing with them. She usually stops after several minutes of crying but it still pains me to hear her like this, but it seems no amount of play is enough for her. She's not much of an affectionate cat either so it's not like she'd be happy with some pets or cuddles. I do believe it's to do with wanting to play as she does a different kind of "happy squeak" whenever we get the wand toy out and start to play with her, but this isn't something we can do all day.

I don't believe there's anything wrong with her illness wise, it doesn't seem like she's in pain (even though I know cats are good at hiding it), she's using the bathroom just fine and eating and drinking fine. Because of this, my husband doesn't think there's a reason to take her to the vet so that's out of the question right now. We don't think it's food related either as she'll still continue to whine/cry after being fed. She does follow us around more than usual though and is overall just way more vocal than she used to be. We love how talkative she is now but I'm just worried there's something more to it and wanted to express my concern.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

BeccaT

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Nov 9, 2021
Messages
100
Purraise
100
Is she spayed?
She is, she was spayed when we adopted her at about 3 months which we were told was very early for her.
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
4,871
Purraise
5,723
To some extent, the better of a cat parent you are, the more they want. Give a cat an inch, it wants a mile. Your suffering now because you've done such a good job giving the cat love, affection and attention.

Now though, you need to make sure you don't respond to the whining. In theory, that should help. Eventually.

I'm sure others will recommend cat environment enrichment stuff, and that stuff certainly can't hurt and might help.

Those are really the only two strategies here afaik, and they can go together.
 
  • Purraise
Reactions: D_H
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

BeccaT

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Nov 9, 2021
Messages
100
Purraise
100
To some extent, the better of a cat parent you are, the more they want. Give a cat an inch, it wants a mile. Your suffering now because you've done such a good job giving the cat love, affection and attention.

Now though, you need to make sure you don't respond to the whining. In theory, that should help. Eventually.

I'm sure others will recommend cat environment enrichment stuff, and that stuff certainly can't hurt and might help.

Those are really the only two strategies here afaik, and they can go together.
Yeah, we did kind of figure out that when the whining first started and we began playing with her, the whining got worse/more persistent because she knew we'd play with her when she made noises at us.

We try our best to ignore it when we can't play with her or when we've just played with her, but she usually gets louder and more persistent. We've also sometimes had to shut her out of our room when we're really busy but she just won't stop, but I feel so guilty.

I'm very open to adding more enrichment for her, it's just the matter of what and affordability. They already have an entire room filled with toys, tunnels, a cat tower and cardboard boxes!
 

susanm9006

Resident Cat Willow
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
10,802
Purraise
23,568
Location
Minnesota
I suspect she is 1) a naturally vocal cat and 2) a smart cat that has figured out that yelling gets attention. The best thing you can do other than not responding when she screams is to get on some kind of schedule for meals, treats, playtime etc so that she knows what to expect and when. Most cats love routine and find it calming. Lastly she needs playtime toys that don’t involve humans. A trackball for example can keep a cat entertained or some kind of battery operated chase toy. Individual small toys like mice, balls, cat springs, crinkle balls might also be something she loves.

If you want to try something novel with her, no guarantee it will work but there is a product called Fluent Pet where you can teach a cat to hit a button that tells you what they want like “play” or “food”. There are some YouTube videos (Like BilliSpeaks) of cats using them and it’s quite amazing. The initial cost of getting started is about $20 and if one of my cats was really a communicator I would try it.
 
Last edited:
  • Purraise
Reactions: D_H

epona

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
4,635
Purraise
848
Location
London, England
I suspect she is 1) a naturally vocal cat and 2) a smart cat that has figured out that yelling gets attention. The best thing you can do other than not responding when she screams is to get on some kind of schedule for meals, treats, playtime etc so that she knows what to expect and when. Most cats love routine and find it calming. Lastly she needs playtime toys that don’t involve humans. A trackball for example can keep a cat entertained or some kind of battery operated chase toy. Individual small toys like mice, balls, cat springs, crinkle balls might also be something she loves.

If you want to try something novel with her, no guarantee it will work but there is a product called Fluent Pet where you can teach a cat to hit a button that tells you what they want like “play” or “food”. There are some YouTube videos (Like BilliSpeaks) of cats using them and it’s quite amazing. The initial cost of getting started is like $20 and if one of my cats was really a communicator I would try it.
That product sounds interesting!

My Jakey is OSH so very vocal (as was my Sonic, also OSH) - I can/could tell what they wanted by the tone and length of their vocalisations - Jakey certainly has a very particular tone for "I have run out of something that I need and it is urgent that you rectify this" (ie a water or food bowl is empty) which is quite different from his "I want to have a cuddle" noise.
 

Hellenww

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
852
Purraise
1,199
Location
South Jersey, USA
You could make a specific noise when you want to start a play session and ignore her screams at other times.

Teach her to fetch. Our Yoshi was in perpetual movement for his first 8 yrs. I kept a bunch of toys in every room to throw for him.

How about clicker training? Would she use a cat wheel?
 

epona

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
4,635
Purraise
848
Location
London, England
My Sonic loved playing fetch but not all cats take to it or will find it easy to learn what to do.

Sonic was an utter fiend for fetch, he would bring me all sorts of things to throw for him and tap my foot to get my attention. Then I would pick the item up (he liked certain cat toys but scrunched up bits of paper were fine - sometimes I would look down when he tapped my foot and what he had brought me to throw for him was a tiny till receipt - not very aerodynamic!)

He could play fetch for hours. I spent a few evenings utterly exhausted after throwing things for him for hours.

I miss him so much xx
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
4,871
Purraise
5,723
talk to her and if space allows give her a chair or stool in arms reach next to you so you can pet her etc as you do your work
That sometimes works with my girl cat. She starts whining for attention when the boy cat is sleeping or in the catio (she is too scared to go).

Its sweet and kinda wierd, they don't play *that* much, but when he is sleeping or out in the catio, she is often whining!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

BeccaT

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Nov 9, 2021
Messages
100
Purraise
100
Thank you everyone for the advice! A schedule for play is probably a good idea, they're already on a schedule for their food and when I clean their litter boxes etc. The problem as well is that our other cat April refuses to let Annie play with the wand toy when she's around, we basically have to separate them and have two separate play times for them to get an even amount of exercise and play, but this can be difficult because sometimes one will whine at the door or the other will try to bring the toy to the door where they know the other is.

I've realised that my Annie is actually very smart, at least compared to her sister. I'd love to train her to fetch but I'm not sure where to start, and the button training thing sounds like something I think she'd be very good at so I'll definitely look into that.
 

susanm9006

Resident Cat Willow
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
10,802
Purraise
23,568
Location
Minnesota
Here is a quick overview of teaching a cat to fetch.

First find the right fetch toy. it needs to be something the cat loves, it needs to have enough weight on it to make a good toss and needs to be small enough for them to carry it easily in their mouth. Little mice, cat springs, heavier weight puff balls all work.

Wait until the cat is playing with the toy, take it away from them and toss it. Wait a minute to see if the cat goes to it and then go pick It up and return to the spot where you tossed it from. Continue to repeat this until the cat starts to wait for you to toss it so they can go and play with it.

Then you stay in your spot and wait to see if they will bring it a little closer or if they just play with it. In either case you go get it and repeat the toss. At this point some cats will figure out the game and will start bringing the toy to you or close to you And wait for the toss. I have had cats get the game in a few tosses. Others have taken weeks and weeks of me doing the fetching before they caught on how the game is supposed to work. Once they figure it out though they will bring you their toy when they want to play. I think that a cat being able to tell you very clearly “ I want you to play with me right now” is a confidence builder for them.
 
Top