Cat will not let me sleep?

dogperson2cats

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The cat has three food/water dishes in the house, a litter box, several beds/sleep spots, gets all the love and attention she ever needs, lots of toys/stimulating things PLUS she can go outside whenever she likes for as long as she likes. She also spends most her time in my bed, tucked in and sleeping. Yes she is spoiled.

However, all night most every night, she is screaming and clawing at my door to get in and out at all hours. She wants nothing; turning her nose up to all the food (both wet and kibble), water, doesn't want attention; getting vicious when attempted. Basically, I have to chase her around the house until I corner her so I can put her outside.

But, when I do that, it bugs my family and they are now threatening to have her put down because 'clearly I don't want her anymore'. (Meanwhile, when I am not around, they keep her outside most all the time because they cannot handle her.)

I once stayed awake for about 3 days solid (insomnia and napping is not allowed in my family unless you work 40-60 hours a week) and during that time, she did not meow or claw or anything. She was totally content to just be quiet and chill. I also tried sleeping earlier; figuring if I am gonna be up all night with her, maybe I could get a couple hours before she started? Nope. As soon as I got in bed, she started up. I also tried napping when home alone; both with my light on and off, door open and closed; and in all cases, it made no difference; she's start yowling and screaming at me until I get up.

Why is this? Is there a need not being met? Does she have some kind of issue that I am not seeing?
 
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dogperson2cats

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I lost the closed door battle a long time ago!!
Even if I am home alone with everything locked and covered, I cannot keep my door open. Even in summer or I have massive anxiety and mood swings.
 

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Yah.. see every single time you get up, she wins. She wants attention, that is what it is. She gets lonely when you are asleep so probably has some separation anxiety. Have you tried feliway to help? Just putting her outside isn't going to help. It sounds like you are stressed out, your family isnt helping and your cat is picking up on your anxiety.
 

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I am all for going all out for my cat, but the truth is you need you sleep. You are letting her run the house ( and you ragged) and that is not a good habit for her to get into. Is there a bathroom that you could put her into?- make up a nice bed for her with a bowl of food and water.

You are not doing her, or yourself, any favors by allowing yourself to be sleep deprived.
 
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dogperson2cats

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I am all for going all out for my cat, but the truth is you need you sleep. You are letting her run the house ( and you ragged) and that is not a good habit for her to get into. Is there a bathroom that you could put her into?- make up a nice bed for her with a bowl of food and water.

You are not doing her, or yourself, any favors by allowing yourself to be sleep deprived.

Nope. She destroys everything and learned the bathtub amplifies her screams. She is with me almost 24/7 and most nights sleeps on the bed (pillows and blankets) with me. If she wants out, she goes out and then comes right back in and resumes sleeping. But also will attack me if I try to love her during her screaming fits. She wants *nothing*. All her dishes are full, her beds and toys are available, she doesn't want to always be in my room/with me.

She. Just. Keeps. Screaming.
 
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dogperson2cats

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Yah.. see every single time you get up, she wins. She wants attention, that is what it is. She gets lonely when you are asleep so probably has some separation anxiety. Have you tried feliway to help? Just putting her outside isn't going to help. It sounds like you are stressed out, your family isnt helping and your cat is picking up on your anxiety.

How is she lonely? She is with me whenever she wants and will sleep with my mom and brother too. I get up, open my door to see if it;s in here she wants. Nope. She starts running around the house screaming/knocking everything over and when I put her out? She goes to my dads window and screams till he gets up and brings her in.

I went THREE solid days with no sleep. Nothing else changed.Quiet. The moment I close my eyes, even if she is right next to me sleeping, she starts screaming.

I don't even like cats. But mom keeps getting them, getting sick of them when they aren't kittens anymore or show a fondness for anybody else, and then dumps them on me. This one? This one is...different. Adores me and honestly, if she was a dog, she'd be perfect. She's almost 8.
 
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dogperson2cats

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Do you or other in the house play with the cat? Maybe she's bored and is looking for attention. Some people may suggest getting a second cat.

Some TCS articles that may help:

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Is the cat spayed?
She has all the toys, attention and a brother. She wants none of it.

Yes she's spayed; it made everything 10X worse.
 

jefferd18

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Nope. She destroys everything and learned the bathtub amplifies her screams. She is with me almost 24/7 and most nights sleeps on the bed (pillows and blankets) with me. If she wants out, she goes out and then comes right back in and resumes sleeping. But also will attack me if I try to love her during her screaming fits. She wants *nothing*. All her dishes are full, her beds and toys are available, she doesn't want to always be in my room/with me.

She. Just. Keeps. Screaming.


You don't have an extra room? You are going to show her some tough love for a few days and lock her out of your bedroom. or resign to the fact that you will have to sleep with your door open. As far as your parents wanting to put her down- no vet will put down a healthy animal.
 
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dogperson2cats

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You don't have an extra room? You are going to show her some tough love for a few days and lock her out of your bedroom. or resign to the fact that you will have to sleep with your door open. As far as your parents wanting to put her down- no vet will put down a healthy animal.

Uhm the vet here puts down healthy animals without even blinking. As long as he gets the $200 or so, he doesn't care. He'll even do pregnant animals if you pay him extra. (Lots of shady breeders here.)

And no. No extra rooms. This house is tiny and if I ignore her, my folks bang on my door and scream at me until I 'shut the f****** cat up before they kill her'. I refuse to sleep with my door open. I literally cannot function. I could live in the middle of nowhere and alone and my bedroom door would still have to be shut and locked. (And all doors and windows covered and locked as well.)

I actually try to ignore her when I know all her food and water are good, the litter is accessible, and I give her a chance to come in with me. After that, if she continues and I double check to make extra sure nothing is needed, I put her out. (If weather is bad, I force her to stay in the room with me for as long as I can but eventually I fall asleep and she starts screaming at me again.) She only screams like this when I am asleep/resting. She can literally be asleep next to me. Out solid. Snoring and drooling. The second my eyes close, she's awake and screaming.

Really, if I could afford the 2K a month (pet deposit is hella expensive plus rent) to move to the city already, I would. Cause then I could lock her in the bathroom and put headphones in. (Cause I'd be alone.)
 

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As I have said no ethical vet would put down a healthy cat because of a behavioral problem. It doesn't sound like you, or your family, are very well versed when it comes to cat ownership so maybe you could read those articles that LTS3 was nice enough to send you. You could also consult an animal behaviorist.
 

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One thing that helped me with mine is setting up a schedule. Pick two to three times a day where she will be fed and two times out if the three (if you pick three) play with her for 10-15 minutes before you feed her. NO free feeding.
The biggest meal you should be at night before you go to bed, and you can leave that one out for her until morning. You don't have to feed her a whole lot the other times either.

Something about the play and then immediate feeding afterwards simulates a hunting sequence, which usually calms cats right down. They hunt/play, "catch the food", eat, groom, sleep.

It sort of works with my girl. I also leave the blinds up.in my room (curtains drawn, she wiggles behind them) and she spends a portion of the night completely ignoring me and staring out the window.

You could try this, Jackson galaxy says it works and I'm living proof, but be warned:
Nine times out of ten you'll be greeted with an extinction burst which is where the behavior gets a lot worse before it abruptly stops. Unfortunately it's a pretty common thing.

If you want to try it I recommend getting some earplugs and distributing them to your family with an explanation, how you want this to get better. Even if they are entirely unreasonable, hopefully a plan being enacted would calm them down. Also you want some feliway or a calming collar of some sort. You might even try catnip in her water (ingested and not inhaled has a calming affect vs the stimulating-inhale affect). I didn't go that far with mine but hey. Feliway did help and the regular play times give her something to look forward to.

Good luck, I know it's hard.
 
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dogperson2cats

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As I have said no ethical vet would put down a healthy cat because of a behavioral problem. It doesn't sound like you, or your family, are very well versed when it comes to cat ownership so maybe you could read those articles that LTS3 was nice enough to send you. You could also consult an animal behaviorist.
Would you believe that my mom grew up fostering/raising cats? Everything from bottle babies to a senior cat in hospice. She dragged me into it and all that did was make me go "Yep. I like dogs." (Mid 20's and except for the three months following moving to this house, there has always been at least two cats in this house.) I don't think twice about saving a cat and honestly, the furry asshole mine is for keeping me awake, she's the reason I didn't "end it" years ago. She's the only 'problem child' we've ever had.

I'll agree that some of it might be an unhealthy attachment to me as when I go anywhere, you have to hold her back and she cannot see where I go or she will go all bloodhound and try and track me down again. But, once she knows I am not home for sure? She resumes sleeping on my bed and waits for me to return. So clearly it's not just an attachment issue, right?

I actually slept last night. Was wonderful. Don't know where the cat was; but she was waiting outside my door this morning and she's currently doing the "bent at every angle and tied in a knot" thing, sound asleep. Why she gotta be so cute?
 
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dogperson2cats

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One thing that helped me with mine is setting up a schedule. Pick two to three times a day where she will be fed and two times out if the three (if you pick three) play with her for 10-15 minutes before you feed her. NO free feeding.
The biggest meal you should be at night before you go to bed, and you can leave that one out for her until morning. You don't have to feed her a whole lot the other times either.

Something about the play and then immediate feeding afterwards simulates a hunting sequence, which usually calms cats right down. They hunt/play, "catch the food", eat, groom, sleep.

It sort of works with my girl. I also leave the blinds up.in my room (curtains drawn, she wiggles behind them) and she spends a portion of the night completely ignoring me and staring out the window.

You could try this, Jackson galaxy says it works and I'm living proof, but be warned:
Nine times out of ten you'll be greeted with an extinction burst which is where the behavior gets a lot worse before it abruptly stops. Unfortunately it's a pretty common thing.

If you want to try it I recommend getting some earplugs and distributing them to your family with an explanation, how you want this to get better. Even if they are entirely unreasonable, hopefully a plan being enacted would calm them down. Also you want some feliway or a calming collar of some sort. You might even try catnip in her water (ingested and not inhaled has a calming affect vs the stimulating-inhale affect). I didn't go that far with mine but hey. Feliway did help and the regular play times give her something to look forward to.

Good luck, I know it's hard.
We've tried that and it didn't work. (No 'extinction burst'. Just no effect or change.) Her behavior is the opposite of any cat I have ever known. She likes to walk upright, can mimic speech, and for the most part, refuses any and all cat foods. She is just a weird cat.

I suggested the earplugs; saying that if we ignored the behavior for a few weeks, like a toddler tantruming, she'd realize she's not gonna get what she wants from it and stop. (I cannot stress enough how much we make sure there's always food, water and litter available and that I try so much to keep her with me since she loves sleeping in here.) My mom agreed; she sleeps with headphones in anyway and would like an alternative, my brother is iffy on it because he once recorded her screaming outside my door for 8 hours (I was under some hospital grade drugs because of kidney stones and a huge infection so was unresponsive for the better part of two days) without stopping. My dad? Refuses to do so or to allow us because 'then we'd have an excuse to be lazy'. (Man barely sleeps beyond 630AM and unless sick, we don't sleep much beyond 1030.)

AFAIK Feliway isn't available here. Knock-off versions, however do. I don't know which we have and have not tried. They kept all cats away. Except her. I read citrus, tinfoil and double sided tape helped. So I sprayed my door with a citrus cat-be-gone type spray and then used double-sided tape to stick tinfoil outside my door and on the counter by my door and put strips of tape over the tinfoil so if she stepped on it, it'd crinkle and she'd stick, freak out, and run away from it. Nothing. I tried a dog whistle type thing (high-pitched frequency to drive her away) and she stopped running away from it after a week. Set a sprayer on a timer/connected to phone to spray her whenever she's at the door? Nope. Got used to it. Shake a can of pennies? Nothing. The only time she didn't do this was when my dog was sleeping by the door. And he sadly was targeted by some asshole with poisoned treats in 2013 and I cannot convince my folks to get another one.

I love this cat. She's my baby. I even adopt HER babies. (The only animal she likes are guinea pigs; so I have a couple that she loves.) She sleeps on top of their cage a lot and is part of the reason she's in here so often. (But is never alone with them, of course.) She also snores like an old man and knows how to crop dust and dutch oven you.

Lookit the baby and tell me that's not adorable!
 

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It sounds like some of it is family trouble (they lock her out!?!?! You don’t lock family out!), some of it is training & some of it is seperation anxiety.

So #1 your family needs to never lock her out again!!!
#2 get her on a schedule. She is fed at this time, you play with her at this time, you play with her before you get ready for bed (I go to bed and watch tv for an hour to calm my insomnic mind but Jackie knows that when it is quiet time that the bed is for sleep & cuddles.) Cats love routine because it gives them stability (like little kids.)
#3 training: you can train her for a couple of weeks and months or put up with this for the rest of her life! Your family needs to back you up on this. I played dead for 3 months ignoring Jackie as he tried to wake me up to play with him. I used to wake up to a collection of toys on the comforter every morning.
#4 provived she is not waking you up, leave your bedroom door open when you sleep. Chances are high that she views your room as her room & you keep locking her out of her safe place! Try running a fan at night to block out the noise. If she wakes you up, calmly pick her up & place her in a spare bedroom or bathroom (with a liter box and water and a bed.)Then leave her in the bathroom until your morning alarm goes off. Like responding to a kid throwing a fit no matter what because you will be training her to scream her head off to get her way!

⭐For close to 2 years we locked Jackie out of the bedroom every night. Then I over rode my x-hubby & let him sleep with us. Half of his behavior problems disappeared!!! The poor guy was very bonded to me & he kept getting locked out of the room while the calmer cat slept with us. I never realized the system started when he was a baby kitten was bothering him, the poor baby! I felt so guilty!
 
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I refuse to ever sleep with a door open. Same with my window ever being open or uncovered. I will have a full-blown panic attack and meltdown. My cat will scream at me regardless. Makes no difference. Do they make shock collars for cats or is it just a dog thing? Cause nothing else works, it's the only thing we've not done, and I am getting desperate.

We've tried a schedule; didn't work. She screamed *more*. Yes; we lock her out. She's a cat; not a baby.Cats are meant to be outside; you know; claws, teeth and a hunting ability? (Though mine is about as dense as a brick wall; she stuns the mice, brings them in and releases them. Thankfully, moms cat kills them on sight.) I only put her out when everything else s been done and there's no choice but my family keeps her out a lot more for some peace and quiet. (Also my family as a whole DOES do that with family. Growing up, from the moment we woke up till bedtime, the kids were locked out of the house and not allowed in for any reason. I was the exception since by the time I was 10, I was more like an adult than anything so I was allowed in providing I made myself scarce and stayed out of the way.)

We've tried training. Didn't do a thing. How the hell do you train a cat, anyway? They're not dogs, goats or hell; birds.

She's allowed in my room whenever she likes. 3/5 times it's all she wants. The other two times, I open the door, she snarls at me and proceeds to run around the house, knocking everything over. And then is back at my door five seconds later screaming again. I've even kept a supersoaker by the door to spray her whenever she acts up. It's worked for literally 50 cats I knew personally. Not her. Dog whistles, pheromones, loud sounds, lights, hell I think I once threw something at the door so hard the door cracked. Nothing. Short of running a vacuum 24/7, my only option right now is to let my parents get rid of her. Which, much as I hate her sometimes, I don't want. (No other home would want this psycho bitch anyway. Too much to deal with. Basically they'd have to have no other animals, no kids, unlimited money to spend on treats and nip and have someone with her 24/7 to keep her quiet.) I believe she might have PTSD from whatever happened to her before we got her but it wouldn't explain why she won't let me sleep even if she is in my arms asleep next to me. (If you want her backstory, message me. It's not fit to be shared here.)

I can be in my room 24 hours a day with the door closed and she will not scream or anything. But the *moment* I put my head on the pillow, it starts. Would putting booties on her help it? (You know; she can't scratch then and probably throw off her walking so she won't *get* to my door.) And, when I am gone, she looks for me and once confirmed "Yep father is gone", she's content to sleep until I return.

It's *only* when I am resting that she gets like this. Like I said before; I once stayed awake for three days solid and not once did she act up or even make a sound. Her two modes are Scream and Sleep.
 

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🤣🤣🤣 you can train cats! Cats are as intelligent as dogs ..... but you have to bribe them. My 18 month old cat sits, stands up and with one or both paws pats my fingers that are holding the treats, does an OK spin .... he is still working on it plus he now gets in his cat tree to take his harness on & off (while I give him treats.) Cats are trainable, consistency & motivation is key look up clicker training and Jackson Galaxy.

She doesn’t kill her prey and releases it in your house for fun/to hunt the fun prey again. Dante used to catch sparrows, and take them inside.... upstairs to release them in my room. 🤦🏻‍♀️ To kill them with the slow tortuous death of hunt/release/hunt. 😢 He stopped releasing them upstairs in my room & then the stair case because I kept catching the poor birds and releasing them. What stopped him was hanging the feeders higher.

might I suggest installing a doggy door in your bedroom door )with a flap) as a compromise? I just hung a curtian from a spring rod in my doorway to have some privacy but let the cats in/out. About the mental meltdowns .... I’m not a Dr. Or a shrink but it sounds like some mood alternating medication might help you be balanced all day, every day. I know my antidepressant helps me deal with my chronic pain & the stress of “help, I’m completely fracked! I have a degenerative disease!!! Oh my god I’m having another attack what will MS take this time?!?!” I suggest you talk to your primary Dr. & ask for a referral. That said I have found it Helpful and saving to do something you enjoy every day .... even if for just 5 minutes. For me I have found watching birds in my garden every day brings me peace & joy. For some it is drawing. For some it is walking their dog. Heck if finding creative curse sentences makes you feel happy, do that! It makes a huge difference when dealing with long term stress.

Since you are a dog lover, might Isuggest you read Jackson Galaxy’s book about cat Mojo or look at his web page? Cats like dogs need to be rewarded or corrected everytime within seconds of an action to be ‘trained.’ With cats it is easier to shape their environment then to try to train them. So instead of the meowing, give her a kitty door. Cat scratching the couch? Buy vinyl stickers to stick to the couch and put a cat tree by the couch (a real cat tree that is 5ft high!)

Jackie (White) & Nick His brother in their harnesses. Jackie gets walked every day so he is very good at walking on a leash. 3773380B-08C6-4D5B-ACFF-472E28817613.jpeg
 
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dogperson2cats

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I don't believe the intelligence thing. (Just from the many cats I've had in my life...uhm...not the brightest bulbs.) I cannot believe I am considering Jackson Galaxy. *glares at the sleeping mass next to me* Driving me literally insane...she is lucky she is cute.

Thankfully, she rarely catches anything. But yeah; I've had to rehab many mice because of her. Rodents are my second favorite animals.

That seems a little like it'd be a waste of heat and way to make it super easy for people to snoop in on my conversations. (Plus moms behemoth of a cat literally eats 8 cans of food and several scoops of kibble a day so my room is the only room where she can actually eat without it being stolen.) Oh you are speaking the right language but my family doesn't believe in that and forbids us from seeking help. And since I am stuck living with them...

I guess I have no choice on the Galaxy dude. Bloody hell. We've had so many bad and 'cats from hell' types over the years. One was a feral that stalked and attacked babies, children and pregnant women with intention to maim and possibly kill. He lived till almost 18 and by that time, he was the chillest, sweetest cat ever. Yet this five pound ball of hair is the problem that she is? At least when you tell a dog to STFU and go to sleep, they do.

Despite my complaints, this cat is literally the reason I have not just decided to become homeless to escape my family/the world in general. She's been there for so many breakdowns, break ups and bad days it's crazy.

Yours are precious. Do you have any harness suggestions for a five pound contortionist that puts demons to shame? I literally once had a harness so tight that people were concerned for her health and she *still* slipped out of it in less than two minutes. We don't live on a road; neighbors and fields on either side, large yard,,,but she follows me everywhere and often ends up on the street in an attempt to go with me. I'd love to take her (though I'd have to carry her) but until I get a good harness, I can't. Someone suggested just attaching a leash to her collar. She slips from those with ease, too. (I don't mean overhead. I mean she can fit her whole body through it no matter how tight.)
 
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