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Complaints From Downstairs Neighbor

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by balloonatic27, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. balloonatic27

    balloonatic27 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 16, 2018
    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone has had experience and advice on a situation like this: I've lived in a 2nd floor apartment for a few months now, and right when I moved in, I was warned by the super that the woman below me is really cranky and noise-sensitive. He said she complained constantly about the previous tenant's cat running around at night, so I should make sure not to leave toys out for my cat at night. I've been very careful to follow his advice, and only play with my cat on the couch or my bed--but even without toys, sometimes she still runs around briefly at night, because she's, you know, a cat.

    So the super came up to my apartment today and told me that the neighbor has been complaining nonstop about my cat (guess I shouldn't have bothered making her brownies and apologizing in person when she complained about the sound of me assembling a bookcase). He says she doesn't care what my cat does during the day but at night she can't sleep, and she's threatening to call the landlord. (The landlord knows I have a cat but he can probably pressure me to "get rid of her," which obviously I won't do--I'd just ask my parents to take her in while I looked for a new place, but moving again would be a nightmare.)

    Has anyone had a similar experience, and/or any advice on what to do? I've been reading that it helps to feed your cat and play with them right before bed, so I can try that, but I feel like a lot of tips like that don't necessarily work, and I'm nervous that she'll still start running around after I've fallen asleep, if I do; I already have a lot of trouble sleeping so anxiety about this is about to make everything worse. My dad says I should get a thick rug, so maybe I'll do that, but really I'd have to get several to cover the whole floor because I don't know where my neighbor's bed is, or if she'll complain about noise no matter where it is--and I hate having rugs or carpet, so I guess it'd ideally be something I could put down at night and pick up in the morning.

    Any advice would be much-appreciated; I'm really worried and upset. :(
     

  2. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    Hi. My only suggestion is to ask to be put on a list of openings to other apartments - away from your new neighbor. Seriously, the landlord/super knew it was going to be an issue, so they were remiss in placing you there in the first place.

    I don't think a thick rug or multiple ones is going to placate this new neighbor.

    But, I hope other members on this site can offer more positive, constructive advice that will work for you.
     

  3. balloonatic27

    balloonatic27 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 16, 2018
    Hi, thank you! I hadn't thought of that. It does sound like this woman just likes to complain, and I don't want to potentially spend a lot of money on alleged sound-proofing rugs that still won't be enough for her. Kind of nervous about bringing it to the landlord's attention when so far it seems like the super has been keeping the complaints contained, but simply having a different neighbor would probably be the best option.

     

  4. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird TCS Member Top Cat

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    Ugh! Sleep issues from an older light sleeper! If she didn’t know you had a cat I wonder if she would” hear it”. I lived below a lady that could not tolerate and cleaning supplies. Nothing! She complained I was using pinesol even if I waan’t. I got lucky and she moved. Maybe you should approach the landlord yourself. Try the rugs and try to be very nice to her. Does she like cats? Maybe an introduction to kitty might get her to be fond of him. Try to include her in your thoughts about what you can do to “help her”. Ask her where the cat goes that causes noise and if she has any requests. Tell her you are thinking of padding the floor and willing do to anything you can to make it so she can rest peacefully. Just be honest and open with her that you don’t want to cause her to lose sleep. I would keep records on everything to show that you are bending over backwards to accommodate her. Elderly people are sometimes easily disturbed or may have other issues. Frankly, having experience handling rental properties, if she causes the landlord to lose too many tenants st this location she may wish for her to move. I would try all the above and see if there is another apartment that comes available. Just so you know, cork squares can be purchased and they stop all noise. Her ceiling would be the best place for them but your floor might work too. The insulation used to sound proof rooms for recording studios and for rooms where hearing tests are done might work. Good luck! I am hoping that being a friend to her might do the trick. Maybe she will fall in love with kitty! Maybe she needs a kitty of her own!
     
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  5. balloonatic27

    balloonatic27 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 16, 2018
    Thank you -- those are all really good ideas!! This woman is definitely an older, light sleeper; the super said something today about how this lady has been telling him she wakes up at 5am, but I don't know if that's because of my cat or because that's when she always wakes up, and she was just complaining about that. I guess talking with her could be a good first step, so that she knows I'm trying, and I'll know which sections of the floor and hours of the night I have to be most conscious of. That would be great if she liked or wanted a cat, hah, but I do kind of get the feeling that she hates them. I guess it would make sense to try talking to her before contacting the landlord about open apartments, though it could be smart to do them at the same time.
     

  6. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    Just tell them politely, in order to keep the peace, you would like to pursue moving to another apartment. Can't hurt to ask.
     
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  7. balloonatic27

    balloonatic27 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 16, 2018
    Good point!!
     

  8. Wile

    Wile TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Normally I'm all for working with neighbours to find a mutual solution, but this woman sounds like a complainer. When you live in a communal building you have to expect a reasonable amount of noise. She could wear earplugs if she is that sensitive while sleeping, or get a noise machine. It is unreasonable of her to expect to never hear you or your cats.

    Out of curiosity, what does the super expect you to do? Have they offered any solutions?

    If you are happy where you live right now ignore her. If not then I agree with @FeebysOwner that you should look into a new place.
     
    mazie, angels mommy, catsknowme and 6 others purraised this.

  9. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird TCS Member Top Cat

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    Make sure you let the super know you are doing everything possible to solve the issue. If she is just a grouchy person you really might want to move. Some people are hard to live with but do what you can. A peaceful resolution is always best. Age and life experiences can cause some older people to be harder to accommodate. Even if they aren’t grouchy. :goodluck:
     
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  10. balloonatic27

    balloonatic27 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 16, 2018
    All very good points! I agree that this woman sounds like she's going to complain no matter what -- if I talk to her it'll probably be more about proving that I'm willing to cooperate, even if she isn't.

    The super's only request/suggestion is to not leave toys out at night, which is really annoying, because it feels like he just isn't hearing me; I NEVER leave toys out at night, but this woman is convinced that I must leave them strewn around the apartment and that's why my cat makes noise. I've repeatedly told the super that I never do this, but I still can't control it if my cat occasionally runs around at night, like all cats do. My cat has tons of pent-up energy because I only let her play on the couch or bed, because of this woman. I think there might be a little bit of a language barrier with the super, or possibly he just doesn't even care about my explanations, just wants to stop getting phone calls from her.

    Maybe I'll tell the landlord that I'd like to be put on a list for other apartments, but in the meantime I'm willing to put down a rug and I plan to speak to the woman later, so he knows the problem isn't with me.
     
    angels mommy, catsknowme, foxxycat and 3 others purraised this.

  11. balloonatic27

    balloonatic27 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 16, 2018
    Thank you! That's true. I'm probably always gonna be nervous about her--if I could move to a different apartment in this building, I'd be happy to do that, but if it were a question of moving farther than that, I really wouldn't want to. So I guess I need to make it clear to the landlord and/or super that I'm willing to compromise, and being as reasonable as possible.
     

  12. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Super Cat

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    She's going to keep complaining now matter what you do. I've seen it happen. The person keeps on complaining even when everyone else in the building says it's not a problem. Complainers get a power trip off of making other people change their lives. Ask for a different apartment, and keep looking for another one.
     

  13. balloonatic27

    balloonatic27 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 16, 2018
    Yeah unfortunately, I think you’re right. I think tomorrow I’ll go through the motions of having a conversation with her, but really just so I can tell the landlord that I tried.
     
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  14. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I've always been very noise sensitive and if you've ever lived below someone you know it can be pretty claustrophobic having someone audible above you. That said, I lived above someone who made the exact same comments about my cats, and about me (I weigh about 115 pounds and wear soft soles). Being noise sensitive myself, I was very empathetic and tried to stay as quiet as possible. Fortunately he didn't complain, he just mentioned it to me, probably because I mentioned to HIM how much noise the couple next to me made. This was a four-plex, the walls were thin, and the couple next door fought a lot, plus, the girl was VERY heavy. They loved cats, and we had that in common.
    Anyway, there was very low-pile carpet in the LR, BR, and hallways, but laminate in the kitchen and bathroom. Carpet can and does muffle noise. I would definitely think about putting down some rugs if possible, and putting in a request for a different unit if you think that would be best. Talking to the other tenant would also be great. If you don't know her, you really have no idea what her personality is, whether or not she likes cats, or any of the more negative things some people have hypothesized, so I'd give it a try if I was you. Like my dad used to say, "You can catch a lot more flies with honey than you can with vinegar." (To which I always thought, but never said, "Who wants flies?":crackup:)
     
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  15. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

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    This whole post makes sense (especially the "who wants flies" thing :flail:) Cracked me up. :crazy:
    With that out of the road, even to a noise sensitive person (like myself), a cat running around isn't like you have 200 people and a mosh pit going to a blasting stereo at 3:00 in the morning. It might annoy her, but she needs to understand that living in a building with other people and other living things is going to create noise.
    I think talking to her and trying to be nice is a good idea; all 3 parties (the poster, the tenant downstairs, and the super) will know effort has been made. She may still complain but you'll know you've done all you can do to make things nice for her. You might even get bold and ask her "what do you think I could do to make things quieter for you"? She might have a response you don't like, but at least (again) you'll know you've done everything you can to be nice.
    As other said, some people just like to complain and are mad at life for some reason, even if the noise doesn't bother her, she might just like complaining.
    I wake up to noises about 5 times a night but I just doze off and tune it out. White noise machines help, a box fan or whatever.
    If that doesn't work, if it's at all possible or could possibly even be done, I would ask the super about moving apartments whenever something becomes available, no rush, but you want to keep the peace.
    You sound like a good neighbor to me. If it makes you feel better, if I woke up to the sound of your cats hooves thundering over my head I'd probably just laugh because they get so dramatic in the middle of the night sometimes. :thumbsup:
     
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  16. dustydiamond1

    dustydiamond1 Minion to Gypsy since October 2016 Top Cat

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    (To which I always thought, but never said, "Who wants flies?":crackup:)
    :wave3:Oh! Oh! I know! I know!:hyper: You want to catch them so you can squish them :smash: before the cats catch and eat them:kneading: :barf:
    :p :lol:
     
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  17. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Glendale, California
    You got THAT right, @1 bruce 1 -- Mine sound like a herd of buffalos sometimes and they are only three small cats running down a carpeted hallway! (on a raised foundation, which means the hollow floor is noisier than one on a slab.)
    A fan is a great idea. I ran one constantly in most rentals -- of course, that was when electricity was cheaper, but fans don't consume a lot.
     
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  18. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Most fans have listed on the box the energy requirements, and even one ran on low is pretty cheap.
    Ours will sometimes get going around 4:30 or so because they know I'll be up soon, and the sounds they make.
    "THUNDERING"
    "MORE THUNDERING"
    "SLAM, CRASH"
    (Me: I hope that was that ugly statue I've been wanting my wife to give away for 10 years.)
    Silence.
    Confused "purr-row?" noises.
     
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  19. dustydiamond1

    dustydiamond1 Minion to Gypsy since October 2016 Top Cat

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    Central Illinois, USA
    :hellocomputer:We live upstairs, have carpeting and she doesn't do it at night but Gypsy sounds like a horse when she goes racing up and down our hallway.:running: The people downstairs slam doors, talk at the top of their lungs and act like they are the only people living here:rolleyes3:.
     

  20. balloonatic27

    balloonatic27 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 16, 2018
    Haha all good points!! I think I will talk to my neighbor tomorrow, and tell her that I'm willing to put down a rug or two if she'll tell me where they should go (no idea where her bed is and I can't carpet my whole apartment for her), and what hours she needs it to be the most quiet. I have talked to her once before because she banged on the ceiling while I was assembling a bookcase (during the day), and then she also called the super and complained, even though I stopped everything and just left the bookcase in pieces till the next day, when I managed to put it together without a hammer. So I kind of tried the honey tactic heh -- made her brownies, knocked on her door to introduce myself and apologize, and say that I know it's noisy when someone moves in, and she seemed placated. But I guess she wasn't, since she's gone on complaining behind my back.

    But I definitely do understand the frustration of having people above or next to you -- I'm a light sleeper as well, and in my old apartment there was a family with five kids on the floor above us, running around and bouncing basketballs around the clock, but no one could complain because it was the landlord's family. Not ideal.

    Anyway though, I think you're right that I should try to be nice to her, even though the real issue seems to be that she just hates living in a pet-friendly building. I'd be happy to buy her a white noise machine or something but I somehow feel like she won't like that suggestion.
     
    catsknowme, ans5181, Wile and 4 others purraised this.

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