Constantly meowing at doors and closet doors

Rasp

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Hey, so my family and I adopted a 3-4 year old male cat from a local cat cafe. So far, he has been the sweetest, most well-behaved boy, except for one problem. Since we got him, he has had a strange relationship with doors. Closet doors, cabinet doors, mirror doors, you name it. He will meow and paw at the door and even reach for the doorknob, and when I open the door, he doesn't go in, but seems much happier.

One day I was watching a movie in my room with my cat and he got up and started doing his ritual-- meowing, pawing, wiggling the doorknob. I thought he might have to go to the bathroom so I let him out and closed the door. Seconds later he starts doing the same thing from the other side of the door, and it continued like that until I left my door open, and he seemed to be satisfied then.

It's really starting to be a problem in our home. We can't even use the bathroom in peace without him meowing and touching the door. He meows when we shut our room doors at night and in the mornings. We thought that it was because he was hungry in the mornings so he got fed before my father went to work at 4:30 AM. We did this for a solid week and nothing changed, he meows at our doors at 6 AM or so until we keep it open.

Do you think this could be caused by some kind of trauma in his first home? We believe that since he is so well-behaved, he must've had a loving family before us, because all of the strays we've adopted before didn't act so perfect.

What could be causing this behavior?
 
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Rasp

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I should add that we've owned him since mid August and his behavior has been this way the entire time.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Some cats just have weird 'idiosyncrasies'. And, yes, his could be from some past issues in his life. If it is not a big issue for your household, just leave the doors ajar/open for now. You can even put doorstops in each of them to allow some closure, but enable him to enter/exit. If he wants into the bathroom with someone, invite him in (does anyone really care if he is there?). I think he is still feeling insecure since he has only been with you since August (not a real long time for a cat of his age). I suspect the less he is denied access, the less he will be overly-focused on it over time.
 

fionasmom

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Some cats hate closed doors with a passion, which is not always convenient for the family. If you can allow him access as much as possible the behavior will probably extinguish over time, or only crop up occasionally. I have had several who had issues with doors. Granada would insert her paw under a closed door and pull it back and forth which sounded like an earthquake. Jamie sits in front of closed doors and meows at me. If I let him in the room, he now closes the door back in my face, then becomes upset that he is stuck on the other side. No one right now at my house is having a big issue with doors so I do think that it will get better. I also have to agree that doors may have meant something at his old home, like being locked inside a room for a long time. He may be a very loving cat who had a bad home but is still willing to give people a chance to show that they love him. Not all mistreated animals react with fear or aggression.
 

Tik cat's mum

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I have a cat that hates shut doors he's 3 now. I leave the door's open enough for him to get in or out. But the bathroom door stays shut most of the time because I found out early if I let him in he'll want out because the door is shut. He has never had any kind of bad experience he just hates shut doors. With my boy he doesn't meow for the bathroom door opening when my son or husband is in there only when I'm in. The hubby says it's because he knows he won't let him in no matter how much he kicks off. And it's true as a kitten he did try when they were in the bathroom but not now. I think they just want to know they can get to us if they want to the option is there which is annoying and kind of sweet.
 

Maria Bayote

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I agree with all the above. Just keep the doors open or slightly for now. Maybe it will get better in time. Maybe doors just remind her of something bad (or maybe good) from the past.

My Bourbon scratches the door and windows most times. I don't know what triggers her but it would be any time, any day. Since she is a bit heavy the noise is also a bit loud which at times wakes me up even in the early mornings or middle of the night. My Graham on the other hand, always wants to come inside the Bathroom with my husband (take not, only with him and not with me, LOL). If my hubby forgets about her she'd "cry" outside the door. I think it's cute, though, thinking she is attached to my husband.

I hope it gets better for you and the kitty of course 😊
 

molly92

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Congrats, you have a cat!

I'm not worried about this at all. Some cats always want to know what's on the other side of the door. Some cats also get VERY dramatic about small things, and then of course they won't make a peep when something is actually wrong. This sounds like one of those things.

You can keep doors open for him if that makes things easier for everyone. Or, if you need to keep certain doors closed, you can train him to accept that those doors stay closed. All you have to do is the very difficult task of ignoring him when he asks for the door to be opened. A week is NOTHING to a cat if they are determined, so this will take a long time. Give in one morning when you just want the meowing to stop, and you've given him what he wants, and he thinks it's working. You have to convince him that being annoying won't get him what he wants, and stick to your guns. It can take a while, but if you're consistent, eventually, he will give up.

If he's damaging doors in the meantime by scratching, you can get some double sided sticky tape (called Sticky Paws) to put where he's scratching.

Cats can meow like they're dying because they've learned it gets a quick reaction from humans, especially when it sounds pitiful. Don't fall for it! When a cat is actually in serious emotional or physical pain, they
will try to hide it from you, because their instincts tell them not to draw attention to themselves when they're in trouble.
 

jisaacson214

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My cat Grembly is obsessed with doors/door frames/door hinges/knobs. She will cry if any doors that are normally open are shut (mainly bathroom), if I pick her up she’ll reach out to touch the door/door hinges & has mastered the art of leaping from the dining room table on to the top of the door frame. Once she’s up there, she’ll yowl over and over again until I get up to look at her. She can get down just fine. I’ve given up on closing the bathroom door (I live alone so who cares) & try very hard to ignore her crying. It’s tough at times, not gonna lie, but I need to be consistent in not reinforcing her behaviors.
 
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