Post # 1
My cat is 8-9 years old and he is diabetic. His insulin and pet food is expensive and he requires some extra care (being home during certain windows of time to feed and give him insulin). His diabetes is well managed but it limits the times and amount of food we can feed him.
My FI and I moved across the country and left the cat with my mom for a few months. The cat is back and has been with us since October. We live in a cute but small 1 bedroom apartment.
The problem is that the cat incessantly SCREAMS at our bedroom door starting around 4-5 AM until we get up and feed him around 6:15 to 6:30. He often begins the same behavior around 5 PM even though he doens’t eat dinner until 7. The point is, we don’t give into his screaming, he has to be fed at the same time every day, but it doesn’t make a difference. He will also get ontop of the counters/stove or even into the sink and I’ll find cat hair/litter or foot prints all over everything.
We’ve tried EVERYTHING. We’ve tried the squirt bottle, we’ve tried the pet egg that releases high pitched sounds when he acts up, we’ve tried ignoring him. He has a food puzzle we give him before we go to bed. Nothing has helped in the slightest.
We started sleeping with ear plugs and I always end up sandwiching my head between two pillows but I can STILL hear him.
On top of being sleep deprived I’m worried about getting a noise complaint about the cat (the walls on the bedroom side are thinner) from the neighbors which could cause us to lose the apartment. This morning he started extra early and my fiance and I ended up in a screaming match at 6 AM because of the cat.
I was considering buying a timed feeder or buying a dog crate that could fit a litter box. But I’ve already spent SO MUCH money I don’t have on other solutions that didn’t work. I think even with a timed feeder he would eat and then come yowl at our door. I think with the crate he would howl until we let him out and possibly disturb the neighbors on the living room side.
I’m at the point where I’m unable and unwilling to spend more money on the cat and I can’t believe it but I’m at the point where I’m considering trying to give away the cat or anything to get him out of here.
So if you’ve read this far perhaps you’ve been in a similar situation and can offer some help?
Post # 3
i don’t have any advice but if you’re really considering finding him a new home, contact some rescue groups in your area and explain the situation. they might even have some tips for you to try before rehoming him. it does sound like a house would be a better environment for him though. that way he wouldn’t be disturbing neighbors. are you sure there’s nothing else going on with him that’s causing him to scream?
Post # 4
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
The screaming isn’t because he’s hungry or diabetic. It’s because he’s a high-maintenance kitty.
I know because my cat is exactly the same. He will cry his little head off outside our closed bedroom door every single night. He’ll even lay on his side and beat his feet against the door as hard and loud as he can.
Our solution: we lock him up every night before we go to bed. In our old apartment, there was nowhere to lock him, no other doors to close between our bedroom and him. So we bought a giant dog cage and put his litter box, food, water, and bed inside. He hated it, but his cries were muffled the farther away the cage was from our bedroom. We bought the cage on Ebay for about $50 including shipping.
Now that we’ve moved to a 2-story apartment, we lock him up in the downstairs bathroom. Oh sweet relief! We can now barely hear his cries, they sound like whispers! LOL!
I don’t know what advice to give for the jumping on the counters thing…my cat doesn’t ever do that. I generally yell, “HEY!” or squirt him with a water bottle if he does anything else annoying that we don’t want him to do. He responds pretty well to it, but that doesn’t really stop him from doing it in the future. It only stops the current act. If he ever does anything really really bad, I grab him by the scruff of the neck, carry him to the sink, and hold him under the water for a few seconds. That straightens him out.
Post # 5
Your cat is hungry. It can’t help that it’s hungry. It’s going to be hungry at certain times because it’s diabetic. If it needs food at 5 am, give it the food. This is not a behavioral issue, your cat is ill. Invest in the timed feeder, have it go off at 4:45am.
Post # 6
Maybe for a week, try getting up and feeding him, then going back to the bed. The question is: does he shut up after you feed him like he’s legit hungry, or does he keep you up with him afterwards? If the first, get the auto feeder and a good nights sleep. If the second, put him in a crate with a blanket over it and let him cry. And I can say that because my cat is the QUEEN of being an early morning butthead – she gets up with my husband at 6:30 am every day and he feeds her, but on the weekends if we don’t follow her routines (or in the middle of the night during the week when she’s bored) she knocks stuff off tables for our attention. She’s broken several cups and now I am hypervigilant to glass on tabletops! Sometimes they have legitimate reasons to throw cat fits, but sometimes animals are just jerks. Try to discern which it is before you spend more dollars.
Post # 7
So this cat is diabetic….how long has he been acting like this? If he is THAT hungry and carrying on for a couple hours before breakfast, then the insulin level may need to be adjusted.
And/or the food he’s eating may be at the wrong glycemic food index. Does he eat dry or wet food? Dry food has a lot of carbohydrates in it which isn’t always the best food for a diabetic.
Cats SHOULD be able to sustain on 2 feedings that are spaced 12 hours apart. I would call your vet and ask for their assistance in getting him possibly switched to different food (higher protein) which will satisfy his appetite– and/or a new glucose test to be sure that he doens’t need a change in his insulin.
I had a diabetic cat about 10 years ago– I know how frustrating it is and how expensive it is to treat this and take care of him. Good luck to you….
Post # 8
I’m sorry you’re going through this, I know how tough it is because we have a needy kitty too. He meows all day and night, it’s worse now because FH works from home so he doesn’t understand why FH isn’t playing with him. He will jump in FH’s lap when he’s eating, he will claw at the walls when we’re going about our day, and if we don’t prevent him, he will bang at our bedroom door.
Fh’s solution before I came along was to feed kitty all day, this actually reinforced his yelling for attention- just like a child throwing a temper tantrum and a parent who gives in. So kitty learned, oh if I yell, mr. maple will give me love and food. So now we have a needy kitty that’s also fat, lol!
We have done something similar to a PP in confining him at night. We purchased a wooden screen- http://www.worldmarket.com/product/rena-carved-screen.do?&from=fn (sort of like that except it’s just one panel), and wedged it in our very short hallway in our previous one bedrooms. We’re now in a three bedroom, so the kitties have their own playroom.
Can you find a way to block him off for the night? It has helped our sleep tremendously. What does kitty’s vet say? Is it behavioral? Is kitty anxious? Maybe feliway might help to relax kitty?
Post # 9
I woul call your vet and local shelters to ask for more opinions, from people with more experience.
Post # 10
It seems like this might be more about the closed door. Is there a reason you lock him out at night? My cats would cry at the door too if we locked them out, because they’re attached to us and want our companionship. Cats need a lot more attention than some people realize; they get lonely.
Post # 11
We also had a diabetic cat that was on twice a day injections. Sounds like maybe you need to adjust his insulin dosage! Could be his insulin is wearing off too early. Or maybe you could try adjusting the time of his injections so he isn’t waking up so early? Trust me i understand how draining a diabetic cat can be!
Post # 12
@geekspice: +1. there are times when I even go into the bathroom and close they door, they will paw underneither it trying to open it. They DON’T like it when we close our doors. Try leaving it open
Post # 13
@memo: OMG mine do that too.. I’m like “I’m busy right now!”
Post # 14
Why can’t the cat come in the bedroom? Also, it seems like your cat is hungrier two hours before you think he should be fed in both the morning and the evening. Could you try adjusting when he eats? What kind of food are you feeding him?
Post # 15
My boy is a talker and my god, he gets so loud in the mornings. Once we top up his dry food or give him a can of wet he calms down….a bit. He is a talker.
We leave our bedroom door open, otherwise we wouldn’t sleep. He’d be attacking it, crying and banging on it. Leave it open and we usually find him asleep next to us.
I agree with the other PP, talk to the vet.
Post # 16
Maybe he just needs some attention? If we don’t play with my cat at night and tire him out he will often wake us up in the middle of the night crying – it’s awful, so we try to make him run every night – he likes to chase toys, that makes him tierd and then he sleeps through the night!