Post # 1
First of all I love our cats and wouldn’t want to give them up even though they are really driving me crazy. First some background on our two kitties. Jack was DH’s cat that he adopted as a kitten before we met. He is blind as well as missing an eye and has a lot of physical and neurological issues. He is a sweet cat most of the time, but has some neurotic behaviors. Sandy is our cat that we adopted together from a shelter two years ago. She is a very emotionally needy cat that has to be right next to us all the time. We think she was abused and now that she has loving owners, she has separation issues.
This is our problem. I am 35 weeks pregnant and have been getting no sleep. Every since we started working on the house to get ready for baby, Jack has been freaking out. He paces and cries in our bedroom all night which keeps us up. We decided to put a gate up at the bottom of the stairs to keep the cats downstairs. However, he just sits at the bottom of the stairs and cries non-stop all night. Also Sandy freaks out because she can’t get to us and scratches like crazy on the steps all night. This also keeps us up and is damaging our steps. We have tried everything to get them to stop and nothing is working. Sandy will scratch at what every we put in the way and Jack cries all night no matter where he is. We tried using a spray bottle, but once they realized we had it they would run away as soon as they heard us start to come down the stairs and then go back to what they were doing once they heard us get back into bed. They are really testing our patience and I just don’t know what to do.
They have been to the vet and nothing is medically wrong with them, they are just not liking the changes in the house. Well, that sucks because there are more changes to come with a baby due in just 5 weeks. I was so upset this morning because I got no sleep last night with all the crying and scratching and DH and I constantly trying to run down quick and spray them or trying to set up pillows to block the scratching. It is hard enough to sleep when you are 35 weeks pregnant and I am really being pushed over my limit with all of this.
Letting Sandy upstairs solves all of her issues, but we can’t let Sandy upstairs and keep Jack downstairs because then she wouldn’t be able to get to the litter box which needs to stay downstairs and away from me while I am pregnant. Plus her scratching is only half the problem, Jack’s crying is what is really keeping us up all night and he cries whether we let him upstairs or not. However, at least downstairs it is further away from us and we can get at least some sleep in between his crying spells.
We need help dealing with this! Please if you have any advice let us know!
Post # 3
Have you asked the vet about the behavioral issues, too? I get that there’s nothing medically wrong, but the vet might be able to help you solve the behavioral issues.
My brother’s gf’s cat was very sweet when she adopted him, then a couple years later he started going kind of batcrap crazy. Turns out the cat was depressed. He’s on a higher dose of Prozac than most depressed humans right now, but he’s a happy cat again. So I mean, it’s worth a call to the vet, especially since Jack is a special needs kitty.
As for Sandy, I assume she’s not declawed since you mentioned damage to your steps, but can you put claw covers on her? My cat has a particular taste for scratching up door frames, no matter what other scratch posts I give her, so we use SoftClaw covers on her and at least it prevents the damage. They were tough to put on initially, but after about six months she stopped fighting me when I put them on her and now after 2 years, they don’t even phase her. Plus they’re pink and sparkly.
Post # 4
@MrsMath: How old is Jack? I had a blind cat that started crying when she got older, the vet said cats get dementia like people and that she was probably extra stressed/disoriented.
Post # 5
Have you tried giving them a special box to sleep in and lining it with some dirty clothes (or sleep with a clean towel for a day or too) so it smells like you?
Its something you do to sooth puppies and get them to sleep on their own. I dont know if it works on cats but it cant hurt to try.
Post # 6
@MrsMath: As for Sandy, can you put a litter box in the hallway or bathroom upstairs so it’s not in your room but close enough for her to go. Do you guys have a garage? When my cats start crying because they want to go out, I put them in the garage for a little while. You can put a bed, food and a litter box inside your garage. This will show him you are not ok with him crying. You can also try putting him at another room with all he needs. I also tend to say “No” to them a lot when they are are misbehaving. It worked really well for our first cat we got when he was little. He’s well behaved for the most part. Best of luck!
Post # 7
@MsSven: Jack is only 5 years old. I asked if he was loosing his hearing, but the vet said no.
@riley23: I would say he has anxiety more han depression. I will talk to the vet about it. Thanks!
@candy11: The garage won’t work as it isn’t heated and it is still getting down to single digits here at night. I have thought about putting him in the bathroom where we keep the litter boxes, but DH is against closing cats up in small spaces. I’ll see if he changes his mind once the no sleep things starts to ware on him. I guess these cats are preparing us for the baby!
Post # 8
I can second the recommendation of the SoftClaws. They work pretty well. Not only when they are on, but the also start to train that can that scratching is futile and they scratch less even as they start to fall off. Don’t let them be off for too long though or the scratching starts right up again.
The other suggestions Ive never tried, but your situation sounds a bit desparate so why not try things?
Have you ever tried one of these phermone plug-in things? You just plug it in the wall and supposedly your cat feel better. There a bunch of other anxiety products too that you could try – maybe your doctor could help with some suggestions.
Have you thought of having your husband sleep on the couch (I assume there’s a couch) downstairs with Jack and Sandy to help them feel better?