Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Bad Kitty

I'm at my wits end with our cat, Sophie. She is a very, very bad kitty. This week she chewed into, and ruined, lap top power cord number three. As you can probably tell, it's not because we're not feeding her (her weight is another issue). Those power cords aren't cheap. $80 each at Apple. She also tears up the furniture, most of which lives under old sheets so she won't think about attacking it. (The sheets come off only when we have company.) She whines incessantly, she eats the plants, and often knocks them over when we're not home, she likes to sprawl out on my supposedly drying cards when I'm not looking, and the WORST for me is she keeps me up at night. She acts psycho throughout the night, running from one end of the apartment to the other, often running into things, she climbs on the furniture and rattles the pictures on the walls with her paws, and she meows like crazy.
I know cats are naturally nocturnal, and I do try to keep her up during the day so she'll sleep better at night, but I think she's mentally ill. And it doesn't help that she's an only child and that I'm a bad parent. I should have gotten another cat when I got her, but the vet says I shouldn't get another cat now. She'd freak out. Also, I should have disciplined her better when she was little. I have some friends whose cats are so well behaved--the don't jump on furniture, they don't scratch things (but their parents had the cats' claws removed, which I can't bear to do), and they seem to listen to their parents as if they were dogs. Sophie may be an only child, but she has toys, a scratching post (thanks to Caroline), and we've set up a bird feeder outside so she can watch the birds, and still she's bad. And I play with her, of course. She gets frisky at around 3, so we usually have play time then, which lasts about 5 minutes before she's worn out. The only disciplinary tool that I've read about that works on cats is squirting them with water when they misbehave, but Sophie doesn't seem to mind the water too much when I squirt her in the middle of the night to try to get her to be quiet. I think she just wants me to get up and give her attention even if it's negative. Bad kitty! I think we both need therapy. My experience with her has led me to believe I'm going to be a terrible mother when we have kids of the human sort. Any advice would be appreciated.


maggiegracecreates said...

We had a dog with behavior issues. The water in the face did not work for him either, but I put 2 drops of ammonia in the water and that worked like a charm after two weeks - no more bad behavior. Ask your vet if this will work for cats too.

Hope things get better with this.

fleur said...

Hmmm -- puzzling -- was she always exactly like this? Or is it more recent?

LauraB said...

That is puzzling. I'm sorry to hear you're having cat issues, I've been having some myself. I wish I could give you some advice but I have no idea what could be the matter. Did you adopt the cat from somewhere and she may have previously been an outdoor cat or something? I know sometimes cats get upset when they're used to playing outside and have to be indoors...sorry that's about all I've got!

Leigh said...

Thanks for all your input regarding my crazy cat. We've had her since she was a wee kitten. She has been worse since we moved here, and I wonder if that had something to do with her flying on an airplane for the first time. But I can't imagine she actually remembers that as frightening as it may have been for her. I should take her back to the vet. I didn't discuss her behavior with him last time. Thanks again.

fleur said...

I'd ask the vet and try to rule out any physical cause. Maybe she needs help adjusting to your move (recent?) -- more attention for awhile or something. My female kitty (now passed away) was like that, she was much more demanding and bratty than the male is (he's a couch potato and if something bugs him, he just hides until he's in a better frame of mind.

donna said...

do you feed her late in the evening? and do you give her wet food or biscuits? apparently a lot of wet cat meat has lots of cat-equivalent E-numbers.. so for a hyper-active cat, that might be an issue.. especially if it's just before bed.
we have 2 cats who had been acting in a very similar way recently.. but since we started giving them dry food at night instead of the meat, they seem to have calmed down a lot.
also, we found that playing with them late in the evening before bed tires them out and now they seem to be sleeping the whole night through. and obviously they really appreciate a bit of extra attention!
if she's an indoor cat, it's most likely to be boredom.. but also, moving home can be very unsettling for cats, especially if her only territory is the house.. maybe she needs a lot of reassurance.
i hope you can get this sorted out. it can't be much fun for either of you. so, good luck :)

Anonymous said...

I have gone through this with my cats. It's a stage and I think it is triggered by big changes. They take longer to get over change than we humans realize! I recommend the book "Think Like a Cat" -- sorry, can't remember the author. My mother also has "Twisted Whiskers" which goes into detail about treating behavior problems. The author is into the Bach Flower Remedies too for calming cats down. Good luck!! She'll chill out again. Oh, and in San Francisco lots of people recommend the vet at Arguello just past Geary (on the GG Park side).