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#1 kadoodle

Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:49 PM

A little bit of a vent and little bit of a WWYD, but I have a 3 yo desexed tomcat who thinks he's my boyfriend.  He follows me everywhere.  He sits and the front door and cries when I leave for work and looks out the front window until I return.  When I was in hospital having DS2 he refused to eat.

I've got gastro ATM, so when I'm being sick I lock him out of the bathroom.  So he sits at the bathroom door and cries.  Now he's cracked it with me for spending more time and attention on the toilet than him, so he's peed on the desk, bit me and sulked off upstairs and hid under the bed.

What the heck do I do?

#2 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:47 PM

Kadoodle, once I stopped laughing, I wondered if he isn't just a little bit anxious.

Have you tried feliway?

I'd also consider short stints with him being away in a particular room, whichever room has a litter box. Mostly to get him used to the idea that being away is not a long term thing, and its okay. A treat of some sort might help this along a bit.

Our kitty gets popped into the master bedroom on occasion - her litter (one, anyone) is in the ensuite. It helps to keep her out from under foot and on keyboard. She was another who followed me from room to room, and yowled mercilessly if the door was closed. She still does on occasion - these days I open the door a smidge and she's in an out fairly quickly (and more often than not goes off to use her litter box huh.gif ). At least she's stopped regarding people sitting on the loo as a lap that's fair game.

#3 kadoodle

Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:59 PM

Thanks, Spikey.  You're right, he's very anxious.  I have Feliway going in a plug in in the laundry (where the cats eat and use their litter boxes), which calms down his self-harming tendencies.

I'll try the "time out" suggestion - am I correct in thinking it's a bit like controlled crying for cats?

#4 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:29 PM

In the very mildest sense of the word.

What you should do is reward him for moments of quietness when placed in his 'quiet room'. So you may only pop him in, then close and almost immediately open the door again, before rewarding him.

Then you make it a bit longer between closing the door and opening it, with the aim of opening it before he kicks off. And then longer again. Because we're modifying behaviour, its really important to reward a quiet kitty, so hand over a small bit of liver treat or ham or something he's really keen on whenever you're successful.

Cats and dogs do tend to get 'reinforced' by humans attempting to soothe them when they're displaying anxious behaviour. If you can ignore that, and distract him to something else (maybe throw a ponytail holder for him to chase, or something else that's fun and exciting), his chemistry will start giving him different 'messages' about you being out of sight.

Its not an easy thing to fix, but you can hopefully get a bit more wiggle room than you currently have.

#5 YandiGirl

Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:32 PM

QUOTE (*Spikey* @ 05/12/2012, 03:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At least she's stopped regarding people sitting on the loo as a lap that's fair game.


One of mine likes to sit behind you on a chair. She decided one time she would 'sit behind me' on the toilet. As she was leaping up, I stood up and much to her horror, she went in. sick.gif

I was so grateful (as was she I am sure) I was only in for a pee. biggrin.gif

Oddly, she's not tried to sit behind me on the toilet again. wwhistle.gif

#6 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:39 PM

YG, that is hilarious. And it also shows that cats learn from expeerience. roll2.gif

#7 kadoodle

Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

That sounds a lot like the anxiety reducing stuff the child psych is doing with me with DD1!  The kid gets stickers rather than bits of chicken though.  Thankfully the kid is also amused rather than offended by the similarity in separation anxiety treatments.

Right now the anxious kid is asleep in bed with her (non-anxious) cat on the pillow beside her.  The demented rescue kitten is asleep on the foot of DD2's bed and the anxious cat is on my lap masquerading as a breastfeeding pillow while I feed DS2.

#8 papilio

Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:24 PM

My Siamese is a bit like this, but not quite so extreme.  Her behaviour is endearing rather than destructive - except when she's yowling outside my door as I'm trying to sleep after a night shift. The silly thing likes to sit on me when I'm doing yoga in the lounge room, the other day I was showing A some stretches for his back and Rani lay down next to him and he rolled onto her.  She was rather unimpressed!

Willow is determined to win her affection, which is cute.  Is this an option with your children, to have them feed him treats and so on?

#9 kadoodle

Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:33 PM

He quivers like furry blancmange whenever any of the kids come near him, then tucks his tail under his tummy and scoots away to hide.  None of the kids have ever been rough with him, but he was from a shelter, so who knows what his early life was like.  I may have more luck with the baby, who's smaller than him, smells of milk and doesn't try to pester him.  He'll go near the baby when DS2 is asleep or being fed.

Edited by kadoodle, 06 December 2012 - 09:35 PM.


#10 papilio

Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:37 PM

Yes, Rani loathed the kids when they were toddlers - I think cats don't like the unpredictability of them.  Having said that Willow doesn't sit still for long, but it is nice to have a bit of the pressure taken off me, so to speak.  The annoying thing is that I'm actually allergic to cats!

#11 kadoodle

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:25 PM

How do you cope with being allergic to the cat if she's all over you like a rash?

Thankfully I haven't been throwing up today, so Storm has been happy to sit beside me as I flake listlessly on the couch and watch the kids run around.  I've been rewarding him to "stay" with cat treats.  He'll sit and wait for almost 20 seconds, which is longer than the toddler will.

#12 papilio

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:41 PM

If she sits on my chest, as she'd like to, then I sneeze a lot and get watery eyes.  It's not so bad if she's just sitting next to me.  I'm also allergic to dust, but I still have to do some of the housework unfortunately!  If I'm taking hayfever medication it's not so bad.

Glad to hear you are feeling a bit less vomity.  I often joke that my dog/s are/were better behaved than my kids!

#13 papilio

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:41 PM

If she sits on my chest, as she'd like to, then I sneeze a lot and get watery eyes.  It's not so bad if she's just sitting next to me.  I'm also allergic to dust, but I still have to do some of the housework unfortunately!  If I'm taking hayfever medication it's not so bad.

Glad to hear you are feeling a bit less vomity.  I often joke that my dog/s are/were better behaved than my kids!

#14 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:25 PM

My cat is better at sit-stays than all of my dogs. ph34r.gif

Mind you, if the lazer glare were effective, I'd have disintegrated long ago...




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