Lately I have really been thinking about how I handle situations, and I have been thinking about how I can do things better. I mean, I’m about to become a mother – I am terrified that I won’t handle situations correctly and raise an absolute terror of a child. Potentially they could hate me from the way I decide to handle things.
The best example that I can use as of lately is with my cats behavioral pattern. If you haven’t met my cat by now, here is a post where I have written about him.
His night time/crazy time is something that my husband and I have been struggling with for the last year. He used to be an angel, but the last year my cat has decided that from 3AM on wards he wants to be an absolute asshole and jump on everything in the bedroom. Continually. Every night.
He will jump on the headboard on our bed (which is faux leather) and claw at it which we now have had to put a blanket over to protect it. He will then jump on the TV unit and whack at everything, typical cat. We thought putting a cat tower in the bedroom for him to use would help, but he decided that isn’t what he wants.
Our cat has Pica as well which I have written about here. So that means in the early hours of the morning he tries to eat the cables by our bedside. He has also been trying to get into our clothes wardrobes in the bedroom by clawing at the corners which we have covered with our items to stop him from getting in, he wants to get in there so that he can eat our clothes because he needs that Pica outlet.
This has been an ongoing battle from 3AM on wards every day, we haven’t had a full nights sleep for a very long time. This is perfect training for our baby that is on the way, that’s something positive.
It’s just frustrating because we can’t do anything to help him besides remove anything that could possibly upset his digestive system from his bloody Pica if he manages to get to it.
Last night, my husband tried just taking him to his food to have some cat biscuits, and then took him back to our bed and patted him until he calmed down. That bought us an additional 3 hours before he started to act up again, and we ended up just putting him into the kitchen until we got up at 7:00AM together.
This morning has had me thinking about we have been handling the situation. We usually get frustrated, pull out our spray bottle (which is a great deterrent for 5 minutes) and then eventually it will get to the point where we need to put him in the kitchen with his food, water, litter tray and a blanket to sleep on. He then will stay in there for a maximum of two hours because he will cry his head off and we will give up. It’s just exhausting.
So, all in all it seems that giving him cuddles last night ended up settling him better than trying to tell him ‘no’. I guess cats don’t understand discipline as well as they understand affection, but it just surprised me that comforting him for a few minutes gave us an additional 3 hours sleep. So is that the best thing to do in these situations? It made me wonder if we have been misinterpreting his night time antics of misbehaving.
Everything that I have read online has told us to ignore when they act up in the evening, essentially just play dead and they will realise what they are doing isn’t giving them any attention. The thing is, we have tried that but when you have a cat with Pica if they get hold of something that they shouldn’t they could absolutely eat something dangerous that their bodies should not be handling. We do it for his own well being, so ignoring and knowingly let him digest something that he shouldn’t isn’t safe or wise.
We think his Pica is worse at the moment because of our neighbours. Generally, we let him play outside daily in our closed off courtyard so he can stimulate his mind and do normal cat hunting things with butterflies, birds – whatever, normal cat things. Unfortunately our neighbours have been staying in their holiday unit next to us for the last few weeks, which means they have had noise and what not carrying on in their courtyard next to ours which freaks my cat out. He isn’t a social little thing, he hates strangers, so he hasn’t been going outside much. He prefers to be indoors at the moment, which is making him far more frustrated. He’s been far worse in the evenings lately.
We try to tire him out every night before bed so that hopefully he will sleep long enough to not destroy our hopes of a good nights sleep, and that never works. He has the energy of a demon.
It’s just hard to know how best to handle the situation and help him. It feels like we have exhausted all resources. Cats are hunters in the night naturally, so it is normal behaviour for him but we can’t even shut him out of the bedroom because he rips at the carpet, even with rug prevention by the door or not. We are renting as well, so we need to keep things in tip top shape.
Let’s hope he grows out of it! We will have to keep trying the snuggle method and see how long that lasts.
Thanks for reading my ramble!
Speak soon readers