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Can anyone help with my cats driving me barmy on an evening

(7 Posts)
TexMex Fri 10-Jan-14 19:26:34

I have 3 cats, one spends a lot of time outside and is generally no problem.

The other two however are driving me crazy. I leave dry cat food out during the day and have always fed them wet food around tea time. Prior to having DC's they were fine with this (interestingly I was out at work all day then)

But now I have DC's I am in most of the day (out maybe only 3-4 hrs at a time, rarely all day) so there isn't that coming home at a regular time to feed them. They start at around 4.30 pm running around meowing, scratching carpet, running over DC's, scratching sofa. I end up having to shut them in the kitchen. This goes on all evening throughout bath time and bedtime and they will continue and run into DC's room to wake them deliberately if I don't feed them!

I've tried feeding them at 4.30 when they first start getting naughty, but they just eat it and continue their behaviours all night until I lock them out or shut them in the kitchen for the night. Obviously I don't want to do this, I would like them to behave normally and have a bit of time with them on an evening! Ignoring them doesn't work, feeding them doesn't work as they just want more. Arghh!! I tried cutting out wet food altogether but that was disastrous as they ran amock and I couldn't get them into the kitchen to stop them waking the DC's! Help!

cozietoesie Fri 10-Jan-14 20:13:00

The two homecats sound a tad bored and needy, Tex. Have you tried giving them their dried in foraging toys? That would give them an interest and more of a challenge. Loads of guidance on the net on making some but you could but some cheapish plastic kibble balls at the supermarket or pet store in the interim and while you hone those old Blue Peter skills. (And collect the clean yoghurt pots/ kitchen roll innards etc.)

I'd stick to the old wet food timing and see how some foraging toys do during the rest of the day. Keep that good schedule going.

(Prior to the DCs I'm guessing you also had the heating off in the day? That would mean burrowing in a warm cosy place for a long sleep.)

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 10-Jan-14 20:27:29

Sounds like a mad half hour, I'd try lots of catnip toys and scratching posts.

Throwing toys up or down the stairs works well. It really tires them out.

TexMex Fri 10-Jan-14 21:07:51

Hmmmm thanks for that. I will try and be inventive and come up with ways to keep them busy whilst I'm giving kids tea etc and see if that makes a difference.

Yes, you're right heating was off when I worked. They can go outside if they want to (cat flap) but prefer to laze around indoors pestering for food!!

cozietoesie Fri 10-Jan-14 21:32:38

Look up 'cat foraging toys' (or similar) on google and see what you find. It boils down to hiding their kibble in inventive things so that the food can be got out but after a little bit of to-ing and fro-ing. Keeps them interested and challenges their hunting instinct - especially when there's little or no action outside because of the winter weather.

timtam23 Sat 11-Jan-14 10:21:12

My younger one is a bit like this, especially if it's wet/cold/dark & he doesn't want to go out. He's still quite young (6 months) but he loves catnip toys, the pompoms out of kids' craft kits, jumping in & out of cardboard boxes - his favourite ever thing is the laser pointer but he needs me to have the time to do that one with him (it really tires him out though, so it's worth doing for a bit of peace!)

sashh Sat 11-Jan-14 16:50:35

On a cat behaviour course I went to they recommended putting wet food in grease proof paper parcels and hiding it to keep them busy.

Not sure I'd want to go that far but maybe put a couple of 'parcels' in their bowls so they have to work at getting fed.

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