This lady has become desperate to stop her cat from interfering with her sleep. Her cat’s activity is at night.
“My 12 year old cat spends all night knocking things off my dresser, my kitchen counters, shredding any paper or plastic she can find, and essentially wakes me up every 1.5 hours. 12 YEARS OF THIS! I have tried a squirt bottle, tried locking her out of the room with a white noise machine on….” (from the catsite.com website)
There appears to be no health issues such as dementia. Anyway dementia would not cause this behavior. For me (and I am open to counterarguments) the cat is behaving normally or within the parameters of normal domestic cat behavior. There may be an element of ‘attention seeking behavior‘ as well. Perhaps the cat wants to get the lady involved.
Domestic cats can be active at night. This is in their DNA. Although usually the most active periods are, as we know, at dawn and dusk but this is not ‘set in cement’. There is variation.
The activities of her cat which she describes, hint to me that the cat is under-stimulated. This is a cat who wants stimulus and perhaps this is an individual cat who requires more interaction that usual. That is not being critical of anyone. I can sense that this cat is bored and is artificially creating stimuli for herself by, for example, knocking things of the dresser. This creates a flying object and some noise at the end of the ‘flight’ – a bit of artificial nature, if you like.
I have asked this lady if her cat is a full-time indoor cat. That may be a factor because it is beholden upon the cat’s caretaker to provide stimuli in the home for full-time indoor cats because the usual outdoor stimuli of nature are not present.
By outdoor stimuli I mean the sounds and smells of nature and the activities of other animals, insects outdoors. These keep a cat alert. Obviously it is not always suitable to let a cat go outdoors. It depends on the circumstances.
I have not heard a response from the lady as to whether her cat is a full-time indoor cat but my guess is that she is. Indeed my whole argument is based on it! 😉
If she is not an indoor cat then there may be a hyperactivity problem due to hyperthyroidism causing restlessness but there are other symptoms of this condition and they appear not to be present based on the lady’s account.
As an afterthought, personally I don’t believe that trying to stop this form of behavior is wise or fair. She is punishing her cat for behaving normally, which is how I see it. Once again this is not a criticism but an observation with the intention of trying to resolve the matter.
These are my thoughts and I’d welcome the input of others because I may well have missed something.
Photo: Chris Dlugosz