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Strange/Out of Character Behaviour from my Cat

December 27th, 2006, 08:31 PM

First, a little background. I recently (1 month ago) adopted a 5 year old cat from a local cat rescue. Generally, he is quite adorable and sweet. To illustrate this, when I picked him up from his foster home, like many cats, he dislikes carriers and didn't want to go in. Not once did he hiss, bite, swat, or scratch anyone as we tried to get him into the carrier (which took a good 10 minutes). He's got a very gentle temperament is the point. He rarely speaks too.

I work during the day (9-5) and when I come home he always comes to greet me at the door. There is never anything awry when I get home and always seems to behave himself during the day. If I'm home during the day, he spends a good deal of it napping and just hanging out with me on the sofa.

The strange behaviour from the title of my post comes generally at night when I am going to bed or just before. I will be getting ready to go to bed and quite suddenly and out of the blue he will begin acting weird. He seems scared and begins to dart around the apartment (running into things as the hardwood is slippery - amusing in itself) and hiding or going into a "ready to pounce" position somewhere. If I come around a corner or make any sounds, he will dart away seemingly terrified. I will get down to his level and call him over, but he will not let me pet him and moves away. I've tried playing with him for a good 15 minutes but the behaviour continues after. There is food available to him. A few nights, I have decided his behaviour is simply "bratty", and I have closed my bedroom door. Most of the time he will meow for a minute then wander off. However, some nights he has begun scratching at the door most annoyingly. I was only able to make him stop by throwing something at the door from my side which obviously scared him and he went away. He does not cause a fuss during the rest of the night. It has basically got to the point where if I can manage to go to bed while he is sleeping, I will quietly sneak away from him and quietly close my door so he doesn't get curious and come over then possibly start acting weird.

Having said all that, every morning if my alarm goes off (not earlier) he comes to the door and meows, sitting outside my bedroom door most adorably and waiting for me to appear. When I open the door, he comes in and brushes against me lovingly like nothing happened the night before.

So, basically, I find that behaviour very very strange and was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience or any suggestions on what may be causing it and how I might resolve it.

It is important to note that apparently he was found on the street by the cat rescue group. He is, however, not fearful of strangers and was quite comfortable in my home within a few hours. He spent a month in his foster home. I spoke with the foster carer who said he never exhibited such behaviour in her care. Stumped!

Any help appreciated!

December 27th, 2006, 08:54 PM
Are you certain he is scared and not just playing? Many cats get the 'crazies' at night, probably due to their hunting instincts kicking in. Mine occasionally tear around the house and this is always at night. Sometimes they do it after they visit the litter box... Have you always shut your cat out of the bedroom at night? It could be that he is upset by this and is acting out. Or he could just be getting rid of some excess energy.

A tip for getting your cat in the carrier: put them in butt first. It is really easy, even if the cat is not as nice as yours about it (mine puts up quite a fuss).

He sounds like a good cat, congrats on your new addition!

December 28th, 2006, 12:12 AM
Kristin is exactly right, your cat has the 'zoomies', they just lose it, usually in the evening, nobody knows why, probably an excess of energy or some weird movie going on in their head.
Try dragging a bit of screwed up paper on a string past his hiding place - pounce!! Or a laser pointer (available at any drugstore or dollar store - do not shine in his eyes) will only add to his delight. Those little crinkly balls (dollar store) are usually a hit. Since he has no other playmate and lies around all day, he needs to burn off a little energy
Um - any reason why he can't sleep with you? Toe-diving?

December 28th, 2006, 02:24 AM
Sounds to me like he is just feeling comfy in his new home and his personality is beginning to shine. My cats are often very active around bed time (11 pm) for an hour or so. It is quite common.
Badger had great suggestions for some tiring out earlier. My cats love to chase the laser pointer and also to bat around sponge balls. I would also recommend letting him sleep with you if possible because a cuddly kitty is also a quiet kitty ;) .

December 28th, 2006, 10:01 AM
He must love you because he feels comfortable enough to play. Yes, my cat can run sideways on the walls defying gravity during his wild moments. I don't know about sleeping with you - I can't get a restful sleep with pets on my head. They are just fine in their own bed.

December 28th, 2006, 02:46 PM
Ah the kitten crazies, I remember those, they're infuriating/cute/funny/maddening all at the same time and almost always at the most inappropriate moments when you're bedding down for the night. Have you tried letting him in the bedroom with you at night? He may be very well aware of your routine already (cats are watchers I've learned over the years) and wishes to be with you at night, and not at all happy that he isn't. After all, you are HIS human :D Congrats on bringing him in, and thank you for giving him a new life :)

December 28th, 2006, 05:49 PM
My cats also very often will do the same thing. It can be frustrating at times especially when it's after I've gotten to sleep and the dogs end up chasing the cats so it takes a while to get them all calmed down.

December 28th, 2006, 06:06 PM
Thread jack:: Why is it that they do get zoomies after going to litter box??cant figure that out>>end...

December 28th, 2006, 06:08 PM
Wow the best part well almost of ahving a pet is the way they cuddle with you at love love it.....

December 28th, 2006, 06:36 PM
I know, even though i can't move, I just love having one cat sleep on my head and the other on my legs! I could, however, do without the early morning wake ups because they are hungry. Funny, I can always tell when one of my cats has just visited the box, it's because they are hyper and zooming around all over! They are just so happy about it!

December 28th, 2006, 06:40 PM
I am with you,she can be sprawled out on my pillow and i wil sleep uncomfortabley just so she doesnt have to move,sometimes i wake up and we are face to face,makes me melt,and if she isnt sleeping o n my pillow she is squeezd in right betwwen me and my boyfriend right by our heads.....sorry no more thread jack..It is all about our kitty in our house.

December 28th, 2006, 06:47 PM
I'm sorry too, but I guess I am just a big cat, because I love it when they cuddle and drape themselves all over. Somehow it helps me relax, and maybe it's the purring... supposedly purrs vibrate at frequencies which can help heal bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and also are comforting.

December 28th, 2006, 08:48 PM
Wow.. thanks for all your replies. It does all pretty much put my mind at ease as I was beginning to feel that something was wrong with him (or me!). He definitely has the "zoomies" sometimes. :)

To everyone who asked why I don't let him sleep with me. I would love him to sometimes, but he seems to never want to come onto the bed - no matter what time of day. I think at some point with a previous owner, it was not allowed. I have tried picking him up and putting him on the bed and I'm lucky if he sticks around for 10 seconds. No amount of coaxing seems to work. On the first day I had him, I did walk into the bedroom and he was lying right at the corner of the bed, but as soon as he sensed me come in he jumped off immediately. Any ideas how to adjust his "fear" of the bed at least a little?

He's a pretty "twitchy" cat. The very slightest movements and unexpected sounds (unless he is deep asleep) cause him to explore the cause. So, I'm not sure that he would enjoy sleeping in my bed if I was there and made sudden movements.

He is entirely adorable and a joy, so I just want him to be entirely happy here! Thanks for the help.

December 29th, 2006, 07:41 AM
I love the Zoomies:D Chico will start,when the others are snoozing and soon I'll have 3 crazed kitties flying around the house,area-rugs with them!!
Then they will suddenly drop down and go back to snoozing:confused:
Not all cats like to sleep in the bed with you,my Chico prefers to go to his spot in another room,Vinnie has a blanket on top of my very tall armoire,but Rocky my big suck,has to sleep as close to me as possible...they are all different,with different quirks:cat:
One thing none of my cats put up with,is closed doors:pawprint: