How to deal with a super needy cat??! HELP!!!
I need some help!
I adopted a rescue cat in August of this year. Her background: She’s 7 years old, had lived at the Animal Hospital/vets for over a year. Her original owners surrendered her to the pet hospital because apparently they had children who were being too rough with her (this is how the story goes, anyway ;-)).
She’s declawed (I didn’t do that – to note – would NEVER!!!), spayed, mostly toothless and is a medium hair calico.
Apparently, when she lived at the animal hospital, she bonded quite heavily with a male ginger tabby, who was adopted out just before I came and adopted her. She apparently also tolerated dogs quite well. Remarkable, given that she’s kind of defenseless!
Now, her personality is as follows: She doesn’t really like to be petted. She tolerates it, but for very brief periods. If you try and persevere in fact, she’ll get up and move away from you. Mostly, she’s just very, VERY playful. My sense is she could play 2-4-7. Her fave toy is the laser toy. Doesn’t really play with any other toys.
Here’s my issue: over the past couple of weeks she has gotten extraordinarily needy. To the point where it’s interfering with my quality of life and to the point where I’m starting to fantasize about rehoming her or bringing her back to the animal hospital. Obviously, I want to avoid that at all costs so I need to know what I can do to make my life with her bearable.
She meows as soon as I get home. She’s obv very happy to see me and these meows don’t really bother me, I consider them greetings. I always give her lots of pets (moving pets bc she won’t sit still) and talk to her and ask her about her day… note that I live alone, and I’m a 9 – 5’er so she’s alone all day. I then settle into my usual routine (which she’s familiar with by now) of doing up the dishes and prepping dinner. In the past, she would sit contentedly nearby, grooming herself, quietly. But for the past couple of weeks she instead tears around the apartment like she’s lost her mind. She gallops around, meowing crazily, she’ll come to me in the kitchen and meow loudly at my legs. Loudly and demandingly as if she wants/needs something but all her needs are taken of as far as I can tell. Fresh water every morning, check. Food in clean bowl, check. Litter is clean. Toys are out. I then need to go to my computer and work on my other evening job so I’ll eat dinner at the computer and send e-mails… this part of the routine she particularly seems to hate. Again, she’ll be meowing at me, demandingly, relentlessly… I try ignoring her, not “talking” back and the past few nights she’s gotten up on her hind legs to literally paw at me.
Basically, I think she’s going crazy being on her own all day and wants my undivided attention when I get home. But I can’t give that to her and it’s been that way since the get go. I’m very solid in my routine. Nothing’s changed – except her behaviour. I do play with her, every night, for at least an hour. I also spend part of the night (once I’ve done my dinner and dishes and e-mails tasks) chatting with her (she likes it when I talk to her) and giving her some pets and a good brush down a few nights a week.
I’ve considered getting a male kitten for her but honestly, I wanted A CAT. Just one. Not more. Which in fact is why I chose a FEMALE cat because in my experience they’re generally more independent/self-sufficient.
Basically she’s driving me crazy with her relentless meowing. I’ve tried “correcting” it by ignoring her meows (in the past I would say “OK, almost done here, we’ll play soon”) but she’s just ramping it up by pawing at me. The way she meows at me, you’d think the curtains were on fire or something. It’s not the kind of meow that’s easy to ignore. It’s RELENTLESS. They’re like “TIMMY’S IN THE WELL!!!” meows. ;-)
She’s also taken to meowing at me in the middle of night for no apparent reason, where she didn’t do that before either. My sense from her is that she’s really anxious so y’day I picked up some “Quiet Moments” feliway type spray from the pet store, hoping that might calm her down. I noticed a slight difference last night, but not much. I also “built” her a new cardboard box bed last night, sprayed the inside of it and all her fave corners/hiding places.
Basically, I feel like I wanted a PET but I ended up with a PEST. I need some advice/tips/help.
Thanks in advance for any input or advice, everyone!!