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Our 10 year old adopted cat yowls starting at six a.m. until somebody gets up to love on her. It is kind of endearing because she is so pleased that we all alive every morning, but on days we would like to sleep in a little (say Sunday, maybe until the kids wake up at the generous time of 7) it is so annoying. This morning I dreamt I was throwing toys and pillows at her! DH said grumpily that we should crate her like a dog. Is there any way to teach this old cat, new tricks?<br><br>
P.s. We adopted her after her owner died in her sleep.
 

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She's got you trained very well!<br><br>
One key thing to understand about animal behavior is that what works is repeated. If it doesn't work, it will be repeated a ton of times, and then abruptly stop.<br><br>
You can see this in your own brain--you go out to the car, start it, drive off. Next morning, start it, drive off. Next morning, turn the key, nothing happens. You will then try to turn the key a ton of times, in different ways, with different combinations of your foot on the gas, not on the gas, while your forehead is leaning on the steering wheel, in an attitude of prayer, etc. If it doesn't work, after all those repetitions, you'll give up and stop trying it (and go in and call a tow truck).<br><br>
So the only way to stop this behavior, which has been very effective for her for this long, is to ignore it. For several mornings she'll not just yowl but scream, bang on your door, etc. IGNORE. Suddenly, it's just going to stop, and everybody gets to sleep. Hooray.<br><br>
One caution--DO NOT GIVE IN when she escalates the behavior. If you get up and go to her, even out of sheer frustration, after fifteen minutes of screeching and door-banging, you have just taught her that fifteen minutes of screeching and door-banging is now the magic combination, and "escalation" at that point would be to thirty minutes of screeching, door banging, and wall-scratching. It would be like if the car started after twenty tries--you've got your reward, so the next morning you'd be willing to turn the key thirty or forty times.<br><br>
Oh, and don't worry--this is not her being happy that you're alive or afraid you're dead. She can hear your heart beating from across the room, and hear you breathing from upstairs. No animal has any irrational fears that anybody is alive or dead; they know perfectly well (and it doesn't scare them). This is purely her wanting the fun of being petted.
 

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Are you ferberizing the cat??!!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"><br><br>
I think perhaps you should co-sleep instead.
 

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Make sure there's no reward .... ie, don't feed Missus Bad until later, waaaay later. It could be that her original folks fed her in the morning and she's saying, "Get up, human! Do my bidding!"<br><br>
You'll appreciate this:<br><br><a href="http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=1322921&fr=" target="_blank">http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=1322921&fr=</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cmb123</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10271626"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are you ferberizing the cat??!!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"><br><br>
I think perhaps you should co-sleep instead.</div>
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If you're asking me, then yeah, I really don't believe in APing animals. The whole point of AP in humans is that's the way they're meant to be raised; that's the instinctive behavior. Cats and dogs don't raise their babies anywhere close to that way, and AP-type behavior seems (to a cat or dog) to be humans-acting-in-insane-ways.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>thekimballs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10271598"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She's got you trained very well!<br><br>
One key thing to understand about animal behavior is that what works is repeated. If it doesn't work, it will be repeated a ton of times, and then abruptly stop.<br><br>
You can see this in your own brain--you go out to the car, start it, drive off. Next morning, start it, drive off. Next morning, turn the key, nothing happens. You will then try to turn the key a ton of times, in different ways, with different combinations of your foot on the gas, not on the gas, while your forehead is leaning on the steering wheel, in an attitude of prayer, etc. If it doesn't work, after all those repetitions, you'll give up and stop trying it (and go in and call a tow truck).<br><br>
So the only way to stop this behavior, which has been very effective for her for this long, is to ignore it. For several mornings she'll not just yowl but scream, bang on your door, etc. IGNORE. Suddenly, it's just going to stop, and everybody gets to sleep. Hooray.<br><br>
One caution--DO NOT GIVE IN when she escalates the behavior. If you get up and go to her, even out of sheer frustration, after fifteen minutes of screeching and door-banging, you have just taught her that fifteen minutes of screeching and door-banging is now the magic combination, and "escalation" at that point would be to thirty minutes of screeching, door banging, and wall-scratching. It would be like if the car started after twenty tries--you've got your reward, so the next morning you'd be willing to turn the key thirty or forty times.<br><br>
Oh, and don't worry--this is not her being happy that you're alive or afraid you're dead. She can hear your heart beating from across the room, and hear you breathing from upstairs. No animal has any irrational fears that anybody is alive or dead; they know perfectly well (and it doesn't scare them). This is purely her wanting the fun of being petted.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: I did a paper for my psych class in college about conditioning, and the main topic was my cats <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> the behavior will eventually die out (a process called extinction), but only if you show her that it is not effective.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here's the problem, though. DH's alarm clock goes off at 6 M-F. Does she really have an internal clock, that is, she remembers the time on Saturday when the alarm doesn't go off? Might it work if DH set his alarm for 5:50 say? Or would she just reset too? I just want one weekend!!!
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>redhotmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10272157"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Here's the problem, though. DH's alarm clock goes off at 6 M-F. Does she really have an internal clock, that is, she remembers the time on Saturday when the alarm doesn't go off? Might it work if DH set his alarm for 5:50 say? Or would she just reset too? I just want one weekend!!!</div>
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Aha! Sounds like the cat IS conditioned to your typical day!<br><br>
Well, my boy Nicky did EXACTLY this. He woke us up on the weekend *expecting* that we would be getting up at the usual time as the alarm clock. In fact, he was deaf, and he would scream. Didn't matter if we had the door closed...he didn't care, but he seemed to be expecting us to get up and he would scream as if to ask "uh, where are you people?"<br><br>
This is keeping the door closed. Though, he would only do it for a few minutes and then realize we weren't coming out! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>thekimballs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10271695"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If you're asking me, then yeah, I really don't believe in APing animals. The whole point of AP in humans is that's the way they're meant to be raised; that's the instinctive behavior. Cats and dogs don't raise their babies anywhere close to that way, and AP-type behavior seems (to a cat or dog) to be humans-acting-in-insane-ways.</div>
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<br>
That was supposed to be a joke<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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We live in a very small space with two indoor cats. We have dealt with this exact behavior. We tried ignoring them--but extinction only works if there is *no* reward for the behavior--and our cats do get entertainment value from leaping and bellowing at sleeping humans, even if those humans do nothing in response. They still had the satisfaction of TRYING to wake us, and that seemed to entertain them. Cats are weird! I have found three ways to deal with this:<br><br>
1) Isolate ourselves during sleep. Close the door. They cannot bother us.<br><br>
2) If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Like many indoor cats ours are very food focused. They do not free feed-they get two meals and two snacks a day. I am the source of most meals. There is no way for the cats to go 9 or 10 hours without trying to get food. I was getting lots of nudging, patting, and plaintive yowling in my ear all through the night.<br><br>
I switched their eating schedule. They get one huge meal right when I go to bed, and another is prepared and kept in my side drawer. After they eat, they sleep. By the time the first meal wears off at 5 or 6 in the morning, and the cats get frisky, I take out the second meal, set on floor, and go back to sleep. I barely wake up. It's a lot like feeding a baby--you get attuned to the first signal, and respond before things get out of hand, without even waking up completely. Of course this reinforces the behavior at 5 am, but it means they leave me alone at all other times. We can sleep peacefully until 8am.<br><br>
3)Active discouragement--this won't really work to stop the behavior, but I have used it in tandem with the above, to reinforce that I should not be bothered before dawn: I keep a cup of water beside my bed and flick a finger tip of it while making a hissing sound. Apparently this is the cat equivalent of saying to them "Hiss! Boo! Leave me alone,back off, go away!". It works--but as I said negative reinforcement has a rapid extinction and won't address the underlying behavior.<br><br>
Long term--I want to buy an automatic timer dish feeder. That way they will learn food comes from the funny dish on he floor, not from me. I'd like to set it for 5am and leave it in the kitchen, and get them used to hanging around and messing with the feeder, leaving me in total peace!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cmb123</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10286685"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That was supposed to be a joke<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"></div>
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I got that it was a joke here...but I'd differ in the cat world and say that in a way having watched momma cats raise litters of kittens I would say that if "AP" is considered a form of instinctive parenting then perhaps momma cats do ap their kittens...they nurse on demand, birth their babies naturally and tend to their babies on pure instinct...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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Yeah, but they also bite and claw their babies daily to make them scream.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>thekimballs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10289205"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yeah, but they also bite and claw their babies daily to make them scream.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"></div>
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OK, that might be dogs...but haven't seen that behavior in cats...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cmb123</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10271626"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are you ferberizing the cat??!!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"><br><br>
I think perhaps you should co-sleep instead.</div>
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We tried co-sleeping, and it turns out our cat is happier in a bed of her own. She just tossed and turned, stuck her paws in my face, etc. So after we gently put her to sleep in the family, I transfer her to her space, (aka, the couch) where she blissfully sleeps until she wakes at 6, where upon she needs help re-settling. I'm able to just roll over, lightly touch her head, and then she retreats back to *her* couch. I'm happy to oblige, because after all, she'll only need this comforting every day of her life for the next, oh, 15 years? I'm soaking it up!<br><br>
To the original poster, enjoy this time while you have it. And if that doesn't work, just remember... this too shall pass.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>phatchristy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10289475"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">OK, that might be dogs...but haven't seen that behavior in cats...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></div>
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Really? I saw it done to single one of the hundreds of kittens (literally) we had born when I was growing up. Once when we had to raise an orphaned newborn litter the vet told us that it was absolutely crucial that we make the newborns screech at least once a day for the first few days to clear the secretions in their throats. The mom cats will (briefly; this is like two seconds each kitten) grab each one in her paws and bite it and even kick it a little with her back feet until it screams. Never seen a dog do it, but ALL the barn cats (who would come inside to have their kittens) did.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>thekimballs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10290218"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Really? I saw it done to single one of the hundreds of kittens (literally) we had born when I was growing up. Once when we had to raise an orphaned newborn litter the vet told us that it was absolutely crucial that we make the newborns screech at least once a day for the first few days to clear the secretions in their throats. The mom cats will (briefly; this is like two seconds each kitten) grab each one in her paws and bite it and even kick it a little with her back feet until it screams. Never seen a dog do it, but ALL the barn cats (who would come inside to have their kittens) did.</div>
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I don't remember that at all...maybe I just had a bunch of dumb persians over here...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> I had the moms and kittens in the bedroom. They were such good moms...kept their babies clean and were very attentive. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> Maybe the breeding aspect took some of those behaviors out of them?
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>redhotmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10272157"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Here's the problem, though. DH's alarm clock goes off at 6 M-F. Does she really have an internal clock, that is, she remembers the time on Saturday when the alarm doesn't go off? Might it work if DH set his alarm for 5:50 say? Or would she just reset too? I just want one weekend!!!</div>
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Sounds like our littlest gal, Stephanie. She wakes up with my mom every morning at 5 am, hangs out in the bathroom while she showers, has her daily petting session, and is set for the morning until the rest of us wake up.<br><br>
Well, then my mom had surgery and stayed home for a month. For over a week, Stephanie would stand outside their bedroom door <b>screeching</b> because Mom wasn't getting up. It's the same almost every weekend too, and it's hard, because it's unintentionally reinforced 5 out of 7 days.<br><br>
It's a good thing they're so cute...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 
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