Siamese meowing allll night

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oriza
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Siamese meowing allll night

Post by oriza » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:03 pm

Hi all,

I understand that Siamese cats are extremely vocal. It's cute, I like talking back to them-- except at night. I recently inherited my cat Malachi from my grandmother, I've had him for about two weeks now, and he continually meows throughout the night. He's not in distress as far as I can tell. He just likes to hear himself talk, and also to get attention. It wouldn't really bother me except that I'm in an apartment, and I'm concerned that it's going to keep my housemate and neighbors awake, as he can sometimes get loud.

The only thing that stops him from meowing is if I pick him up or give him attention, or let him hang out next to my face at night. I'd be fine with letting him sleep next to me, except that he doesn't sleep quietly. He headbutts my face, or walks back and forth across my chest, or just sticks his face right into mine and purrs. (This sounds cute, but it *really* isn't at four in the morning.)

I've tried waiting him out so he learns that meowing repetitively won't get him the attention he wants, but it doesn't work, I don't think he even realizes he's meowing...

Has anyone had a similar problem? Obviously I can't stop him from meowing, so does anyone have any coping strategies that have worked for them in the past for living in an apartment with a loud cat?

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Lilith
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Re: Siamese meowing allll night

Post by Lilith » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:28 pm

Hi Oriza and welcome :)

I used to breed 'Meezes and I know what they're like! Also at present I have two elderly girls who operate the 'early howling system' of many elderly cats (a form of dementia; these two work shifts) and a 5 year old probably part Burmese who's only recently grown out of chirruping and trampolining all over me in bed. However one of the older ones (who is obviously part 'Meez) has taken over the trampolining, and also treading and headbutting in the early hours, so I can relate to your problem even if I can't help to solve it.

How old is your lad? Even allowing for him being Siamese, if he's into double figures, it is possible he's starting with feline dementia. Sometimes this is accompanied with deafness/blindness too; the cat may be bewildered. There's no cure for this but there are evasion tactics. Mouse, 14, is the one who comes and treads me; she does her howling and wauling on the landing and sounds fairly cheerful about it. Emily, 15, sleeps downstairs and the noises she makes are pretty disturbing; she sounds like a soul in torment. Except she's not. She is the most peaceful, placid and contented cat you could wish to meet; I think she is partly deaf and blind as she doesn't always realise I'm there but once she was asleep next to me; she woke up, opened her eyes and sat up to wash. And howled. It was as if for those first few seconds she just didn't know where she was, just as you describe your boy's behaviour. Then it was over and all was fine. Gave her a love, since I was right beside her, of course.

I think the noise cats make gets to humans because it sounds like a crying baby. (No matter how un-maternal we are; I'm DEFINITELY not maternal lol!) I've often lived next door to screaming children (I do at present) but after years of Siamese I can think, 'not my kitten', turn over and go back to sleep, and this is what I do now with Emily and Mouse. They're not in distress, they're not in need, and in a minute they'll shut up. However I realise this attitude takes practice. If they beg off my plate (they do have biscuits to graze on) or yell for their tea I can't stand it - I rush to feed them, or tell them, no, this is mine, but if I know it's 'just' the howling I can ignore it.

The need for attention/affection while you're asleep is hard to deal with too. I've nearly always left the bedroom door open for cats; I couldn't not now, and when the Mousey has landed (at 3am) it's a case of 'oh no.' Loud purrs and she starts treading me like grapes. A waul - 'I'm here, Lil!'

Yes, I know you're here, Lil! I just don't respond. I might answer her with a sleepy murmur, just to be polite, but I know that if I so much as put out a hand she'll go into full throttle and start headbutting like crazy and dancing a fandango on top of me. So I don't move a muscle, and in a moment or two she settles down peacefully and that is that.

Again I realise it's very very hard not to respond to an affectionate, gorgeous cat, even if you're aching for sleep, but in this sort of case I think a little firmness doesn't come amiss. I would advise your tactic of ignoring Malachi if he gets a bit much/yells at the wrong time but maybe letting him into the bedroom just in the hope that familiarity breeds contempt. You haven't had him long and the novelty, hopefully, may wear off. Things are strange for him just at the moment and you're the only familiar thing in his world. But he does need to learn some boundaries, I feel, whatever the cause of his behaviour. Are you out during the day and could he be missing your grandma's company? Do you manage to give him attention/play with him during the time you're home with him? Siamese crave human company.

Sorry for long post; I don't know if I've helped but hope it might start a bit of a 'brainstormer' on how to help you and Malachi and flatmates too, and other people will be along soon with more advice. All the best to you both and big fusses to Malachi, I bet he's gorgeous, how I do love Siamese! :)

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Re: Siamese meowing allll night

Post by oriza » Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:40 pm

Thanks so much for all of the advice! You had so many great insights. I think some of it is because he's lacking in attention throughout the day. I'm a grad student and so I'm usually gone for most of the day-- my class schedule is such that sometimes I don't get home until 9 or 9:30. I try to spend all of my time at home cuddling him (to the point where sometimes I'm eating dinner with him on my lap).

You make a good point in that my grandma used to be with him constantly, so he's probably very lonely. I'm not sure if that's immediately fixable right now, but hopefully he'll get used to it, and hopefully the extra affection I give him when I get home will help. I'll encourage my housemate to pet him during the day (he usually gets home before I do).

I will also try the technique of completely ignoring him when he's "dancing the fandango" (love that phrase) on top of me so that he learns boundaries. Initially I felt like I *had* to pet him when he was doing that, because otherwise he would start to meow. I'll talk to my housemate and see if he'll be okay with letting the cat meow himself out, to teach him that it won't result in cuddles.

It's a shame he's kind of a fraidy-cat, I'd like to play with him more in the morning and evening to tire him out, but he just runs away from the toys that I buy...

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Ruth B
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Re: Siamese meowing allll night

Post by Ruth B » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:35 pm

I can't help with the meowing and i've never had a siamese, but I can suggest a toy.

When we got our nervous youngster the rescue suggested we get a 'Flying Frenzy' for her. It has a rod abut 6' long and a piece of string that is slightly longer (there are shorter versions available, but I find the long one is the best), you can then get a variety of attachments for them to play with. While some of the attachments are quite large and heavy others are just clumps of feathers or the 'Wiggly worm' which is really just a fluffy bit of string. I can't imagine any cat really being scared of it, you start of slowly with it just wiggling on the floor and work from there. Even in a small room i could get mine racing around and jumping from sofa to chair and back again.

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Re: Siamese meowing allll night

Post by Crewella » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:53 pm

Lil's right - his whole world has turned upside down recently so I would expect him to be a bit bewildered and needy for a few weeks, until he settles down a bit and forms a proper relationship with you. Cats do 'train' us, though. Be aware that he will learn that sitting outside your door yelling will get you to eventually open it and give him some attention, if that's what you do, so you do need to make some decisions. Then you do have to absolutely ignore the unwanted behaviour for a good couple of weeks to get him to realise that it doesn't get him anywhere, and you do have to really stick to your guns as giving in just once will pretty much put you back to square one!

Good on you for taking him on - he sounds a sweetheart! :)

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Re: Siamese meowing allll night

Post by mr_frisky » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:33 pm

My Kitty (pictured) tries to lie on my chest or on my pillow at night, and in the early hours constantly bounds across my chest like a stepping stone to get to the window. I'm usually too tired to worry, and I like her on my pillow.

It sounds like yours is unsettled because of his new environment, and will settle down before long, although Siamese cats are prone to being noisy and affectionate.

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