Newly adopted cats meowing all night

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Newly adopted cats meowing all night

Post by T31clh » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:37 pm


I'm new to this forum, I have recently adopted 2 ragdolls, 2 years and 10 months, both males both neutered, very friendly, laid back cats, they are indoor cats, but eventually will have access to an outdoor catio.

The problem starts when we put them to bed, we close them in the dining room. From the point to door is closed there is a constant meowing. We have tried going cold Turkey and not responding but it gets worse. They start banging and crashing, which I am assuming it is that they are playing.

We have allowed then to roam the house, but they caused problems, scratching at the bedroom door, chasing around the house, banging and crashing around.

I've bought feliway plug in, incase they are anxious about the change, this has not seemed to make a difference.

It's got to the point where we have put a catio in the garage as we've been struggling to sleep. This has helped as the younger cat is much quieter, if he meows he only does it for a short time then goes to sleep. So for 4 nights all has been ok keeping them separated.

Last night we swapped and put the younger cat in the catio, but the older cat just got louder and louder in the end we swapped them over so we could get some sleep.

I really don't know what to do.

Ideally I want them both to be able to sleep in the house on a night.

Can anyone give me some advice on what to do.



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Re: Newly adopted cats meowing all night

Post by Mollycat » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:15 am

Welcome to the forum and the next potentially 20 years of fun and fur. I take it the boys were together before you adopted them?

Unfortunately you're fighting against basic cat nature and sleep cycles, not just youthful playfulness. Cats are crepuscular animals, most active at dusk and dawn. They can see in one sixth of the light we need. When we turn out the lights and go to bed, suddenly to them it's dusk and playtime. Some say tire them out with play but I have never found that works and I suspect it's because their natural pattern is hunt-eat-sleep, so some hunting play, then a protein rich snack like a few pieces of meat, then sleep. But lights out could still trigger them to start up again.

Cats also don't like closed doors very much, whether it's the bedroom door or the dining room door. It's not anxiety, it's cat nature. You could try closing your bedroom door during the day, if you don't want it open at night, so they get used to this door being closed to them. Just until they learn to leave you alone at night.

You're right about sticking to your decisions though, if you eventually give in they will learn that if they keep insisting they will eventually win. A routine should help, a ritual you go through with them every evening before you shut them in wherever you decide they should be at night. I used to give a bedtime treat and then say night-night in a recognisable voice, and after that the only reaction they would get from me was a few strokes if they got on the bed and settled. No matter what they did and what noise they made, I played dead. I have a one bedroom flat and all doors are always open.

It might feel like they are playing all night but that is just how it feels. In reality cats sleep between 15 and 20 hours per day. So most likely they are playing for half an hour, maybe an hour, and then go quiet. It might be a little longer because they are protesting at the closed doors. They might start up again during the night, 8 hours is a long time to a cat, but if you are already asleep hopefully you will eventually stay asleep through their playing once your brain gets used to it being a normal noise.

Just a word of caution, you don't put a car or chemicals like paint, thinners, petrol or anything that gives off fumes in the garage, right? It would not take much of fumes breathed in to cause them a problem. And obviously be sure there is no way they can access any floor where a car could have dripped any water, as antifreeze is a horrible killer.

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Re: Newly adopted cats meowing all night

Post by fjm » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:34 am

Can you build an outdoor pen sooner rather than later? If they had access to an exciting outdoor area, with climbing frames, tunnels, swing toys and the occasional mouse it may be attractive enough to distract them from playing tag around the house. You have two healthy young cats, and every instinct is telling them to be up and doing as the light fades, and again in the very early morning - much easier to give them an outlet than to try to repress it. I would also second Molly's advice to close the doors of any rooms you want to keep them out of at night during the day as well - once a room is considered part of the territory closed doors are anathema, although they may still scratch at doors if you are on the other side of them. Eventually one becomes inured to all but the biggest bangs and crashes - in the meantime earplugs may help you to sleep.

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Re: Newly adopted cats meowing all night

Post by Ruth B » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:08 am

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new additions. We had a Ragdoll from a shelter many years ago and had him for about 13 years and they are wonderful cats. However after we got him I picked up a book about them and it mentioned their 'lovely quiet little voice' he had never read that bit, and it sounds like yours haven't either, when Blue wanted attention he would yell.

I can only reiterate what the others have said, cats will be cats and will rampage and play during the night as well as the day. Settle on a routine, a good play time to tire them out, then put the food down in the room where they are to be confined and leave them to it. Then the hard part is don't go back until you are ready in the morning. Personally I would say they are better shut in together at night even if they are noisier. Ragdolls are very social cats and need company, being confined alone might add to their stress, they may play chase and make more noise but i am sure they would be happier overall. Make sure there is nothing in the room that they can knock over, give them plenty of foam balls to chase that won't make too much noise, (from experience, plastic balls with jingly bells on a laminate floor, might be great fun for the cats, but isn't good when you are trying to sleep), or toys where the ball is enclosed in a track way might give them something to do without causing too much noise. Wand toys where the toy is on a length of string attached to a wand are great for interactive play but never leave them alone with that type of toy, the occasional horror story still comes out about serious injury or worse, caused when an unattended cat gets tangled in the string.

I have one final thing to add, I have had various cats for over 20 years now, when I got the first pair I decided that they could go in the bedroom during the day but not at night, a double bed isn't big enough for four of us particularly as I'm a restless sleeper, so every night they are called down for their supper and the bedroom door is shut until breakfast time. There have been times, normally after we have lost a cat that the remaining one has wanted to come in and they have meowed, scratched the carpet or the door, but in the end they all have given up and accepted it. All of mine, including Blue the Ragdoll, have had free access to outside which might have helped. There were times when it was really hard, and cats are cunning and will do everything they can to get you to let them in, but if you set a routine and stick to it they can and will learn. Also if they do manage to sneak in, don't leave it at that, shut them in with you and as soon as you can easily get hold of them pick them up and put them out the door, don't fuss them, don't chase them, make it as surgical a maneuver as you can, that way they gain nothing from getting in, as the old saying goes, any attention is still attention and Ragdolls love to be the center of attention, you don't want them to learn bad behaviour just to get that attention, the best way to let a Ragdoll know you aren't happy with them is to be with them but ignoring them, and then it only takes about 5 minutes to get the message across.

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