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deni's avatar

What can I do about my extremely emotional cat whose need of love seems to outweigh what I can realistically give him?

Asked by deni (22607points) November 12th, 2012

I feel like every time I turn around I am asking a ridiculous question about my cat. But here is what happens. I have been extremely stressed out lately due to work, and also some personal/health issues. When I get off work and want to escape these issues (last night for example) I head over to my boyfriends house. Last night, I was only dropping his bike off for him at his house, but I was so tired that I crashed in his bed. I got home just now to my cat SCREAMING as if he was being murdered. It was to the point where I almost started crying because I literally could not handle this insane cat on top of everything else going on in my life. When nights like this happen (I’d say on average I spend 2–3 nights/week at bf’s house), my cat will hold a huge grudge against me for hours after I do get home…he wants nothing to do with me, he’ll run from me when I try to pet him, hide, meanwhile the whole time screaming like a banshee. It is blood curdling, and terrible, and frustrating, and why does he do it!!!!!!!!!!? So for example yesterday, I was not gone the whole day. I slept in til about noon, then was around my house doing various things, keeping him company, all day! I left at 5 PM and came home this morning at 9 AM. He is extremely upset.

Ever since I moved into an apartment where it is just me, no roommates, and the cat, he seems unhappy and like he is not satisfied with me. This is extremely upsetting to me as I love him so dearly, he is such a goofy fat weird personable cat. But this personality trait of his, I am having a really hard time with it. Today I think I almost reached a breaking point that I previously didn’t even know existed.

What the hell do I do about this cat who is so damn needy that I cannot satisfy him!?!!?!?!?!??!?! I don’t know! I have had him for two and a half years and all signs point to “He Hates Every Other Living Thing” Aka getting a second cat, not really an option. At this point though I am considering it anyhow, maybe he needs company?

OMG somebody please help before I go INSANE. Has anyone ever had a pet like this before?!?!!??

If it helps he is 10 years old.

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12 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

He knows you’re stressed & he knows your current health condition @deni. It sounds to me as if he’s extremely concerned over you.

deni's avatar

@SpatzieLover When you put it that way, I feel bad for being irritated with him! BUT! He refuses to sleep with me at night when he’s holding a grudge, and on top of that if he were trying to console me, don’t you think he wouldn’t be running from me and screaming at me at the top of his lungs every day? Also he gets jealous when my b/f comes over, and he will yell at him for about 15 minutes and then drop it.

tedd's avatar

I require more photos of adorable cat to comment.

Shippy's avatar

There could be a lot of things going on here, I hope you don’t mind if I analyze it a bit?

Perhaps your cat is not really as upset as you think? In terms of being ‘pissed off’. I know when I am emotional and upset, My thinking goes a bit distorted and even my curtains look pissed off.

Or maybe he is pissed off. Alternatives would be to take him with, or get him a mate to play with, or more toys. Or even hire a baby sitter?

It could also be that he is not well himself, has he been checked over? Screams are not usual in a cat, even if they are pissed off. Scream signify illness.

If he is well, and he is just pissed off as you say. Let him be pissed off. Your own fragile state is causing it to be magnified in some way. If he sulks let him. Cats also get used to routine I think and after a while he might get used to it also.

deni's avatar

@Shippy Well, my own fragile state may be contributing, but my issues have just started a couple weeks ago. His behavior has not been specific to this time period, it has been this way pretty much since we got him years ago, but has been magnified since I started living alone.

As for his health, aside from being mentally insane, he is healthy physically. This past summer I had to have him dewormed, so that issue is resolved and he also lost a pound or two and is perfectly healthy otherwise.

Who knows.

@tedd Isn’t that picture just hilarious!! What a face!

Coloma's avatar

He might just be experiencing separation anxiety and boredom.
Being alone for 12 hours or more at a time is hard for an only pet.
What about getting him a friend? Cats are very much creatures of habit and routine and suffer stress when their routines are off.

When I was traveling a few years ago my daughter told me that my older cat at the time never stopped meowing the whole time I was gone. He was so upset at being left alone with only a visit every couple days from my daughter. When I got home again he was still extremely neurotic for several days and extra needy. Poor old guy.

My geese are just as bad, they get extremely upset when their routine is messed with, and, god forbid, if one ends up in the other ones stall in their barn they go ballistic until they are rearranged to the stalls they have claimed as their own.

Shippy's avatar

@deni He sounds like a histrionic, like me, so maybe the vet has cat prozac!

augustlan's avatar

My first thought was get a second cat, but, even if your cat tolerated that, it might not solve the problem. My older cat cries when I’m in the freaking bathroom, even though she has the younger cat to keep her company. I know some people with dogs leave the TV on for ‘company’ when they’re not home, not sure if that helps cats.

There really is a ‘cat prozac’, by the way. You might want to talk to your vet about anti-anxiety meds for your kitteh.

Unbroken's avatar

Let’s see have you tried toys to keep him entertained when you are gone, is there a fresh water supply?
There are shows for cats, at least online like an object moving around the screen making noise.
You could also try leaving classical music on or nature sounds my cat loves the nature machine noises.

Cats sleep about 12 to 16 hours a day, so really you just have to find ways to entertain for a little while. I crumble up newspaper, hide treats occasionally, Switch out toys, leave out hair bands and paper roll tubes with bells.

When I am home five minutes of bird on a stick or something active. I talk to her as I’m cleaning.

If she is too needy I rough her up swirl her around the room toss her up in the air pet her vigorously. She usually decides on her own that she is satisfied that I love her and she has attention, and wants to sit somewhere above me and watch me. I also do this thing where I flip her, etc, I never hurt her but it requires trust and bonding and somehow she understands I love her but can’t hold her or play with her for extended amount of time. Laser tag only takes a few minutes. She does prefer it when I have had a roommate, who likes them, though there is only one dog she has gotten used to. She had a pretty interesting but not too scary of a time with a bird. She is a birder but this one had a hooked bill and we made sure she knew it was a pet, they had fun teasing each other, I think, any how they are both alive and unscathed. As far as other cats go I got her one as her pet, they played and stuff but they wanted individual attention from me, and my space was small and they were on opposite end of spectrum according to hair color.
I think she would like fish, or a gerbil, but she is a hunter and even though she managed not to kill the bird the bird could fly away quickly was bigger and was mean, he’d handled kitties all his life.

Jeruba's avatar

Is there any chance that your cat is sick or in pain?

Buttonstc's avatar

My guess would be that if he was used to having others arpund for most of his life that being left completely alone for overnight or longer is pretty upsetting for a cat his age.

(He really is the cat age equivalent to a human Senior citizen if you think about it.)

Have you tried bringing him along with you to the bf house when you do stay over?

As far as getting him to accept your bf better, there is a specific suggestion for that. Whenever your bf is around, let him be the one to feed the cat and give him treats instead of you doing it. This way kitty realizes that when bf is around, good things happen. Most animals are highly food motivated so the source of food is viewed in a positive light.

It may take a little while, but if you’re consistent about bf doing the feeding and treating (and perhaps even playing with him with a favorite toy) you’ll start to see a turnaround of kitty’s attitude toward him.

Are there any vet schools in your area? They usually have people (either profs. or students) familiar with animal behaviorism. I’m sure that an animal behaviorist could evaluate and give you specific things to try.

bob_'s avatar

Get a new cat.

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