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Cat is too active. Help!
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LexyL posted:
I have a 6-year-old Ragdoll mix rescue who is driving me insane. She never slows down. She sleeps maybe eight to 10 hours a day, and the rest of the time she is demanding attention or getting into things. I telecommute, and she's making it impossible for me to work. She's also making my other cat -- a very laid-back Maine Coon mix -- nervous.

I've tried everything I know. She's indoor-only, but I have a nice big screened-in porch with lots of cat toys and cat furniture that she can go out on when the weather is nice. However, most of the time, she'll stay out for 30 minutes or so, then come back in and start pestering me again. I keep the blinds in the house open so she can look out the windows. I have bird and squirrel feeders outside every window so she has critters to watch. She has every cat toy ever made. I turn the radio on. I tried scheduling play breaks with her during the day, but that just seemed to make her worse. I've contacted animal behaviorists in the area, but they only deal with litter-box or aggression issues in cats. I've tried to find kitty day care for her, but no luck.

I don't know what else to do. I can't deal with her much longer. I need to be able to focus on my job during the day, and my other cat deserves some peace and quiet. I've tried to rehome her, but there's not much of a market for adult cats with behavior issues.

And, yes, I've taken her to the vet -- three times, in fact -- to make sure there's nothing physically wrong with her. There's not.

Does anyone have any suggestions? (Please don't tell me to adopt another cat for her to play with. That's not going to happen, for a lot of reasons.)

Thanks!
Reply
 
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rohvannyn responded:
I wonder if she has some kind of neurtransmitter imbalance? In the mean time, I have an odd thing to try. If possible, try lowering the temperature of your living space by a few degrees. I've noticed that when my cats are warm, they are active and energetic. When it's colder, they are more inclined to sleep. It might help you at least get a little more work done.

How is she on catnip? Does it get her more wired, or calm her down after a while?
 
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LexyL replied to rohvannyn's response:
Not such an odd suggestion. In fact, I already tried that. It has to be really, really cool in the house -- around the med to low 50s -- before she sleeps more. Otherwise, cooler temps seem to make her even friskier.

She doesn't seem affected by catnip. She sniffs it and walks away if I offer her dried catnip or leaves. She'll play with catnip toys, but no more than she plays with her toys that don't have catnip.

Is there a test a vet could do for a neurotransmitter imbalance?

BTW, I'm writing this with one had and pushing her off me with the other. This is typical of how I have to work.
 
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rohvannyn replied to LexyL's response:
As I understand it, diagnosing a neurtransmitter imbalance is more of a behavioral thing, just like with people. So I don't think there is a specific test for it. Another type of person who could help is a pet behaviorist, and there are some online resources you can find by Googling that. If you have a vet you will probably want to talk to them about this, find out if there are other ways to calm cats down such as sedatives etc.

It sounds like you are already taking all the steps you can, giving her attention, playing with her, giving her things to do. I'd hate to suggest medication, but maybe the vet has a solution. I wonder if there are bad effects from her sleeping so little? Cats are designed to sleep a lot more than that, and who knows, THAT could be causing the hyperactivity. I hope you find good answers.
 
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rohvannyn replied to rohvannyn's response:
Just wanted to note that I understand you already tried behaviorists in your area, which is why I thought online help might give results. Asking here is a good start, I just wish some of our more knowledgeable regulars were here.
 
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LexyL replied to rohvannyn's response:
Thanks for the suggestions, Rohvannyn. I've tried behaviorists, both in my area and online. Unfortunately, no one has a solution.

I have an appointment on Tuesday to turn her in to the city shelter. I'm devastated. I love her dearly, and the shelter is not no-kill, so I know she probably won't ever leave there. But I can't deal with this any more. She's affecting my health and my work. She makes my other cat so nervous that he runs away whenever she comes near him. She is the sweetest little cat in the world when she has my undivided attention, but I can't focus on her all day, every day. I'm out of ideas as to how to handle her. I feel like my only option is to give her up.
 
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rohvannyn replied to LexyL's response:
I'm sorry to hear you've had to make that tough decision. And I'm not going to say you are a terrible person. I know how much it hurts to give a pet up that you've tried your best with, and I hope she beats the odds and finds a good home. Either way, you did what you could and you tried.
 
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LexyL replied to rohvannyn's response:
I really hope she finds a new home, too. I hated doing it, but I had run through all the options I knew of.

What was really frustrating was lack of help from vets and behaviorists. The vets would examine her, run tests, find nothing wrong with her, and tell me sorry, nothing we can do, try another vet. Behaviorists would say if she's not aggressive or going outside the litter box, we don't deal with it. I understand if they didn't have answers, but I wish someone somewhere along the line would have taken the time to sit with me and help me figure out where to go next. I felt like I was dealing with her issues all on my own, and I couldn't.
 
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jselleck replied to LexyL's response:
where do you live? Sounds like she would be a perfect match for our Peabody! He acts the same way. Has ever since we adopted him almost 2 years ago as a kitten. Drove our other cat nuts til he got used to him.
 
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jselleck replied to jselleck's response:
bump


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