Constant Meowing

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2005
Constant Meowing
15
Sat, 10-26-2013 - 2:03pm

Ari is driving us all us all nuts!  He just walks around yelling about:

a.) Wanting to go outside.

I let him outside when I have a chance to supervise.  It's usually at least once a day for 15-30 minutes depending on how he behaves.  Sometimes if he's being good and chilling within the fenced in yard it's a lot longer.  Then of course if it's dark, or I have things to do inside and can't watch him he meows at the door non-stop.

b.) To get food other than his cat food.

This is more recent and completely out of no where.  He's never shown any distain for his kibble, and was always excited when I'd pour it into the bowl.  Recently, he's had no interest.  He wants to eat everything besides it.  He screams by the closet where his treats are kept.  He tries to eat the dog's kibble (which is pretty much a less fatty verison of his food, so I can't understand why he'd like that more.)  He climbs up on the counter and licks the oil out of the iron skillets.  He pulled a bag of hamburger buns off of the counter and took a bite out of one.  It's madness!  I assume that he has to be eating a little bit of kibble, because he's shown lack of interest in it for a least a week now, and he's still chipper and full of energy.  He's getting nourishment from somewhere.  It's hard to tell since both cats share two bowls, and I'm fairly confident that Mia is eating normally.  I have definitely been refilling the bowls less frequently though.  I'm going to buy Ari some soft cat food today, because I know he loves that and at least maybe it will fill him up enough that he won't be begging for human food all of the time.  How much is too much soft cat food for me to give him?  He's super skinny (8 lbs, and he almost two pounds since last year.  The vet wasn't worried though, since he seems completely healthy.)  

Thanks for reading, and in advance for any advice you may have for getting him to calm down(!!!)

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Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 10-26-2013 - 6:12pm

If you really mean "he", and he either isn't neutered, or wasn't neutered as a very young kitten, then the constant wanting to go out, is because he smells an intact female somewhere around.  Or an intact male who has been spraying your yard.  Or both.  If your cat is still intact, get him neutered.  

As for the food, cats in the wild do not eat "dry" food.  And they rarely drink water.  A cat is designed by God to get the liquid he needs primarily from eating raw food.  If you understand that, then you can understand why it is better to feed cats a quality canned food.  Half a "tuna fish" sized can in the morning, half in the evening.  Also, cats are not pack animals, and feed better when they are alone. Especially since your cat may be feeling his "wild" oats, it would be better to feed your cats in seperate rooms.  Use your dry food as a crunchy treat, or if you must go away overnight, and have no other way to feed them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2005
Sat, 10-26-2013 - 7:35pm

Thanks for the reply.

Ari is neutered, but he was not neutered as a kitten.  We adopted him three years ago when he was three years old, and jus recently neutered.  I never see stray cats around our yard, but I guess it's very possible that he smells them.  

He's never had a problem eating dry food, but I'm going to start feeding him wet.  The other cat doesn't like wet food, so I really have no choice with her but to let her live off of the kibble.  And she never shows any interest in human food either.  I do see them both drinking plenty of water though.  

What soft food brands do you reccomend?  

Thanks again!  

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 10-27-2013 - 1:52pm

Here is an excellent tutorial on cat feeding, written by a vet... http://www.catinfo.org/?link=cannedfoods

Here are some of the salient points...

I will say at the outset:  I would much rather see a cat eat any canned food versus any dry food - regardless of quality level of the canned food.  This includes Friskies, 9-Lives, Fancy Feast, etc. 

This is because:

  1. All canned foods contain an appropriate (high) amount of water which is critical for urinary tract health.  Please see Opie's page - Feline Urinary Tract Health.

  2. The protein in canned food is more apt to be higher in animal-based protein versus plant-based protein - contrary to most dry foods.  Keep in mind that we are feeding cats (strict carnivores) not cows.

  3. The carbohydrate level of most canned foods is lower than that of most dry foods.

There is no dry food that covers all of the very important points listed above.

If your cat is a dry food addict, please see Tips for Transitioning Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food.  Contrary to popular belief, cats do not drink enough water from a bowl to make up for the hydration deficit caused by feeding dry food.  Studies have shown that when cats are fed water-rich diets (canned or homemade diets) that mimic their prey (~70% water), they rarely drink from a water bowl yet their intake of water is double what it is when dry food (5-10% water) is fed.  This is taking into account the water from the food as well as from the water bowl..

After comparing many different brands, we settled on Friskeys Classic Pate.  If you check the ingredients list, the percentage of each is reflected in the position on the list.  First listed is highest percentage, and so on.  That is true of ALL packaged foods--cat, dog and human.  In the Classic Pate, the highest percentage ingredients are protein, primarily from fish and chicken.  Also the manufacturers analysis shows that type is the lowest in carbos, around 8-10%.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 10-27-2013 - 1:57pm
I also wanted to mention that feral cats, especially cats BORN feral, are VERY good at hiding, and you will NOT see them unless they choose to be seen. Also, a cat that grew to adulthood intact, will often keep a lot of his mating and territorial behaviors.
Avatar for tiggs_mom
Community Leader
Registered: 07-02-1999
Sun, 10-27-2013 - 2:20pm

Changing his food may help. Honestly, I notice temperment changes this time of year in most of mine. I swear the weather changes and they go a little nuts. :)  Play should help.....if there is something he loves to do, get him wound up and then worn out a couple of times per day. Once the play is over, feed him and then he should be calmer.

He may know if there are cats outside, even if you aren't seeing them. There are really good electronic devices you can find as deterants to keep animals away from your house if he is acting like they are getting to him. If he in any way starts acting aggressive towards you or Mia, I would look in to something to keep animals away from the house.

Honestly right now is sounds to me like he has a case of the "crazies" that will hopefully wind down soon.  :)

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Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 10-27-2013 - 3:01pm

Another thought...  Since it seems your cat does go outdoors, have you checked him for parasites--both external AND internal??  Ticks are TERRIBLE this year, and there always seem to be one or two resistant to ALL topicals.  Your cat may be sporting some, or have contracted something from a bite.   Worms are a constant problem.  Any cat who goes outdoors is at risk for parasites, and should be routinly tested and inspected. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2005
Sun, 10-27-2013 - 7:00pm

I bought him some Friskies soft food today.  I stood there in the cat food aisle at the grocery store comparing brands.  They're pretty much all the same.  I know that the fancy independant pet store that we go for treats and kibble has the good stuff, but it's soooo expensive.  I just gave him some Friskies soft food, and he went nuts.  I feel like I created more of a monster now, because he's begging for more of it.  I gave him a third of a pretty big can.

I do need to try to play with him more.  He has a doggie sister and a kitty sister competing for play time.  They actually bring toys to my lap asking to play.  Ari never does that, but he does play a bunch by himself.  

Thankfully he's not acting at all agressive towards Mia.  Mia seems completely sweet and innocent, but she's definitely in charge around here!  

Hopefully you're right about it just being the weather changing.  Maybe when winter comes he'll hibernate and calm down.  I've barely seen him sleep the past couple of weeks!  

Thanks!  

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 10-27-2013 - 11:39pm
Actually, most of the expensive brands have a lot of carbs in them. They may be "grain-free", but avocados, blueberries and sweet potatoes are all carbs! That's why we settled on the Friskies. I also think you should NOT let him out at all. Letting him out is like giving candy to a kid. Of course he loves it, especially because he might have been out in the wild before he came to the shelter. And he will want it more and more.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2005
Mon, 10-28-2013 - 12:00am

Well, it's not like giving a kid candy.  It's like letting a kid play outside.  They stay safe if they're in the house, but his joy in life is running around the yard and eating grass.   I love him and want him to be happy while staying safe.  So, I let him in the back yard with supervision.  

Community Leader
Registered: 03-24-2000
In reply to: lcni
Tue, 10-29-2013 - 12:28pm

It sounds like you got him eating better giving him the Friskies canned food.  Honestly any canned is better than dry for cats, but tell our cats that! I have a couple that won't touch canned.  My cats prefer Friskies or 9 Lives over any of the more expensive canned food.

You may have created  his hollering because he wants out.  I leash trained a couple of my cats years ago and they drove me crazy wanting out.  A lot of the time it just wan't convienent for me to take them out.   I quit taking them out on the leash.  It took a couple of weeks, but they settled down.  They did try to escape a lot so I had to keep a squirt gun by the door to discourage that.   It could be the change in weather too.  Cats seem to be affected by it sometimes.  I think the younger ones more so for some reason.

Hopefully he will settle down and act more like himself.

 

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