Pet Columnist

Loudmouthed kitty? Here's what to do

Dear Fisher,

Two months ago my human mom got a job that lets her work at home. She was so thrilled about it because she would be home more to keep me company. Lately she gets pretty irritated with me because she says I make too much noise. Maybe I am more vocal than before, but I thought she could use the company while she works. I would like having her home much more if she didn't yell at me a lot. What should I do about this?

Ruffy

There are several possible reasons why you became Chatty Catty since your human is home more. I wonder, though, is this is a new behavior to keep your human company, or have you always been a talker, but no one was around to hear you? In either case, while your human should pay close attention to your conversations, you should not always expect her to know what you are talking about.

Most cats will talk some, but Siamese are known to talk more than most. It is one of their most beloved traits. Depending on the intensity and frequency, it can be one of their most irritating traits as well. Your human mom likely has to concentrate on the work she is doing in her new job which may tend to push your cat-speak more toward the irritating side of the scale.

Your human should first analyze the situation carefully and make sure all your needs are met. Is your littler box clean? Are you just lonely and want attention or are you reacting to the sudden change in routine around your home? She might want to consider whether you are in some distress. If that is the case, it would be wise to take you for a visit with your veterinarian.

After all is carefully scrutinized, your needs are met and your health is fine, the No. 1 rule for dealing with a mouthy cat is to ignore the chatter. Recommendations from the San Francisco SPCA Cat Behavior Department (sfspca.org/behavior/cat) include:

• Ignore your behavior until you are quiet, and then pour on the love.

• Be patient.

• Do not scold — that will just encourage you.

• Do not reward — that will just encourage you more.

• Set up a designated time out from work and schedule play time.

• Recognize that this new habit may take a long time to reverse itself.

Worst-case scenario, dear Ruffy, is that your human mom might have to recognize your behavior is not likely to change. A good alternative in this situation is to move her home office to a location away from the constant interruption you have to offer. Peace for all!

Loudmouthed kitty? Here's what to do 10/30/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2011 1:22pm]

© 2014 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...