Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Feed me! PLEASE!

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 Before Wylla, Charlene had 24/7 access to her dry food and she would nibble whenever she wanted throughout the day and night.  

Wylla can't eat dry food, she just can't process it, and whenever she sneaks a bite it makes her sick, and it always comes back up. So, once Wylla entered the picture, everything changed for Charlene, and we had to start putting her dry food away between snacks.

This works fine during the day - I'm usually here so whenever Charlene needs a nibble, she finds me and stares at me until I get up and get her bowl.

Nighttime hasn't been easy, and Charlene has been waking us multiple times each night in attempt to get a snack. It starts off kind of sweet - she'll cozy up next to me and start purring and wait for me to wake.  If she doesn't get the results she wants, she turns it up a notch - she'll cry out, she'll lick my nose,  she'll gently tap my face with her paw, she'll make several laps around the bed stepping somewhat carefully over our heads as she makes a pass across the pillows.  She's relentless, and the only way for me to get sleep is to give in, get up,  feed her, and go back to bed.

Slowly, she's been adjusting to the new way, but has had a hard time making it through the whole night and will try to wake me about an hour before the alarm goes off.  At this time of the morning, Wylla will join in too because she's getting hungry as well.

But finally, FINALLY, the past three mornings the alarm woke me up, and not the cats!

FINALLY!  

I'm happy that we've had a few nights of uninterrupted sleep, but even happier for Charlene because she's made the transition. I know it hasn't been easy for her, and the major change in mealtimes has been stressful for our girl.

I'm so happy, months later, we're finally on the other side!

27 comments:

  1. While we don't have a special needs kitty which causes our second one to do the same, this has been a problem for us as well. Our first cat, has always been very well behaved and patient for his breakfast. It's rare that he wakes us in the mornings. The little one? Wow. She pretty much will do a tango on us to get our attention to be fed. We've had her for 9 months now and only in the past couple of weeks has the abated somewhat. I was attributing it to the fact that it's dark outside when I get up for work now, thought maybe she was reacting to the rising sun but perhaps, she is finally learning. Hope springs eternal.

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  2. Cats can be a little persnickety about their routines and we love them any way!!!

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  3. Henry pretty much stops right there at paragraph 4. I'm well trained.

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    1. Me too! Holly has been doing this since she was a kitten... I've now had her almost 5 years.

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    2. Me too! Holly has been doing this since she was a kitten. I've now had her almost 5 years. I know I should get her to stop, but it's easy enough for me to get up, feed the cats, and go back to sleep, so I don't worry about it too much.

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  4. I read somewhere about a cage type device that only lets a kitty wearing the "key" in to snack. Maybe something like that would work?

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    1. There appear to be a couple commercial versions, the MeowSpace:

      http://meowspace.biz/rfid-cat-feeder-box/

      and the Gatefeeder:

      http://gatefeeder.com/

      plus, how to make your own:

      http://www.instructables.com/id/RFID-pet-feeder/

      There are probably drawbacks, though - Wylla might be upset that she couldn't get in it, Charlene would have to have the collar on all the time, they take up floor space, they're some degree of expensive, how reliable are they...

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  5. It's as tough to change a cat's feeding routine as it is to change their food. I'll never forget when the Siamese I grew up with, Princess, was ordered to change food by the vet; she did not eat one single bite for two full weeks, until the vet agreed to let us sprinkle her old food on top of the new to get her to at least taste it! I'm very proud of Charlene for adapting to the new routine -- not having food available 24/7 must have been a huge and difficult adjustment for her. What a good girl she is!

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  6. Oh sweet patient Laurie! And Craig!

    And yes, Bean, you've also made HUGE adjustments yourself to accommodate your little sister.

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  7. Congrats on the patience and kudos to Charlene to adapting! One solution we've had to do in the past for a senior kitty on a special diet was put a cat door in an inside door (our case, bedroom, but could be closet) that responds to a tag on the specific cat's collar. Might not work for Charlene and Wylla though -- I can see Charlene opening the door for her friend!

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  8. My older cat had to adjust a couple years ago to a newer kitten & a new feeding schedule. Sheba previously would just take her dainty bites throughout the day but the new rescued Salem woofs her food down & any other food leftover. So I feed them twice a day now & keep an eye on Sheba's weight to make sure she is getting her food. Fortunately, Sheba adjusted well . . .no late night issues. Love my furry babies! :)

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  9. Kudos to all on a lesson in patience. xo

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  10. I had a cat, Gwen, who was diabetic. The 1st week of NO dry and only wet was horrible. Told the vet there is not a living thing in my house who likes you right now. Fast forward, Reilly joins us. A Maine Coon. Who has woken me up every darn morning between 5am and 6am, years after Gwen had passed. Why? Because he grew up on wet food 6am and 6pm or any other time a kitten wants.

    I have had the purrs, the cuddles, the fat stinky paw up the nose, the Maine Coon tail across my nose, the 13lbs of cat on my chest or bladder. Now his sister, also a Coon, gets in the act by singing the Cat Opera "I Needa Food, Aida". Every bloody morning. So congrats to Beanie moving her eating schedule over to Wylla's. Must have been very trying for her.

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  11. Charlene is such a dear big sister, she is gorgeous, And we all think Wee Wylla is worth the effort!!

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  12. Love those bright white whiskers and that persistent gaze--who could resist whatever she wants.

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  13. Hurray! Kudos to Charlene for adjusting and to you for being so patient! Those early morning wakeups are absolutely maddening. (Melly woke me up around 3am today, demanding more food. She had some, but it apparently wasn't enough. Sigh.)

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  14. Charlene, I am so glad you are letting your lovely parents sleep through the night.

    So far I have never met anyone that has a kitty who tries to get attention in quite the same way as Marbles.

    She occasionally nips at my cheek, chin, the tip of my nose and if those fail.....that bit of skin that separates our nostrils....

    Yeah, that one. With the long, very sharp pointy teeth. Jerking awake is not a good thing, either.

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  15. Having to make the adjustments for Wylla could have resulted in resentment from Charlene. But it's so obvious she loves her baby sister that, while it took some time, it was something she was willing do to. That is a great cat!

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  16. Congrats, Bean! It's not easy to change for a little one, but you did it!

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  17. I call my cat the fuzzy alarm. She used to have an auto feeder for her dry food and let us sleep but now that she is on wet food she is obnoxious.

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  18. I usually give my two a snack right at bedtime. It helps them get through the night. I can only suspect that measured servings would be good for Bean. She will do well.

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  19. Gaahhhh! Those whiskers!!

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  20. You guys are super great!

    I don't know how you do it!

    Before going to bed every night first thing I do s check the dry food supplies. Even my Maine coon who never eats dry food during the day will eat it at night so I don't know what I would do if I had to take that way!

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  21. Good for you, Charlene! My sister's cat Simon learned, while we lived together, that I am a much lighter sleeper than my sister is, and he could wake me up anytime. He was so persistent - the easiest thing to do was just get up and feed him, then go back to bed!

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