Friday, 07 September 2018 12:10

Porky & Buddy Column: Can I Change Schro's Schedule?

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Dear Porky & Buddy: A few weeks ago, we adopted a kitten. We already had two dogs who were, to put it kindly, clueless about cats and sort of rowdy.

So we went though the long process of introducing Schrodinger (“Schrodinger’s cat,” get it?) to the two dogs very very very carefully. That’s a whole different story. The bottom line is that it worked and now Schro amuses herself by chasing the dogs around the house and they are fascinated by her. But here’s the problem. She basically sleeps all day while we are all gone and then she does her chasing and playing in the middle of the night. If we try to keep her in someone’s bedroom away from the dogs she just scratches at the door until someone relents and the game starts in again. The dogs are exhausted and so are we but Schro is happy as can be. Any ideas? Signed, Auke


Dear Auke,

Congratulations on your hard work getting Schro and her canine friends to be true friends. We appreciate that. But this is an unrelated problem. Cats are by their nature nocturnal. If they get mostly rest during the day they will mostly play, or hunt, or eat, or jump on you every time you move, or whatever, during the night. She has trained you to accept that and let her out to do as she wishes. But it sounds like you don’t have a space where she can just be put by herself and not bother anyone at night. And that approach would be pretty hard on her at this point anyway.

So let us suggest a different approach, namely exhaustion (for Schro, not you and the dogs). When you and other family members get home from school or work, make sure there is a designated playmate—someone who will keep her engaged and active, preferably with her buddies, the dogs, for long enough to eventually change that play at night dynamic. Make sure that when you are home she is out with the family even if you are not constantly engaged in one on one play. Keep her awake. Tickle her feet. Talk to her. Be as annoying as she is at night.

When there Is no one in the house, try to find some amusements for her while she waits for your return. Does she have a window perch? Is there a bird feeder right outside that she can watch? Check out some “cat videos” from the library and see if they catch her attention. Have you thought about a catio? A little outdoor enclosure where she can be safe but amused? Domestic cats sleep on average 13 to 16 hours per day anyway, so you really just need to nudge her sleeping patterns a little to get her tired enough to sleep through the night. It’s a process—just like introducing her to your dogs was a process. (Maybe in the meantime you can take little naps at work?) Good luck and thanks for adopting.

Speaking of the pleasures of dogs. There’s still time to sign up for the 2018 Rover Run. It’s a 5K-9 Timed Race and 1 Mile Family Walk with lunch and lots of other fun activities. Dogs are welcome! Sunday, September 16th from 10 to 3 at Fallbrook Recreation Center, 103 Thompson Road, Oswego. Go to www.oswegohumane.org for the links to sign up.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Located at 29 West Seneca Street, Oswego, New York. Phone (315) 207-1070. Email: [email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org

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