Help with cat behavior problem?

I am watching my BF’s animals and one of them is an old (I think like 12 years old) female Siamese cat. This cat is a bit . . . . strange. My bf did not get her until about two years ago, and before then he thinks she might have been in a house where she was abused by dogs.
She is for the most part very standoffish. However, I have been trying to show affection towards her over the last year or so, and have lately taken to picking her up and cuddling her. 9 times out of ten, as soon as I set her down on my lap she runs away, but sometimes she stays and kneads my lap. In addition, she will often start piteously meowing in the middle of the night. BF said that it was because she was lonely, so I would pick her up and take her to bed with me. A few weeks ago she started jumping up on the bed with me at night and just sleeping at the foot of the bed. No prob. Sometimes she jumps up in the morning too, again, not too much of a problem.

Thursday morning she jumped up and starting meowing really loudly, and in my face, and kneading every part of me. She was even head-butting me a little, and combining it with rubbing her head against my hand. I think she also tried to bite me a couple of times (she’s bit before, but usually only when you annoy her by touching her in a way she doesn’t like). I left her alone for the weekend as I went out of town (with BF’s permission) and I came back tonight and after I fell asleep she started the same thing again, and it woke me up.

This behavior is not acceptable. I try putting her on the floor and she just jumps back up . She doesn’t listen when I say “no.” What can I do? I don’t want to crate her, especially if she’s lonely. I am happy to provide comfort/company but NOT in the middle of the night or early morning. I don’t want to close the bedroom door because 1. She will just start meowing really loudly 2. I don’t want her to be lonely (she is welcome to sleep on the bed, just not walk all over me and wake me up) and 3. the dog needs to go in and out of the bedroom.

Oh, and in case it comes up, she has plenty of food and water available at all times so I don’t think that’s it.

I find cats totally baffling and was hoping that the cat lovers on here could help me out a bit. Thanks so much!

The first thing you might want to do is get her thoroughly checked at a vet. The late-night meowing can be a sign of renal failure so it’s not out of the question that she’s not feeling well.

Assuming there are no health issues, I’d say just decide what the rules are and be firm about enforcing them. You may have to put up with it for a little while until she learns and respects the boundaries, but cats do learn and obey. I’d probably launch her off the bed and say NO! every time she woke me up - she will eventually stop.

Seconding getting her checked at the vet. How has her water consumption been lately? Is anything else “off” about her lately? She’s at an age where kidney problems aren’t unlikely to crop up, but there are also a number of breed-specific health problems like heart disease, excessive grooming causing alopecia, balance issues, and nystagmus/blindness that are common issues for Siamese cats. Perhaps the darkness at night makes her particularly anxious, in which case a few nightlights could help (or locking her in a lit room at night).

If she’s determined to be healthy after the checkup, well… Siamese cats are notoriously vocal, so she’s probably not going to stop meowing so much. If putting her off the bed or closing the bedroom door doesn’t work, consider locking her in a room where the sound will not bother you (with food and litter and a comfortable cat bed, of course). It sounds cruel, but you’re the human. Your need for sleep trumps her desire for midnight companionship.

Yes, rule out physical causes, but remember: Cats is weird. Siamese cats take pride in being Xtreme Kittehs, so they will have extra weird behaviors. They tend to be much, much more vocal than other cats, in volume, in time spent vocalizing, and in having more “words” when they vocalize. Siamese tend to be more affectionate than other cats, to the point where they get separation anxiety disorder.

She’s a CAT. And a Siamese cat. Of course she’s not going to listen.

Awww … the puddy cat has fallen in luv!!

As a lifetime owner of ‘ese’ cats they can be a bit weird … and something like this could be a physical illness or just that the cat has finally found a human they like. Mine are very intense when they like someone. You will need to set boundaries by gently pushing the cat away and ignoring it when it does things you don’t want. If the cat sits at the end of the bed - the pat and reward there. If you don’t want the cat sleeping on your face - then don’t pat when it is there.

My bed is not a play place - they either sleep on it, or get pushed off (multiple times usually). I find locking them out causes more problems (as you obviously know - loud!)! It may take you a bit of time to establish new ground rules … but it sounds like you’re very loved!

Thanks for all the advice! Forgot to mention, she went to the vet two months ago and was found to be hyperthyroid but otherwise fine. She is taking special food for the thyroid now.

Also I would be happy if she just liked me, but gosh she has a weird way of showing it. As soon as I came back from my weekend trip, she started meowing loudly but then anytime I got close to her she ran away. She jumps up on the bed and meows, but then flinches and starts to run away if I go to pet her (then she calms down and lets me pet her).
Rachelellogram your vision problem idea might be spot on. Her eyes look kind of . . . off. Like they are unfocused.
Now I feel kind of bad for leaving her for the weekend . . . no idea they get so attached!
Dogs might be more work but they are sooo much easier to read :slight_smile:

Hyperthyroid can also cause issues - insomnia, anxiety, agitation, an inability to wind down, etc.

Dollar Tree has a brand of catnip our cats go insane over; it’s in a purple bag. Give her some just before you go to bed, see if she’ll enjoy it and be more calm afterward. If it doesn’t work you’re only out a dollar.
Our 2 cats lost their mom suddenly at 3 weeks so weren’t properly weaned; both have oral issues now, 5 years later. They don’t want to chomp on you, per se, they merely want to close their teeth around a finger or wrist; then lay w/ their eyes half open, purring out their open mouths like little idiots.
I wonder if you waited till just before bedtime to feed her she’d be too full and sleepy to be too active as you try to get to sleep?

If the cat has bonded with you, take some of your dirty clothes and leave them somewhere comfy so the cat can lay on them.

It’s a long shot, but your smell may be enogh to calm his anxiety. If that is indeed the problem.

Scritches. When my cats do this to me it either means the water dish has reached an unacceptable condition, or they just want scritches. Ears, head, chin, face… In fact, Odin is doing it to me right now, making typing very awkward.