HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » The DU Lounge (Forum) » Help! My cat is driving ...

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 10:39 PM

Help! My cat is driving me nuts

with an obsession. She has discovered the fire alarm disc and sprinkler nozzle on the ceiling in my apartment. I've had her since she was 2 months old and she's 5 years old now. Don't know why this obsession only developed recently. Or how to get her over it.

She sits on the back of my couch and stares up at them. Then she meows at them, over and over. She has a quiet meow, but she looks at me as if she expects me to fix whatever it is that she thinks is wrong with them. The alarm is not beeping. A new battery was put in just a few weeks ago. It was not beeping then, either. So as far as I can see, there isn't any change that would get her attention.

This started during the day on Halloween, which sort of spooked me out a bit -- the staring at nothing. I've even wondered if she senses something about the apartment above me, but I don't know the people there so I'm not about to go up there and ask them.

Any ideas on why kitty is fixated on the alarm? Or how to ger her over it? She does this a few times every day.

28 replies, 843 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Help! My cat is driving me nuts (Original post)
wnylib Nov 2020 OP
The Velveteen Ocelot Nov 2020 #1
LSFL Nov 2020 #2
GemDigger Nov 2020 #3
wnylib Nov 2020 #10
happybird Nov 2020 #4
ret5hd Nov 2020 #5
torius Nov 2020 #6
NCjack Nov 2020 #7
SheltieLover Nov 2020 #8
wnylib Nov 2020 #11
SheltieLover Nov 2020 #12
wnylib Nov 2020 #14
SheltieLover Nov 2020 #15
wnylib Nov 2020 #17
SheltieLover Nov 2020 #18
wnylib Nov 2020 #21
fleur-de-lisa Nov 2020 #9
wnylib Nov 2020 #13
Skittles Nov 2020 #16
wnylib Nov 2020 #22
Skittles Nov 2020 #24
wnylib Nov 2020 #25
Wolf Frankula Nov 2020 #19
unc70 Nov 2020 #20
wnylib Nov 2020 #23
unc70 Nov 2020 #26
wnylib Nov 2020 #27
Hotler Nov 2020 #28

Response to wnylib (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 10:42 PM

1. That's her job.

The alarm might be giving off a very high-pitched sound that she can hear and you can't.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 10:43 PM

2. Hang a long stringed cat toy from it

It probably won't work, but your cat will be amused by your attempt to placate her.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 10:46 PM

3. Is there a red light that blinks once every so often on it?

It could be she just wants to get it to investigate and knows she needs you to get a ladder for it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GemDigger (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 11:02 PM

10. Yes, there is a tiny red light that

blinks, but at a very slow rate, about once every 20 seconds. There is also a tiny green light that stays on steadily.

You might have something there. She does love chasing a red laser light. Maybe she has made a connection between the two red lights and wants me to make this one move like the other one does. She knows that I am the one who operates the laser light. As soon as I pick it up, she looks around the floor to see where it will show up when I turn it on.

Edit to add: Wonder why she never noticed it before.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 10:46 PM

4. Can you safely lift her up close enough to inspect it?

That might end the obsession, if her curiosity is satisfied.

I do wonder if it’s making a noise you cannot hear, as VO suggested.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 10:47 PM

5. Pick her up and hold her up there...

sniff...sniff...paw...paw...oh...nothing to see here. Put me down please.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 10:49 PM

6. She must believe in Ceiling Cat

and wants to summon him/her.

Seriously, maybe she thinks they’re alive. Can you hold her up near them so she can sniff them? Maybe when she realizes they’re not living things she will lose interest. Also, maybe you could try distracting her with a toy to put her in play mood—a cat behaviorist suggested this to me for a fear my cat had. Can’t say it totally worked, but worth a try. She suggested a feather tickler.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 10:51 PM

7. There could be a vibration from it that you can't hear. Change it out with a new one see

if it cures the problem.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 10:53 PM

8. Coil whine

Electrical screeching. Can you get a different fire alarm?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheltieLover (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 11:12 PM

11. No, I can't replace it. It was

installed by the apartment building management before I ever moved in. I am not permitted to make changes like that. The maintenance guy just replaced the battery on a routine check a couple weeks ago. Maybe the blinking red light on the alarm was weak before and kitty has just noticed it now that a new battery is in it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 11:14 PM

12. Put a piece of duct tape over light?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheltieLover (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 11:27 PM

14. Good idea. Thanks. And why didn't I think of that?

(Rhetorical question. Really don't want to hear the answer. )

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 11:28 PM

15. Yw!

I hope this helps!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheltieLover (Reply #15)

Sat Nov 7, 2020, 12:09 AM

17. In my own (weak) defense, I didn't realize

that it could be the tiny red light on the alarm that kitty was looking at until another poster asked if there is one on the alarm. It's so small that I hardly notice it. Plus, she's 5 years old and this is a new obsession for her.

But the discussion here helped me see the connection between a recent new battery, brighter red dot afterward, and the cat's love of chasing a laser light. I'm guessing that she looks at me to "fix" it because it doesn't move like the red laser dot does.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Reply #17)

Sat Nov 7, 2020, 12:18 AM

18. Awwwww

Poor kitty! Will she play with you & laser light when she is obsessing about the fire alarm?

Doing this might help her realize the lights are different.

We all overlook the obvious sometimes. I know I have!

And I honestly believe talking through things is cathartic. (This is why people benefit from therapy, in a different context.)

I wish my fat cat would play with a laser light or any toys. I get the "how dare you infantalize me! It won't bleed!" look.

Let us know what works if you think of it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheltieLover (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 7, 2020, 02:16 AM

21. My cat is very playful. She has calmed down

a little from her hyperactive kitten days, but, at age 5, she still loves activity and interactive play, and has several toys. She is a mixed breed of ordinary moggie (street cat) and Egyptian Mau. Her mother was half Mau and her father was 1/4 Mau.

She does not have the Mau spotted coat pattern. Her coat is tortoiseshell tabby. But she definitely has the Mau temperament and behavior. They are very playful and highly active. They're also leapers, climbers, speed demons (30 mph) and very clever.

She has a behavior trait that only Maus have. It's cute to see it. When she's excited and happy about something she anticipates, like her morning feeding, or playing with a favorite toy, her tail goes straight up and vibrates while her butt wiggles. She's got a pretty good vocabulary for a cat, so I sometimes build up the anticipation, just to see her do the "Mau wiggle tail." I ask, "Are you hungry?" a few times before getting her food out. By the time I reach her dish, she's in full vibrate mode. Or, "Wanna play ball?" Her eyes go to the ball and her whole body goes still with anticipation, except the tail and butt, as if she's so wound up that she can't contain it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 10:57 PM

9. Any possibility there's a mouse inside the ceiling?

I had a mouse in the attic that I couldn’t detect but my cat could hear it. He drove me nuts meowing at it all night. I finally figured it out after several sleepless nights.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to fleur-de-lisa (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 11:22 PM

13. I don't think so. A mouse would move around a bit.

The cat focuses only on one spot. It is clear that she is looking straight at the fire alarm. Plus, if it was a mouse, I think she would be silent instead of meowing, and would take a stealthy, stalking posture like she does when an occasional fly slips in through a small gap in the window screen.

She just sits on the back of the couch with a curiosity stare.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sat Nov 7, 2020, 12:01 AM

16. put some other stuff on the ceiling to distract her more

for example, draw a big black spider and put in up there

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 7, 2020, 02:25 AM

22. OMG. Then she would obsess over

wanting to get at the spider.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 7, 2020, 02:28 AM

24. could be worse

she could behave like this:

&feature=youtu.be

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #24)

Sat Nov 7, 2020, 02:33 AM

25. She's got enough catitude already, so

I won't let her see this video. Don't want her getting ideas from it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sat Nov 7, 2020, 01:41 AM

19. Get a hound to cover it with doggy smell

The cat will avoid it.

Wolf

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sat Nov 7, 2020, 02:10 AM

20. When the battery was replaced ...

Did they change which direction the light faces? Many of those alarms have two or even three orientations in how they screw back into the ceiling mount. Possibly the light is now facing a different direction and is more visible to her.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unc70 (Reply #20)

Sat Nov 7, 2020, 02:27 AM

23. Aha! I didn't notice if the light direction

changed, but that would account for her new interest in the alarm.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Reply #23)

Sun Nov 15, 2020, 05:44 PM

26. Ever solve the mystery?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unc70 (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 15, 2020, 06:28 PM

27. Yes. It's the tiny little red light.

I covered it and she lost interest.

Today she's got something else to occupy her attention. We're having a windstorm in western NY, across several counties. Steady 35 mph with gusts to 50 and more.

She's fascinated with the leaves, papers, and other debris flying past the window.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wnylib (Original post)

Mon Nov 16, 2020, 12:24 PM

28. Spider or bug? My cat does that sometimes and it's a spider too small for me to see unless

I get up and look close. I think they detect movement.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread