Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
My two adopted cats are now a little over a year old. I live in apartment with hardwood floors. The other day I came home to a note there had been a complaint about banging in my apartment. I am guessing it must be the sound of the cats jumping off and on my bed to the floor and chasing each other through the apartment. They don’t do it a lot but unfortunately are most apt to do it in the evening and early morning. I can usually distract them in the morning by feeding them but now I’m a nervous wreck when they start to play. I work all day and playing with them at night will only cause more noise. I have an area rug in the living room and a runner in my bedroom but that doesn’t cover much. I could really use some suggestions. I am so nervous I took the cushions from my couch and placed them next to my bed in hopes that if they do jump down they will hit the cushions. I’ve lived inthis complex for 20 years, though I moved into this particular apartment last February. Before I adopted these two, I had a 17-year-old cat who was very quiet and liked to just cuddle. I know these Heidi and Cally are still mostly kittens. I feel bad scolding them when they want to play with each other but I can’t let them at night or in the morning.
~ Mary Ann
Siouxsie: Wow, that’s a difficult situation you’re in, Mary Ann. And unfortunately, it’s one you’re going to have to work out with your neighbors rather than with your cats.
Thomas: That’s right. You can’t stop your cats from playing! Even if they don’t play when you’re home, they’re going to play while you’re away. That’s the way cats are.
Kissy: I don’t know if you have any way of knowing which neighbor made the complaint. If you did, I suggest you send Heidi and Cally down to pee on their doormat!
Siouxsie: Kissy! You know that’s a bad idea! If you want to write for Paws and Effect, you have to give helpful advice! Now, go to your room.
Kissy: You’re no fun. *sulk*
Siouxsie: As Thomas and I were saying before we were so rudely interrupted …
Thomas: … we’d recommend that if possible, you talk with your neighbors. They may not know that your cats are the ones causing the banging noises, and they might be more forgiving if they understood that.
Siouxsie: You might find out that your neighbor is concerned because he or she works nights, for example, and has to sleep during the day.
Thomas: If you have that information, you might be better able to manage your cats’ play time so that it doesn’t conflict with your neighbor’s need to sleep.
Kissy: Of course, it would also help if you got another area rug for your bedroom.
Siouxsie: Go to your room, Kissy!
Kissy: I was just trying to help. *sniffle* I’m sorry I told Mary Ann to send her cats down to pee on her neighbor’s doormat. *weep*
Siouxsie: Oh, okay. Come on out and write with us. But you’d better behave yourself.
Kissy: I promise.
Thomas: Mary Ann, you might be surprised to know that the best thing you can do to keep your cats from going crazy with their play while you’re away is to play with them while you’re home.
Siouxsie: If you play with them until they’re exhausted in the morning before you leave for work and in the evening before they eat their supper, you’ll find that they spend more time resting during the day and night — which will certainly make your neighbors happier.
Kissy: And if you can work out their play times so that they’re less likely to bother your neighbors with their running and cavorting, you’ll be on the road to happy-neighbor-ness.
Thomas: We’d also suggest you talk to your landlord or building manager and explain that the banging is your cats playing and that you’re taking action to help their playtime be in alignment with your neighbors’ needs for sleep or peace and quiet.
Siouxsie: Since you’ve lived in your apartment complex for 20 years, the building manager presumably knows you’re a reliable tenant who pays her rent on time and is considerate of her neighbors, so you’ve got that on your side. A good long-term tenant is worth a million whiny ones.
Thomas: Also, if you’ve been in that apartment since last February and the noise complaint just happened, we’re willing to bet that the issue is with a new neighbor.
Kissy: With that in mind, maybe your first stop should be at the building manager’s office, especially if you’re very anxious about talking to your neighbors.
Siouxsie: Neither you nor your neighbors can stop your cats from being cats. If your building manager knows what’s going on and knows that you’re working to address the issue through periods of structured play, we’re pretty sure they’ll be help your neighbors understand what’s going on.
Thomas: Good luck, Mary Ann. We hope you can get this sorted out.
Kissy: And don’t send your cats to pee on their doorstep!
Agree with extra playtime. More carpeting in the bedroom would also help. Also, if they have any particularly noisy toys (like golf balls) – confiscate those. I’ve been jolted awake more than once by a golf ball being whammed off a door at 3:00 a.m. They get those only under supervision now and the rest of the time they get softer, less noisy toys. Mine usually go off to sleep for hours after they’ve been fed. Maybe give them a meal after playtime and just before you go to work?
I agree with everything you said. Softer toys and perhaps some area rugs and perhaps a nice cat condo for them to hang out in.
We didn’t think about the toy thing, but like the suggestion above. :)
I would talk to the office manager and see if you can get details. The more you know, the better off you will be. And then either see if the office manager is willing to act as an intermediary, or talk to the neighbors yourself.
I agree that the neighbors might not realize it’s your cats. They may be thinking someone else is inthe apartment while you’re gone or maybe an intruder. If they know it’s yoiur cats and are complaining, as long as it’s not after midnight there is not much to complain about. At least they’re not little kids screaming and shouting. You know some people will complain about anything.
That’s what I am thinking too. Maybe it was a concern and not a complaint?
Apartment complexe’s are not a good place when owning pets, May be you should be
looking for a small sigle house to rent, where no on is on your back and your kitties
can play all they want and three cats is alot, hope you don’t get any more it not healthy
I had the same problem when I lived in an apartment and even though I had carpeting on the floor, the neighbors still complained so I put bed pillows and extra comforters and blankets around the floor of my bedroom and especially around the bed so when they jumped off, it was into a folded comforter. I then figured out to do stairs out of cardboard boxes next to my bed, on the side I don’t use and to my surprise, my cats preferred to walk up and down the stairs than to jump off the bed. Mind you the steps on the boxes have to be wide, or else they won’t use them. The bottom box was about 24″ x 24″ x 8″ high and the box on top of that was about 12″ x 12″ x 8″ high. I then put rugs with rubber backing on top of the boxes. The cardboard steps prevented the cats from jumping off the bed, but not running in the apartment so I folded the blankets and comforters into thirds or quarters the long way and laid them in the path of travel for the cats and that helped. Since I didn’t have a lot of company, I just lived with the blankets on the floor, but when I had guests, it was real easy to fold them up and put them away. During the winter, it felt nice to walk on the plush blankets and the cats liked to curl up on them for a nap. I was also in a position to move out and buy a house, but not everyone is in that position.
This is great advice. I’m going to try this. Thanks. I feel so badly for my neighbors.
If the cats like to play with balss, perhaps you could use ping-pong balls. My cats enjoyed playing with these as kittens. Ping-pong balss are very light and don’t make much noise.
Thanks for all the suggestions! Glad to know I’m not the only one who thought of quilts and pillows on the floor. I’m not so worried about noise when I’m at work. My lease says no excessive noise before 8 am or after 10 . Unfortunately thise seem to be their preferred playtime. I was used to one cat. With two, they just have to look at each other, one paw goes out playfully an they’re off to the races. I’ve tried closing my bedroom door and locking them in the livingroom to discourage them from racing through the rooms but then they whine or bang against the door. It helps a bit to keep them in my room with the door closed but then if they play, i have to worry they could run behind the flat screen tv or my computer or jump off the dresser. In the dark it just makes me nervous. Needless to say all this means i dont get enough sleep since i go to bed at 11 and am up by 5:30 even on weekends.
I honestly dont want to address the issue with the office. Once i give them the idea it could be the cats they could always insist i get rid of them. Which i wouldnt do. There is also a chance since there is no sound insulation it is the washer dryer or even just my walking across the floor since i have a below knee prosthesis so my walk is a bit heavier.
I am wondering if anyone has tried any of these holistic products like the essences that Jackson Galaxy has used that might make them calmer early in the morning before i go to work? I could play with them when i get home for a liitke bit at 7 pm but that just makes them tired before i go to bed, they are still up bright and early. .
I’m having the same issue. Complaints have been made about the woman’s noise below me and she is lashing out by banging on the ceiling every time my cats jump down off the window sills and furniture.
I to have rearranged the furniture and put cushions Down to try and minimise the noise they make. Also whenever they have their playful half hour I get totally stressed as she starts banging on the ceiling making the cats even more excitable. I’ve lived in upstairs flats with cats for 20 years and know one has ever complained before.
Unfortunately the woman is not approachable And is prone to violent outbursts.
I’m even considering moving. Its a bloody nightmare.
I am having a similar issue. 3 cats in an apartment- Lots of area rugs and pads and wall to wall carpeting. But still they run like crazy around 4 am and jump off things. No complaints that I know of but I am just waiting as I have only been here a week. I’m doing the pillow thing now too. I have in excess of 40 pillows ( it’s a big apartment). But I am stressed and not sleeping. I also understand not going to management or neighbors directly as then they will just say get rid of the cats. So I live here – developing an ulcer. Unfortunately, I bought the apartment so it’s not easy to move out. Now I am scolding my cats who I love for playing- it’s horrible.
The neighbors right below me just moved in and are complaining already. My two maniacs are only 10 months old so there’s not telling them to calm down. I’m going to invest in rug pads to put under the area rugs and runners. They are supposed to reduce noise on hardwood floors. I will also take the suggestion to get some cushions to put under the spots where they jump off things. It’s not like they’re running around for hours but the people below seem rather sensitive. Sigh. I wish I live in one those buildings with high ceilings with concrete floors.