By Amanda Harper
If you’ve ever been woken up at 3AM by a cat serenading you...
If you’ve ever had to answer some pretty tough questions from your neighbors about your dog’s howling...
If you own basically any bird on earth...
This article is dedicated to you.
There’s a special place in Heaven for people with noisy pets. It’s a specific level of patience and understanding that others will never quite “get”.
Have a cat who howls? If you’ve ruled out any health issues, the cause is likely stress or boredom. Create “safe spaces” for your cat, like tucking beds in places other pets or children can’t reach. Make sure you have scratching posts and perches for your cat to explore. Invest in an automated laser or teaser to keep her running and playing all day. Also check your yard for evidence of strays–cats sometimes fight little turf wars behind the safety of the sliding glass door. Spaying and neutering will almost always help with this issue, as well.
Does your dog bark at neighbors, noises outside, fast movements, shoes, other pets, your children, dust falling–basically anything? Get thee to a trainer. Professional dog trainers can often turn your life around with some clever reinforcement techniques and commands. There is no better cure for this problem!
To curb dog barking at home, remember not to yell at your dog. Many dogs take this as a sign that you’re just barking along. Believe it or not, the best cure may be ignoring it–but not necessarily tolerating it! The ASPCA recommends ignoring your dog through his entire barking fit–look away from him and don’t speak or respond. When he finally pipes down, take a deep breath and then give him attention and a treat. Next time, wait even longer before you give him his treat.
Pets with separation anxiety often cause the most noise when you’re not around. I’ve known friends who have been mortified to learn that everyone living nearby resented them for their noisy dogs–who they thought were virtually silent! Turns out, their dogs were howling all day long while they were at work. Oops. Crating can often help in these situations, as well as kongs. Some people find success with turning on talk radio or television all day.
Have a bird you’d like to be less noisy? Talk quietly to the bird. The will often stop chirping to hear what you’re saying. Offer your bird lots to play with. Only give your birds snacks when they’re quiet. And appreciate that birds are just noisy, especially in the morning. You might have to deal with it!