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Our cat has a habit of waiting until night time, or until we leave the house to start hunting around for gloves. She likes to pick up gardening gloves, athletic gloves, gloves from superhero costumes, etc. and carry these around with her while meowing loudly and repetitively until she drops the glove off, usually outside of someone's bedroom door. She's been doing this for years and it hasn't really been a problem.

Now, our five year old son wakes up if she does this in the middle of the night because it scares him. She seems to always find gloves in different places, but I'm wondering if we should hide them all in places where she can't get them. Is it ok to try to prevent her from doing this? We don't want our son to be scared by the noise at night.

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    Sounds like classical behavior of a cat that's killed a mouse and is bringing it to you for approval. – Hot Licks Sep 1 at 22:37
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    Does he know it's just the cat being silly? And has seen it with his own eyes instead of just hearing some strange otherworldy sound coming from the other side of the door? – DKNguyen Sep 2 at 4:12
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I don't see any reason why you shouldn't keep the gloves away from your cat. However, it may be the case that the cat will continue meowing without the gloves, or the cat will find something else to transfer this behavior to.

I would guess the root cause is the cat is getting bored or lonely at night. You might also try minimizing this behavior by waiting until late to give the cat its evening meal, and then thoroughly playing with the cat before feeding it. The idea is to get the cat tired out and sleepy after it eats its food, which hopefully will encourage it to just sleep through a lot of the night.

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    Oh, the cat will definitely find some other reason for banshee-like wails, and find something to play with that makes a louder, spookier sound than gloves. – Owen Reynolds Sep 2 at 14:13
  • Tiring the cat out enough for it to sleep all night is going to be basically impossible. 1) Cats are naturally nocturnal/crepuscular, 2) Cats don't tend toward the same large block of sleep pattern that humans have created...more like nap for a couple of hours, then play actively for 20 minutes, repeat forever. So being really tired and falling asleep around 10pm is setting the cat up for a wonderful 3am run around the house. – user3067860 Sep 2 at 14:30
  • @user3067860 my cat usually sleeps through the night, but only if I shut her in the bedroom with me without any toys. I had a cat as a kid who did the same thing. I can't promise it'll work for every cat, but it's not impossible. – Kat Sep 3 at 2:56
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I've seen female cats do this exact thing with their kittens: grabbing them one by one, walking around with them held up tight in their mouth while meowing very loudly then eventually drop them in the destination, or lie down to feed them.

So looks like something caused your cat to treat gloves as her kitten. You remember when it started? Maybe reaching to the root of this you'll be able to "undo" the behavior and avoid frustration on either side.

Until then, I have an idea, but it depends if you have a yard outside the house. If you have, put the gloves there in a large box and let her meow out, this way the noise shouldn't wake your son up. Good luck! :)

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