Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

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Topic author
NewCrabber

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by NewCrabber » Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:34 pm

My cat is getting closer to finding a new home! Well, not really, but that's just how I feel lately.She claws the furniture every now and then, but what makes me more crazy is that she gets up on table tops, the microwave, kitchen counters, refrigerator, etc. What's bad is that she knows better! She'll get up on something and when I tell her to get down, she just stares at me. She won't take her eyes off of me until I start walking in her direction, then she runs like a bat out of you know what. I've tried squirting her with a water bottle, but she does the same thing. She won't move until I'm close enough to squirt her! I put up with the hair, vomit, the occasional poop right outside the litter box, etc., but this I can't tolerate.Any and all suggestions are appreciated! I'll try anything! Short of doing away with her.


Topic author
KittyCaller

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by KittyCaller » Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:43 pm

You can try putting aluminum foil on the counters, stoves, etc. The noise will scare her off.


Topic author
Crab_Lover

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by Crab_Lover » Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:57 pm

Maybe bubblewrap? Our cats hate stepping on bubblewrap, even if it doesn't pop. Another thing you might try is duct tape with the sticky side up (she won't like that on her paws). They also make sprays that are made to keep cats off furniture. We've used them once & they work pretty well. Anyways, good luck!


Topic author
KittyCaller

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by KittyCaller » Sun Apr 02, 2006 6:29 am

Also, don't let her get away with staring you in the eye...it's a direct challenge and she'll notice if she wins. (I don't let Foster aka Evil get away with it-even if I'm pretty sure she'll seek revenge, eventually ) You can try to imitate a hissing sound also. Sort of a Pttthh noise. Between that and staring 'em in the eye, it can work. Just be sure that they get a very light swat if they still refuse, or they won't associate it with anything other than a human trying to sound like them. You may just have a cat who thinks it's a game, but it can be annoying all the same. The water squirters are good. If it doesn't have enough pressure though, you can try a cheap water pistol, like from the dollar store. It may be a little more accurate. Double sided tape on the furniture can help with clawing. Most cats hate adhesive...well, a couple of mine try to eat tape if they find it, but they're broken. Different things work with different cats. Most of these things don't work with Foster who does the exact opposite of what she should be doing....then again she doesn't sleep for days at a time. I've just taken to crating her when she's being especially awful.


Topic author
Willow

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by Willow » Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:59 am

Hehehe, if I even thought about trying to keep my cats off of the counters, etc., I'd have to be institutionalized. They own the house; I just pay the bills . So I don't even consiser it to be misbehavior, to me it's just normal cat-ness. But maybe I'm unusual.But do try bubble wrap or foil, it will work for some cats. You can also try those clear carpet guards (the ones with the little nobbies on the bottom to keep it from sliding around) upside-down on the counter. Cats really hate to step on the little nobbies. Try "spraying" her with compressed air instead of water. My pets all hate the sound and feeling. As for the clawing, double sided carpet tape will work, and it's cheaper than the stuff they sell at the pet store. If you trim her claws (if she'll let you), it will minimize the damage if she does scratch. I assume she has enough scratching posts of the appropriate texture? My cats like sisal posts and cardboard scratching pads best, but some cats have other opinions. I have also had some success with using Feliway to minimize territorial scratching. A repellent spray might work, too. But the bigger problem is that there is most likely something stressing her. Cats don't just start to misbehave without some kind of reason. Some cats just have it in their personalities, but if this is a new thing, it's probably stress. Has there been some kind of change in the household recently? A new pet, a new baby, even new furniture can set some cats off. If you can find out what's stressing her, and eliminate or minimize it, that should go a long way to solving your problem.


Topic author
jojo7

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by jojo7 » Sun Apr 02, 2006 2:54 pm

Spraying a water bottle works great with my dog, but my cat could care less too...Try getting a tin can of some sort...and put a bunch of coins in it...seal the top of the can and whenever the cat jumps on top of the furniture, throw the can towards her direction...but try not to let her see you throw the can...she has to think that whenever she jumps on furniture, a really loud scary sounds comes from out of nowhere...that should condition her to stay away from furniture...i know people who have used this method and say it works...good luck, and let us know how it worked out!!!


Topic author
NewCrabber

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by NewCrabber » Sun Apr 02, 2006 6:06 pm

Hahaha, I cracked up reading about Ramses. Let's play a game of, Catch Me If You Can, come on, I dare you! LOL Hehe. I'm just not used to this behavior, my last cat was such a good boy.This really isn't new behavior, but it's getting worse. At first I attributed it to how long it took her to warm up to us. She must have hid under my bed for at least the first month she was here. Several more before she would allow anyone to even pick her up and many more before she final climbed up into my lap. I don't think she was in loving homes previously. She came to the last owner as a kitten with a broken leg and they got rid of her because she is very territorial. They said she fought with their other cats. Strange, I think, since they had her for three years. We've had her for two. And it's been only within the last, I'd say about eight months since we've seen the real Grace. I do think though, this pooping outside of the box, among other things, might be a bit of stress due to other cats in the neighborhood who taunt her through the open windows. She goes absolutely wild. Especially with one who is brazen enough to get up on the window sills. I've tried with no success getting the owner to keep the cat home. I've replaced more screens than I care to think about because of the two of them.Thank you for all the suggestions. I'm going to try each and every one of of them until I find one that works (or at least tempers it some)! She really doesn't have a sufficient scratching post, but we're working on that. We'll be tearing out the carpet, hopefully real soon, and I want to try to make one using scraps. jojo7, I laughed so hard reading your suggestion. It reminded me of a time last Christmas when I was taking down the tree. I had boxes all over the place and she was sitting a few feet from one. I called and called her name, and of course, with typical cat arrogance, she ignored me. I picked something up, tossed it at her and when it hit her backside, she did a double flip, one right after the other and right over a box. I laughed myself silly that night. One of the things I hate about all this is that when I yell at her, she stays away from me for several days. Instead she'll go curl up with one of my kids which she doesn't normally do when she isn't being spiteful. It's like she does it because she knows it bothers me!


Topic author
Guest

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by Guest » Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:47 am

I've had success with foil on the counters. My cat doesn't scratch the furniture, but uses the carpet. I can't get her to use the scratching post. My husband puts claw-covers on her. I can't do it.With the outside cats taunting her, you might try something called Rescue Remedy. It's a flower essence from Bach (this is the brand). I get it at Whole Foods, but you can get it and any health food store. Get some on your fingers and rub it on her fur a couple times a day. Be ready to not see a change for about a week or so, but I've found this really calmed down my former rambunctious cat. Plus, I foster cats and use it whenever I'm introducing a new cat to my home to ease the transition.Good luck!


Topic author
Guest

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by Guest » Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:50 am

When I first met my husband, his family had four cats, joined by my cat when we were married, since he and I lived with his parents at first. All the cats, for whatever reason, seemed to defer to my mother-in-law as the "head cat". Not that any of us really thought about it, but she was in charge. When she died suddenly, the cats all went nuts. Two of them started spraying (mind you, these were neutered males that had never sprayed before to anyone's knowledge), one started ripping out chunks of wallpaper, one started picking fights with the others, one started pooping in odd corners; they all started climbing in places they didn't usually. It was like a feline "Lord of the Flies." When we finally puzzled out that they were being this way because of Mom's death and they were competing to see who would end up on top, we could see that one of us would have to step in. I volunteered since I was home the most, and I basically did what a cat would do to establish dominance. I hissed at them when they came close to my "territory" (the counters, tables, furniture). I chased them away, sometimes up the stairs when they misbehaved, caught them and dumped them outside or in a bathroom. I made sure that I won any staring contests. I even made them wait for their meals while I pretended to eat first. Sounds awful, but they were destroying a lot of stuff around the house and it was chaotic for everybody - you never knew what to expect from them. Things settled down once I established myself as "head cat". A vet also told me that spraying, once started, is involuntary, but pooping outside the litter box is NOT - it is a distinct message, unless they're sick, that they're annoyed with you and going to show it. Unfortunately, too, it leaves a marker that can trigger later episodes, so make sure you clean each site as thoroughly as possible.Hope your attempts go well!


Topic author
Willow

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by Willow » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:57 pm

I use Rescue Remedy too--sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'd like to try some of the other flower essences, but I can't find a source locally, I might order online if I can find a good place. It should help with the outdoor cats bugging her, it's really useful for that kind of thing. She isn't being spiteful when she goes to your kids....spite is a complex human emotion that animals are NOT capable of. She's doing it because she is stressed. Being yelled at clearly stresses her, you may want to try not yelling at her for a while and see if that helps. A cat cannot be expected not to scratch the furniture if there isn't a decent scratching post---a cat needs to scratch, not just to remove the outer claw sheaths ("sharpening" the claws), but also for their mental and physical health. If you use the carpet (unless she really likes to scratch the carpet), try making the post with the underside of the carpet facing out. That side is scratchier and most cats prefer it. You can also get sisal rope at the dollar store, wind it around a 2x4, it makes a great scratching post. You can get cardboard scratching pads at Wal-Mart, PetCo, Trader Joe's, etc. I've never met a cat that didn't like them.The poor kitty......it sounds like she's had a rough life. I hope she feels more confident soon.


Topic author
Guest

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by Guest » Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:07 pm

Willow's right - a good scratching post is essential. Ours was a 3-tiered one that had logs as the posts - very sturdy, not too hard to construct. Google "build cat tree" and you'll come up with more sites than you care to look at. We would rub catnip into the carpeting that covered the three levels - the cats couldn't stay away from it, and it was a great neutral ground in which to interact with them. They were generally in a good mood while they were there and much more willing to work out any "differences" we may have had that day.


Topic author
Guest

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by Guest » Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:41 pm

Or, do what they want us to do anyway.....bow deeply as you back away from the bowl of fresh smelly sardines.....hold bow until cat has finished food, remove offending dish and bow yourself out the door to earn more catnip money! At least that's what our 6 have told us they expect on a daily basis...


Topic author
KittyCaller

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by KittyCaller » Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:05 pm

LOL! Absolutely. Hehe, except maybe the sardine part...one of my cats is very finicky but about weird things. Four tries to bury certain types of cat food he doesn't find to his liking, same with some cat treats, and turn his nose up at chicken that's cooked in a way he doesn't like. Oh, but he'll try his darndest to digest tape, loves fish food, and I've seen him try to pull an olive out of a biscuit. Foster, on the other hand, I'm pretty sure has pica. I've never known a cat before her who would willingly want to eat a skittle. (Not that I've ever tried to feed a cat a skittle, but you know what I mean)


Topic author
NewCrabber

Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by NewCrabber » Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:54 pm

LOL, I don't know if she likes sardines, but I bet she would! She'd eat anything (almost) if I let her. We don't usually have things like chips and Cheetos around the house, but if a bag of Cheetos is left open, she'll be found with her head in it! You're absolutely right about the scratching post. She doesn't use the furniture all that often, but I think I'll buy her something else to use until I can use the carpet. (dellermama -thanks for the tip to google making one, use it all the time, but probably wouldn't have thought of it for a scratching post.)I really don't yell at her. I do use a stern voice when I tell her to, "get down". That might be enough to stress her on top of the other cats, I suppose. You've got me very interested in knowing if the Rescue Remedy will help. I'm going to check into locating it first chance I have. Not being spiteful? Are you sure??? I'm kidding, I really don't think she is, it just feels that way. She's probably in no mood to be around the person who is always and consistently making her leave her favorite lounging spots. But she really surprised me tonight by doing the sweetest and cutest thing. I walked into the bathroom where she was resting on the window ledge. She jumped down and came to my feet. I picked her up and loved on her for a minute then set her down. I was standing in front of the counter and she jumped up on the toilet seat and then onto the counter in front of me and stood on her hind legs putting her front paws on my chest. To continue being consistent with her, I should have picked her up and put her on the floor, but there was no way I could. My heart just swelled and I had her in my arms before I knew it. I pick her up all the time and scratch her back, she loves it and can stay there forever sometimes, but this is the first time she has actually "asked" to be picked up. She can be a very loving kitty, but that was the sweetest! What a way to warm a person's heart (and get what you want out of them)!This is Grace.

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Christa
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Bad Cat Behavior! Any Suggestions?

Post by Christa » Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:38 am

Hello!I've had cats my whole life so I guess I'm sort of qualified to answer. We have two solutions on-hand right now at our house. One is Softpaws. Here is the link. When the clawing gets out of hand the softpaws go on. Also if we introduce a new cat all the cats get softpaws. It helps a lot!We also use these things called "Scat Mats." They are electrified and if the cat jumps on them the cat gets a MILD shock. We put them around the Christmas tree each year, tho with the baby now we will probably have to put them away and trust to luck. But we have used the scat mats on the countertops and it helps. You can adjust the level of electricity and I keep it mild because I'd never hurt the girls just because they are curious -- just enough juice for a little correction. They are no worse for wear AND they stay off the counters.The website for the catalog (Drs. Foster & Smith) has a lot of great products for preventing cats from jumping onto things. One is a spray bottle with a motion sensor on it -- you put it on the counter and if the cat jumps up the motion sensor can tell and it sprays air very loudly and scares the cat off the counter. A great idea, IMO.I hope that helps some. Cats are a joy most of the time but sometimes a royal pain in the butt! One of our kittens is very "pan sensitive" as in if there is one turd in the pan she will not use it. So recently we went thru a "litter box trial period" and settled on the Omega Paw Self-Cleaning litter box. It is amazing, it cleans up in less than 5 minutes and you don't have to scoop. Sorry if I sound like a commercial in this post but these are products I have used and they really do help.hc!Christa
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