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Kittens and artificial plants/trees

August 19th, 2007, 01:50 PM
Okay I know this is totally expected. I have this big artificial weeping willow tree in my living room and my kittens are obviously destroying it! I don't know what to do. I thought perhaps there was something I could rub on the stump that might prevent them from climbing it. I actually (as ugly as it looks right now) wrapped it up in an old sheet thinking at least if they crawl it at least they are no long tearing it apart. But I wondered if anyone has encountered this problem and how they might have had success.

August 19th, 2007, 02:57 PM
Hee hee hee....aren't kittens fun. :cloud9: :evil: :lovestruck: :D

You could try:

1. Wrapping carpet tape around the base
2. Spraying them with water when you catch them doing it

August 20th, 2007, 06:46 AM
I'm not a big artificial plant fan, but I've tried artificial christmas trees and I've had 2 cats who like to eat the needles, so no more christmas trees. Real one out of the question, I don't like the fire hazard that comes with them.
No real plants either, the cats and dogs would have a ball with them, so no real or fake plants inside my house. :)


August 20th, 2007, 11:53 AM
Good luck in your search to find a way to stop them. I have found only time (because they got too big) has stopped them.

How about putting a cat climbing stand beside the tree to see if they take to that instead.

Or, put the tree in another room and close the door so they can't get at it for a couple of months.

And my last suggestions is to wrap somthing around the tree that the cat's can't climb like a furnace venting tin. You would have to make some slight modifications to it so it looks like an upsidedown tamporine.

Other than that, cats like to climb and they are independent. I find it easier to eliminate the object until they are older than to train them.

October 12th, 2007, 06:32 PM
I've always taught kittens to claw at appropriate items instead. It will take awhile, but most cats aren't permanently deterred by quick fixes like wrapping things in a certain material or using a certain scent. These always seem to work for awhile but it doesn't actually teach the cat that those items are off limits.

If the kitten is scratching something inappropriate I take the kitten by the scruff of the neck (there's very little room for error in this since kittens are so light, but I suppose you could just pick it up normally) and move it to somewhere that it should be scratching instead. It also helps to have a string or something to get the cat playing and scratching near that object so they catch on that that object = play and something to use their claws on. Catnip can help too, but some cats aren't effected in the least by catnip.
Initiate all play near the object you want them to scratch on. It's rarely failed me that they end up associating the proper object with playing and using their claws and don't care about most other items.

Spray bottle method. As soon as they start scratching the inappropriate item spray them. Adult cats can be more stubborn, but kittens usually catch onto this pretty quick. Doesn't work with some kittens that are either not very bright or don't mind the spray.

Loud noise method. When they try to start scratching the item scare them off by making loud noises like clapping your hands or shaking a can of coins.

You should still combine either of the latter methods with teaching the cat to scratch appropriate items. The last method especially may cause the cat to only ignore that item when YOU are present since they realize you're the one making noise. With the spray bottle try to spray them when they're not paying attention and don't know it's coming from you. If they associate the spray bottle with the water they'll wait until they see the spray bottle and run rather than learning to ignore the inappropriate item altogether.

Hope this helps.

October 21st, 2007, 03:19 AM
Thanks very much. They're pretty good now (well twice they've the tree down!!) but they've calmed down a bit.