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Old May 14th, 2008, 11:10 AM
angelayla angelayla is offline
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Unhappy Cat Behavior Issues

My problem is with my two cats. I got Skittles a year ago, and Prissy a few months ago. Skittles was very well behaved when I got her, but when Prissy came along, no matter how much we try to train Prissy, it never works. Skittles waits for Prissy to do something bad, then follows along with her.

So back to training Skittles as well.

No matter how I try to teach them, it doesn't seem to sink in anymore. I was told to use a spray bottle of water. It doesn't work. Because they know what it is and what it's for. Normally when they do something bad, if I walk towards them, they run to their room and stay there. But if they see me with the water bottle they'll run all over the house, and by then it's pointless to discipline because they've forgotten completely why they're being disciplined in the first place.

I've tried saying very sternly and loud "no". But they'll just look at me and continue what they're doing wrong until we get up and walk towards them or take out the spray bottle. And even then they just go back to what they're doing wrong unless we sit there and guard them.

I'm at my wits end because I don't know how to train them to stop being destructive. They'll just sneak around the house doing what they please, and since there's really no method I have tried that works, they think they're getting away with it. If I don't watch them 24/7 they get into the cupboards (afterwards I have to rewash all the dishes in there), tear up my blankets, dig out dry poop from the litter box and throw it around the house, chew on cords, climb the curtains, etc.

I've tried everything I can in the way of removing alot of the items they like to destroy, but unless I pack my entire apartment into boxes, that's not an option.

Our youngest, Prissy has taken to biting while being pet, or sometimes just randomly if we tell her "no" to something. Putting her down and ignoring her after she bites while petting seems to work sometimes, but she's determined to have her way or she gets very angry. It's not just nipping either. One night I told her "no" when she tried to chew my fiance's computer cords, she spun around, grabbed onto my arm and started biting and scratching, and I hadn't even touched her!

What can I do to curb this behavior in my cats? I hate having to be two feet behind them at all times to keep them out of trouble.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 11:40 AM
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ancientgirl ancientgirl is offline
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Wow, you certainly have your hands full. I can't give you much in suggestions regarding how to get them to curb a lot of their behavior.

I've always read and practiced shooting them with the squirt bottle, but you aren't supposed to look at them when doing it, or say anything. Basically, you are supposed to catch them by surprise, then hide the bottle and continue doing what you were doing. They can't associate the bottle with you.

As for getting them to stop getting into the cupboards, Phoozles was using something called Ssscat-kit to try and keep her kitty Alley off the counters, and I'm also waiting for one I ordered too. What this does is when the sensor senses the cat near the device it gives off a shot of air, or noise. That's supposed to surprise or scare the cat off. There is also something called a Scat Mat, which is a mat you put on a surface that gives of a charge, like static electricity, and gets them off of counters or furniture.

You can also get some double sided take and put that on the counters. I saw this on TV a few days ago. Cats hate sticky things on their paws, so when they jump and feel that sticky thing they don't like it and get away.

I don't know if that helps but it's worth a try.

Cats really try our patience sometimes, believe me I know. Sometimes mine do things and I just have to give them the win. It's hard to be consistent because I'm sure they do stuff while I'm at work they aren't supposed to do, so who's going to correct them?

I sometimes wish I had a pet cam on them. Then again, that might be a bad idea. I don't think I want to know what they're doing while I'm gone.

Good luck, and welcome to the board. We love pictures btw.
There are only two rules at my house: House rule #1. Cats rule. House rule #2. See rule #1.

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Old May 14th, 2008, 11:41 AM
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jessi76 jessi76 is offline
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you need to be smarter than the cats. I have 2 cats, and a dog (a very crafty basenji-mix) at home.

If I don't watch them 24/7 they get into the cupboards (afterwards I have to rewash all the dishes in there), tear up my blankets, dig out dry poop from the litter box and throw it around the house, chew on cords, climb the curtains, etc.
get childproof latches for the cupboards, or tie the knobs w/ a tight fitting elastic band so they can't open them.

blankets... fold them and put them away (up high in a closed closet) OR simply close the door to the room so the cats can't get in to wreck the blankets.

as for the poop - scoop more often if possible.

as for cords - get cord protectors, or wipe some vick's vapo rub along the wires to repel the cats. I've had great luck using oranges - I slice them in half - and leave them where the cats aren't supposed to be. mine HATE citrus, so it works well.

climbing curtains... i'd try to tie them back and loop up the excess that dangles. remove the temptation as best you can.

I think a big part of it is they probably need a playground where they CAN get into trouble. can you make a corner area for them to play in? get some plastic jungle plants (real ones could be ingested, or they'd dig out the dirt, etc...), pots of cat grass FOR them to eat - carboard boxes w/ holes cut in them to play in - tubes (paper towel tubes, TP tubes work well) with tinfoil balls in them. a scratching post and/or condo is always nice. you can even make you own w/ carpet pieces and wood if you need to. toys that hang from rope or ribbon work well too. if you can create a place for them to use their energy it will probably save your sanity and your home.

sorry if this was long... i'm no expert, just suggestions. take 'em or leave 'em.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 11:55 AM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Hehe, sounds like you have healthy active kitties. Biting is a big no no with our cats and all have been trained not to play with hands. Consistency is key. You are doing the right thing by stopping the activity. One other thing I did was to have a toy handy to play with them when they wanted to play with my hands.

Ancientgirl and Jessi have given you excllent ideas so I don't have too much to add.

I second jessi's idea of a play area, these are kittens and they have a lot of energy. Large, quality cat stands are a must, at least one (two is better with two cats) in the room they most frequent, close enough that they can jump from one to another, and one where they sleep. They need to climb and scratch their claws.

The good news is that they settle down with time.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 07:16 PM
angelayla angelayla is offline
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Well the counters aren't a problem, they don't go on those. A cat we used to own had a bad incident with climbing on the counters to get to the window and the situation ended up with her scaring herself, pulling the curtain down, falling in a sink full of dish water, then running away all tangled up in the curtain. The other cats saw this and decided they would stay off the counters as well. The cupboards are the bottom cupboards with the baking dishes in them that they are trying to play in. I live in a small 2 bedroom apartment, and the 2nd bedroom is theirs, full of toys, scratching pads, etc. We also keep our 4 guinea pigs in there in cages, which entertain the cats, the cats haven't tried to get at them so we've left them in the same room. My fiance has a set routine with the cats. Every morning at 10 he scoops the litter, feeds and waters them, and spends the next hour and half playing with them with their toys before leaving for work. When he gets home at 8pm he waters them again and plays a while more to try to tire them out before bed. We've both avoided using our hands as playthings ever since we got them, opting for foil balls, balls on a string, and such. And as much as I would love to catch them in the act, again the apartment is a small 2 bedroom. Often when I hear them getting into something, as soon as they hear me stand up, they're gone. It's hard to catch them in the act, nevermind sneak up to spray them LOL. And the curtains in the livingroom that they climb are vertical blinds? I think that's what they're called. I usually keep them closed as they're on a huge picture window and due to living at an intersection in an area of town where I'd rather not have peepers about. I bought some cat repellent, they seem to just wait until the smell is gone to go back. I will follow some of the suggestions above that I can follow and see how it goes. Unfortunately with Prissy, with how easily and quickly she angers and bites, and the nature of her attacks, I hope I can get her out of this. She terrifies my company that comes over.

Last edited by angelayla; May 14th, 2008 at 07:19 PM.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 07:39 AM
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danaekitty danaekitty is offline
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Are your cats spayed? I have two girls as well, and although one retained some serious attitude (which we laugh at now), they both calmed significantly after they were spayed. Did you get them both as kittens? If so, I'm guessing their ages to be about a year and three to four months - chances are the older one is still impressionable enough to be untrained by the baby's mischievous ways.
Good luck!
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