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Old 06-10-2009, 08:34 AM
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maxfox426 maxfox426 is offline
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Default Help! Evil Cat!

I need some enrichment activities for Ticheli. He's driving me insane! I know that "evil" is probably a bit harsh a word, but as much as I LOVE this cat... some of this nonsense has just GOT TO STOP!!


To give a small idea of his recent antics...

-dragging dirty laundry out of the upstairs hamper and scattering the clothes all over the downstairs (at which point Morgan typically tries to eat them)

-knocking over our metal, heavy, lidded kitchen trashcan and shredding the liner, spreading trash all over the house

-jumping on the counter, knocking things off the counter, trying to eat things on the counter

-yanked down one potted plant that was HANGING FROM THE CEILING

-scratching on furniture

-SCREAMING to be fed, and not just at mealtimes

-etc.


I know it's the season for cabin fever, but SERIOUSLY!!

I know how help Morgan entertain himself, but I am completely out of ideas for this cat. He has about a gajillion toys (not to mention Morgan's toys that he likes to play with), a post to scratch on, a birdfeeder outside the window he can watch, another cat and a dog to play with... what else can I do??

He's always been a bit of a terror, but he has never been THIS destructive/insane before. Usually when he's doing something he's not supposed to, a simple "leave it", "get down", or "quit it!" is plenty to get him to stop. Nowadays he just ignores us, and the stunts are getting worse (example: the ceiling plant).

What kind of fun things can I set up for him?!? Or even some training tips/tricks to redirect his behavior... Anything! Help!
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:43 AM
mjb mjb is offline
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One of our cats does similar things.....dirty socks, etc. dragged all over the house, knocking things off dressers, counters.

Yesterday I took my son's saxophone for a repair. He had knocked it off its stand off the table and majorly bent one of the keys.

My only suggestion is if you have a screened porch. Charles loves to go on the screen porch and chase lizards. He will spend hours on the screen porch.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:06 AM
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skittledoo skittledoo is offline
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Ahhh... sounds a bit like Goober... when you find out how to cure this let me know...
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:39 PM
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maxfox426 maxfox426 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjb View Post
One of our cats does similar things.....dirty socks, etc. dragged all over the house, knocking things off dressers, counters.

Yesterday I took my son's saxophone for a repair. He had knocked it off its stand off the table and majorly bent one of the keys.

My only suggestion is if you have a screened porch. Charles loves to go on the screen porch and chase lizards. He will spend hours on the screen porch.
Sadly, I do not have a screened porch. We do have a new fence around the backyard, so I might harness him up and run him around sometime when it isn't raining, but I don't know how much of his energy that will really burn!


Quote:
Originally Posted by skittledoo View Post
Ahhh... sounds a bit like Goober... when you find out how to cure this let me know...
Aw man! I was hoping you would have SOME idea! LOL!
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:49 PM
babymomma babymomma is offline
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Tin foil on the places you dont want him to be might work.. Most cats are scared of it and will stay away..
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:01 PM
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maxfox426 maxfox426 is offline
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Originally Posted by babymomma View Post
Tin foil on the places you dont want him to be might work.. Most cats are scared of it and will stay away..
I have tried that before. He thinks tin foil is the second greatest cat toy ever (first greatest toy being anything with a feather on it).

We've also tried squirting him with water, but this is a cat that likes to sit in the shower, so being wet doesn't phase him hardly at all.

This cat is seriously too smart/stubborn for his own good!

Thanks for the suggestion, though. If he were any other cat it would be a marvelous tip!
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:53 PM
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Wow, your cat has skills.

I was gonna say get a laundry basket with a lid but judging by the trash can that won't stop him. Perhaps put it in a closet. You could also spray citrus air freshener in the hamper (and on the clothes, since they are dirty), most cats don't like citrus.

With the trash can, again if you have a cabinet it can go in that would be the simplest thing. Otherwise you could try the citrus smell and eat a lot of oranges to throw the peels in there. If there is a specific place he touches when pushing the can over you can put double sided tape (or looped duck tape) on that spot, kitties don't like to stick (don't do this if he touches anything other than his paws to it, you don't want his body sticking and him ripping out hair or getting the tape stuck to him which would cause him to panic).

If you can keep the counters entirely clean for a few weeks and be absolutely anal about removing him immediately (and without emotion, don't hold him up to you or say anything other than a one word "off" before taking him down). If he sees it as a game you might place him in a bathroom for a minute after removing him (only a minute). It will get frustrating, sorry. You can't duct tape your counters without YOU sticking to it. Supervision is key for this one so if you can keep him out of the kitchen when you are not around it would help. Also, giving him somewhere BETTER to sit in the kitchen would probably be the best thing. A cat tree, small end table or a large window perch (you can make them pretty easily) for him to lay on would be nice, put some empty pill bottles, milk rings, catnip etc. on them for him to sniff and knock down. randomly place people food on them that he likes to eat (don't show him, if he chooses to go there he gets rewarded without knowing it was coming). At the same time be very sure he never gets rewarded for going on the counters so keep them clean in the training phase.

Did he just want to knock the plant down or did he want to eat it? Again if you can tape the pot or whatever he touched to knock it down (I don't know how he could do this lol) that could work. A replacement hanging cat toy to redirect to might help (some people hand them from ceiling fans). If he eats the plants then cat grass to redirect would help. Is there a path of stuff he climbed on to get the plant? If you can move any of that it might help.

I used citrus spray on the areas they scratched and made sure they had posts that they LIKED. A lot of people get posts, say they don't use them and get angry when they go for the couch. They work like every other animal and do what is most rewarding, if they like the couch more than the post they are going to use the couch. Look at horizontal and vertical posts, look at carpet, sisal and cardboard and if all those are rejected make one by getting some fabric that is similar to your furniture and wrap it around a piece of wood (wide enough for him to comfortably stand on it and scratch) and staple gun it on. Lots of interruption and redirection. Again you will get frustrated, sorry. I'm lucky in that if my cats like their posts and I interrupt and redirect a few times they stop and use the posts.

Don't know any way to train them not to scream to be fed, I mean other than not giving in.

Now that's dealing with the behaviors. As far as enrichment that might help:
What kind of toys do you use? My cats don't play with independent toys, they play with each other and with me using wand type toys.
Try training some commands, like dogs the mind needs to be stimulated as much as the body. Don't be anal about them being good at it, just work with them consistently. Use healthy treats like some chicken or other meat if he'll eat it.

Also feeding food (if you feed dry food) in a food dispensing ball, hiding kibbles all over a cat tree, putting some kibbles under plastic cups, in paper towel tubes, in the grooves of an egg carton etc. so he has to work at it can stimulate the mind and slow down eating which may help him stay fuller (something about enzymes not being released in time when cats eat food fast so they don't digest it as well, I don't know if it'll really help but it's worth a try).

It's also stimulating to bring in new stuff. If you can find boxes (show boxes, pizza boxes, packages, styrafoam boxes etc.) throw them on the floor for a little while and let the cat explore them. Even just bringing in sticks and leaves and grass and rocks of different sizes and letting them sniff and touch is stimulating. If it snows get a pan of it and see what they do. Things you consider garbage may be fun or at least interesting for your cat to check out and can make his mind and senses work.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:11 PM
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I had/have similar cat problems. We're making major progress on jumping on the counters finally after diligently cleaning the kitchen every single time we used it. Everything has to be put away or it will be eaten and spewed all over the place. God forbid anyone left a box of cereal out, there would be a hole munched right through it and cereal would be everywhere. My cat is like yours where he'd jump off when he saw one of us coming, or he'd just wait until we left to start his mischief like when we go to work or go to bed. So before we leave him, we'll clean up anything he will eat, wash the kitchen (yes, scrub the counters every time we leave the apartment) and toss kibble all over the floor.

It's an awful lot of work, but it's become a habit and it keeps him off for the most part as it's no longer interesting up there. Though if he sees us put anything on the counter (could be a wallet, or keys), he will go up to investigate. So counters must stay CLEARED at all times.

He also would scream and yowl like a madman at feeding time. I actually made a post about this a while ago and since then have had success. I'd basically just put his food away and sit down every time he made a sound then try feeding him again in 5 minutes. If I was short on time and didn't have an hour to train my cat to shush, I'd put him in a closet or bathroom where he couldn't see me, put his food out and then release him.

Good luck with your demon. These felines are a handful...
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:21 PM
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for getting him tired how about Laser light or just a plain flashlight? Missy loves chasing light. We had one food hound years ago, Tigger was a definite hoover, would vacuum down any food in sight. When we ate we had to put him in the bathroom. (large room litterbox and had a window) Unfortunately he appeared claustrophobic, removed the wall paper off the door in part, looked so shaggy we then pulled off the remainder.

How old is he, as I dont know... is he older and new behavior maybe some dementia?

When he was young we came home once later then usual feeling guilty to find no one looking for food and everyone had taut bellies,
someone (I assume Tigger) opened the food cabinet and chewed through a plastic container (rubbermaid) then they all had a free for all. they also opened an Iams container, back when the product was in something like a milk carton, we had just gotten a big one of it. Tigger, Sneakers and Freckles all had rock hard tummies, called the vet and we had to pick up all water for several hours, just offered it before bed and thankfully no one developed issues breathing.

Good idea on bringing the outside in as if dont have a porch thats fenced.. dont spose you want to catch any lizards or bugs to bring them in? hehehehe Or let in a fly, mine have all done acrobatics when there was a fly inside.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:29 PM
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We quickly started training our kitten as soon as he could start learning. (It helped that we had him since he was 2 days old.) That said, he still does get into some mischeif. Yesterday he dragged the bagels off the counter and attempted to eat them through the bag. He's learned that he can't be on the counters in human's presence, but he'll not hesitate if we are gone. I still have not broken him of this, as I just can't make myself do more of the aversive training on him. I've thought about putting sticky paper for rats/mice down on the counters... but fear that'd just make a bigger mess.

For the plants... I knew if he would destroy Dustin's grandmother's plants, she wouldn't allow us to keep him. I took drastic measures. The first time he did it, he got sprayed in the mouth area with lemon juice/water. He did not like that and ran away and hid. I then sprayed the plants with it, and he stopped knocking them over, chewing, or digging in the plants.
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