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Dog Loyalist Inherits Cat

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Greetings, I inherited a beautiful healthy athletic cat from my mother who was a former shelter manager and knew animals intimately. 'Ashes' yelled continuously over 200 miles car trip to her new home in rural setting inhabited by myself and a very cool friendly smart dog. We are trying to make Ashes feel at home. Ashes is strong willed and spirited and seems immune to understanding minimal house rules. In early emails to family members I used phrases like 'strong-willed' which morphed into 'tough nut'. Last email phrased it 'posessed'. Ashes was formerly an inside cat but in less than minutes figured out how to negotiate the two flap doors necessary to walk outside. Outside, with declawed front paws, she is shy and weary, but seems to enjoy the freedom (good instincts, there are fox and eagles and all sorts of predators here). I joined this forum to ask for advice for this particular problem: how can she be detered from jumping up and walking the cooking food counters. Dogs are floor-level. Cats seem to access any level they want to. If we can somehow negotiate this unhealthy transgression I think the minor issues will be easy.
I see lots of wisdom and friendliness in this forum and hope I can join.
post #2 of 26
Oh so you noticed cats are not dogs? *big cheesy grin* I had cats all my life, I now have two cats. Very different. Firstly, because they are not pack animals like dogs, the same training techniques will NOT work. The best training techniques for us have been...say NO, then gently distract them to another area. Cats don't care if they please you like dogs so its a bit tricky.
Because they naturally like to explore and climb...buy a tree for your kitty. Mine love it. The counter surfing can be addressed but who knows what they do when you are not home.
Your kitty must remain an indoor cat with all of the predators outdoors. Not sure how you can keep him/her inside if you have a door. Probably some of the veterans on here can answer that...
Welcome...
post #3 of 26
okay i meant to say i had dogs all my life....and now have cats...
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingteal View Post
particular problem: how can she be detered from jumping up and walking the cooking food counters.


You have to be consistent with your NOs and DOWNs and very, very patient. Ashes probably smells food and she needs to check it out. Keep your counters food free and clean. Whenever you catch Ashes even trying to jump up say NO and hiss. It may take some time but she will get it. But like reddicequeen said, there is no guarantee that Ashes will stay off the counters when you are out of the house.
post #5 of 26
I think the best point made is to get him just when he's gathering himself to jump and say "NO" really loud. I have also made a loud noise by clapping my hands, and that usually stops them - at least for that moment, LOL!

You could try putting sticky tape on the counter for a while (the double sided kind) and he might lose interest in what's up there.
post #6 of 26
Hi and welcome to TCS! Please keep Ashes inside- she can't defend herself against predators if she is declawed.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddicequeen View Post
Because they naturally like to explore and climb...buy a tree for your kitty. Mine love it.
Cat trees are great, but can be expensive. I bought the kind that goes floor the ceiling, b/c it's less expensive. Got it at Wal-Mart for $20. We have to buy a new one about every 3-4 years. Many on here have made their own cat tress with great success!



Agreed on the stern "NO". I also used a water bottle on really important issues. I would sternly say "NO" when I squirted. After a while water bottle wasn't needed and No works great. Haven't pulled the water bottle out in years. Your kitty needs time. Sounds like a great personality!

BTW - We're neighbors - neighboring states that is
post #8 of 26
Hi welcome to TCS!
post #9 of 26
Welcome to TCS!!!

If you are a long time dog lover and have ever potty trained a puppy, you understand the importance of keeping vigilant watch over inappropriate behaviors.

The difference between cats and dogs is simply this: dogs live by "what's in it for you?" and cats live by "what's in it for me?". You can't say no to a cat without showing them an appropriate alternative to what they are after. If they like the kitchen counter (and cats all love to stare down upon their fifedom's), get them a cat tree that is taller than the counter. If they claw your furniture, give them a good TALL cat tree to scratch (one that is at least as tall as their body fully stretched out). Then you play the "watch the puppy" game with them. The second they mis-behave, you redirect them to the fun item that you want them on. You know that if you get lax with a puppy during housebreaking, you will have relapses. Same is true for cats.

Cats bring a dimension that dogs cannot bring into your life. I also have 2 dogs (had 5 for a long time so I am a dog lover) with my gang and they all bring their special joy.
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ashes and I thank you for 'training' me about cat behavior. I like your collective advice and already look at Ashes through an altered lens. I especially like technique of a sharp "NO". She knows the prohibited counter (sometimes runs as I enter the kitchen) so it will just take patience and food source relocation. Rumor was that the cat was spoiled (she came with a stack of vet records and special cosmetics etc) so even though I was sympathetic about her situation, I was predisposed to a 'spoiled mean cat' perspective (the dog is a shy humble 'stray' pound dog). I am glad to have joined your site to get some training of my own and plan to build some type of climbing 'tree' this week. I have to admit she is a beautiful cat and will try to include a picture soon.
post #11 of 26
Dear Wingteal and Ashes:

Welcome to TheCatSite and we're glad you found us here -- yes, there is a lot of great information and help to be found on the forums, and we hope it's helpful in your case.

A squirt bottle or squirtgun filled with plain water only, and used in conjunction with you saying, "NO NO!" every time you see Ashes in a forbidden place will eventually help you both with this matter.

As for letting Ashes out, no matter how "good instincts", a declawed cat should NEVER go outdoors, as they are unable to defend themselves (and you say there are "predators" in your area, as there are in every area, of all kinds. It makes good sense to keep all cats indoors, as I do mine. They live longer, are safer, healthier, and can be perfectly happy without risking the many dangers of the outdoors.
post #12 of 26
Welcome!

Now, cats aren't like dogs. They don't respond to verbal rules and praise and training the way dogs do. Cats are opportunists and don't FOLLOW house rules. THey do the things they like that are fun or comfortable or convenient for them, and they don't do the things that aren't fun or comfortable or convenient for them.

That being said, the number one best way to deter a cat from doing something is to make it boring/inhospitable. If you chase your cat off the counter, she'll like this attention and keep doing it- it becomes a game. If you put double-sided tape on your counter and she jumps up there, she'll learn that she doesn't LIKE being up there and will no longer do it. If YOU try to do something to punish her, like squirt a water bottle, she'll only become afraid of YOU because she won't associate the punishment with her natural instinctual action (climbing and a love of being up high), she'll associate it with you.

In order to satisfy her urge to be up high, consider purchasing a large cat tree or installing some shelves with nothing on them that she can climb on.

Also, I'd STRONGLY reccommend making an effort ot keep her inside. Cats succumb quite easily to creatures like coyotes and a declawed cat stands no chance without her natural defenses. Declawed cats should ALWAYS be indoor cats.

Good luck with your baby! I think you'll come to learn how wonderful cats are.
post #13 of 26
Dear Lioness:

LOVE your morphing icon! So cute! And your siggy -- your crew are so gorgeous-eyed and I love the "off the streets and into your heart", as all "9" of our resident felines know just what THAT's like!

Your indoor-only suggestion is, of course, a great one and one we strongly believe in and follow. But I'm the one who recommended the "water treatment" and I learned something from your post. Thanks for educating us all! This is a real eye-opener for me.
post #14 of 26
Hi wingteal,
you have come to the right place. I am a hard-core dog person (what can I say, they all try to TALK to me and it has been that way all my life!) who adopted a tough case and this crew helped me get him out of the woods and into a home where ha can be happy kitty. The members are really decent and the forum is well moderated. Any question you have they will help you with.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarasgirl06 View Post
Dear Lioness:

LOVE your morphing icon! So cute! And your siggy -- your crew are so gorgeous-eyed and I love the "off the streets and into your heart", as all "9" of our resident felines know just what THAT's like!

Your indoor-only suggestion is, of course, a great one and one we strongly believe in and follow. But I'm the one who recommended the "water treatment" and I learned something from your post. Thanks for educating us all! This is a real eye-opener for me.
Awww thanks!

When I was a nervous first-time cat mommy, I would repeatedly squirt my overstimulated hyper Leo with a water bottle, right in the face when he did something I didn't like. Well, not only did it not stop him from doing the "bad" things, but it did 2 more things: first, it made him run away from me and second, it triggered build-up of yeast in his ears. So when I began volunteering at a no-kill with extensive counseling services, I learned that this treatment backfires pretty often. Well, now I work as counseling staff at that same rescue and get to help people with the things a lot of us had to learn the hard way!
post #16 of 26
Well,
while I never have and never would squirt a cat in the face, squirting them as they run away from the countertops does seem to make them associate the wet with me, and has not thus far resulted in thems staying off the countertops! So your comment and your education are words of wisdom to us all...thanks!
post #17 of 26
to you and Ashes.
post #18 of 26
Hola y bienvenido a TCS!..
(Translate: Hi and Welcome to TCS!!!.....)

See you on the forums!
post #19 of 26
Hi there Wingteal we're so happy to welcome you and Ashes to TCS. I'm sure you'll enjoy your stay with us - we're one great big family and you'll find loads of friends here. If I can help at all while you're finding your way around TCS just click on my username and send me a Personal Message - I'll do what I can to answer your questions

Thank you so much for offering Ashes a home . You have done the right thing by seeking advice - what a terrific companion for Ashes you are going to be
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
Everybody thinks they know everything. I am glad I learned some quick cat lessons here. Last week's cat conflicts included a night incident where following a dicipline issue, I barricaded the bedroom to excude the cat and later, after door scratching and actual hissing (Ashes actually hissed at the closed door) , I looked at the dog curled in defense with a posture that asked, "are we ok?" In the fog of late night imigination I wasn't sure. Next day while writing email to my brother, Ashes jumped up and turned on the printer. I wrote my brother that Ashes had just printed her own packing slip to Taiwan. Total 180 degree change this week. I was cutting outside weeds this morning and discovered Ashes likes to jog behind me. Who couldn't love a cat that follows you around cursing the world in a gravely voice? Thanks to help here (kitchen counter transgressions are less life threatening and more sport) I think Ashes found a home where she might teach and curse daily.
post #21 of 26
Dear Wingteal:

Not quite sure I completely understand your post, but hope Ashes has found a loving forever home with you? That's quite an attitude, but I've encountered similar in cats I love -- and it's okay, because love is unconditional both ways, around here!
post #22 of 26
Hi!!! Welcome to TCS! Hope to see you on the forums!
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingteal View Post
Everybody thinks they know everything. I am glad I learned some quick cat lessons here. Last week's cat conflicts included a night incident where following a dicipline issue, I barricaded the bedroom to excude the cat and later, after door scratching and actual hissing (Ashes actually hissed at the closed door) , I looked at the dog curled in defense with a posture that asked, "are we ok?" In the fog of late night imigination I wasn't sure. Next day while writing email to my brother, Ashes jumped up and turned on the printer. I wrote my brother that Ashes had just printed her own packing slip to Taiwan. Total 180 degree change this week. I was cutting outside weeds this morning and discovered Ashes likes to jog behind me. Who couldn't love a cat that follows you around cursing the world in a gravely voice? Thanks to help here (kitchen counter transgressions are less life threatening and more sport) I think Ashes found a home where she might teach and curse daily.
LOL! Looks like you've found a worthy companion!
post #24 of 26
Dear LuckyGirl:

LOVE your quote. Applaud your wisdom!
post #25 of 26
Welcome to the site!
If you need any help as you make your way around the forums, please let me know. You can do so by simply clicking on my user name and sending me a private message. I will be happy to help in any way I can
post #26 of 26
Well it sounds as if you and Ashes have come to an understanding of sorts, eh? A continued sense of humor will serve you well in your future dealings with, what appears to be, a very special kitty!

Allie's right about letting your girl be an indoor/outdoor cat. As a declawed cat, she is very vulnerable outside. Is there anyway she can be outdoors only with supervision?
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