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Dulcinea has discovered jumping up on EVERYTHING! Help!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Our very precocious calico Dulcinea has begun to jump up on EVERYTHING...the higher the better. She jumps up on the entertainment center and from there to the VERY high book case. She jumps up on the counter and from there to the top of the fridge---and from there to the tiny space above the cabinets near the celling (where you need a steplatter to get her down). She's EVERYWHERE...but ONLY when we're home. When we're not home, there's NOTHING out of place or moved or disturbed (we can tell by the fact that we put little things everywhere on these places in order to tell whether she's been there or not). We play with her almost all evening...but she still does this stuff. We've tried the calm but firm "NO Dulcinea"---but that doesn't affect her in the least...it seems to become a game then. We've tried the 'tinfoil' thing...she's discovered that she LOVES tinfoil now and will leave little chewed pieces of tin all over the areas...we've tried the tape business---she chews the tape---and ENJOYS it. I'm at a loss as to what to do next. Any suggestions??? Please HELP?!

Thanks in advance!

Fr. Gregg
post #2 of 8
Does she have any cat furniture that she is allowed to jump up & play around on? Cats are born jumpers and rather than try & curtail the behavior, it is often easier to redirect the cat. I had a similar problem with my girl Pete Pete. We remedied the situation by getting her a floor-to-ceiling cat tree (usually very expensive but we found one for $35 at Wal Mart!) and making "cat shelves." Basically, my husband used upholstery nails to attach strips of carpet to wooden shelves & then mounted several shelves on the wall near the cat tree in a room we spend a lot of time in. If you don't have the time or inclination to make the shelves, you can purchase ready-made ones at places like www.katwallks.com. When Pete Pete tried to jump or climb on anything inappropriate, we gave her a firm "NO!", picked her up & deposited her on her tree & shelves. We even gave her high-value treats on the shelves to spark her interest. In a matter of weeks she was using her tree/shelves combo as a kitty jungle gym and staying off the other stuff.
post #3 of 8
I swear by the squirt bottle. My cats hate water and will jump down from any location when squirted. The only problem with this is that it never seems to permanently remedy the behavior as I imagine when we are not home they continue to jump as it suits them. Thus,I agree, a cat perch or climbing toy may be good prevention of the bad habit. We bought one at Petsmart but I also have made one with old carpet and rope. Both are well-loved and well-used!

I too have cats that love tinfoil -- that is why the water trick is my saving grace!

ETA: As my Penelope just reminded me of this: I was able to teach her the phrase "get down!" (followed by a stern finger shaking LOL) and she listens to that when we are home and have no water nearby, which is more and more these days.
post #4 of 8
It sounds like shes so happy when you come home and everything becomes a game. You need to refrain from anything she associates with play when approaching her to learn "down" and "no". This may be a little difficult in the beginning. When she jumps up on something shes not suppose to be on, with direct eye contact firmly say "no, get down" as you approach her. When she does not respond, standing close to her but not touching her, with your hand snap your finger and point from where she is to the floor while repeating "down". Do this a couple times, if no reaction, then pick her up and place her on the floor where you where pointing. Walk away so she does not associate this with play. You can cuddle, pet, play, as long as its not in the immediate area of this training process. Believe me, this absolutely works!!!!!!! It may sound cold at first, but after a while it becomes a simple, respectful, give and take, loving relationship! I've never used water bottles, there are times when you may not have one and I think its best to see if you can get the understanding communication between you first .
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
We do the firm "No--get down"...and it usually works and she jumps down immmediately...but five minutes later she goes back...so we do this (No---get down) business over and over and over again. We play with her most of the evening...but she still does the jumping thing. She LOVES water...loves to play in it...be around it...and loves getting wet, so the water spray thing doesn't work. She has LOTS of cat funiture (more furniture than I do)...and she climbs on the highest tower a lot...but despite it's height...it's not quite high enough for Dulcinea. She wants, like, 8 or 9 or 10 feet of height. Well---guess we'll just keep redirecting her...and doing the "NO---GET DOWN" thing...and hope it works. She's a very happy cat (only a year old)...and now KNOWS that the house is hers and that she is the boss and we, her 'servants'...so, I guess it's partly our fault...because she is VERY spoiled. She usually a joy...but keeping her out of the chapel area (her favorite place) isn't easy. Maybe she has a vocation??? She certainly is obsessed with trying to be in chapel as often as possible.

Thanks again everyone.

Fr. Gregg
post #6 of 8
I agree with cheylink - it sounds like "No, get down" is a fun game for her. Have you considered clicker training her? That's another outlet we've used to her curtail Pete Pete's "bad" behaviors. I realized that she is a very smart cat and was just "acting out" cause her little brain was bored. There is an awesome book called "Cat Training in 10 Minutes" (you can get it at a very reasonable price from www.half.com) that helped me get started. If interested, you can also check out www.clickertraining.com to get more info. Once we got into a 10-minute per day routine of training with Pete, many of her "bad" behaviors started melting away. She loves figuring out what it takes to make me produce the "click" and treat. Plus she now can do all kinds of cute things (come, sit, down, shake) on command.
post #7 of 8
I do not have any idea whatsoever but just had to tell you that I finished the book Don Quijote last night! What a great name for a cat.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
and in her first and LAST litter in September, Dulcinea gave birth to three beautiful kittens: (two boys): Sancho and Rosinante and (one girl): Dulcinea, Jr. (she is calico with the EXACT markings and colors of her mother!).

Fr. Gregg
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