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I swear sometimes I'm ready to give this cat away

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Stumpy just drives me completely nuts sometimes. Right now the little cow is sitting on a box looking so sweet and innocent with her eyes half closed...

She just gets soooo naughty! She's always on the kitchen countertops and always on the dining room table when she knows she's not allowed there. As soon as she sees me, she quickly jumps off because she KNOWS she gets in trouble.

She's completely ruined our couple of thousand dollar dining table and chair setting due to leaping all over the table and leaving big scratches behind. She tears all over the leather dining chairs and has left huge gouges out of every single one. We now have to cover both the chairs and table and are too embarrassed to uncover them when we have people over because the damage is so bad. We tried Soft Claws, but she needs them on all 4 paws and they need to be constantly reapplied, and she won't stay still long enough for that.

She's ruined I don't know how many cables from chewing through them. She's chewed through camera cords, baby monitor cords, and anything else dangly she can find.

She leaps up walls with her claws out and holds on to the walls, so when she slides down she takes out chunks of the wall with her. She's damaged one wall so badly we have had to put Contact up on that wall with the sticky side out to stop her jumping up there.

Our lounge chairs are covered in double sided tape because she keeps scratching on them (despite a large cat tree and a smaller cardboard scratcher which she loves), our TV and speakers are covered in tape because she uses the speakers as a scratching post and tries to get behind the TV to chew through cables and leap onto the top of the narrow, not terribly stable tv.

The cat walks around LOOKING for trouble. She's just been jumping up behind the TV over and over again this morning, so I got the laser pointer out, and wore her out, then as soon as she was done lying down for a couple of minutes she went straight back behind the TV!!!! So we had another laser pointer session, and she's finally settled down a bit. That's when I put tape all around the TV to stop her getting up there, and she's just tried again and realised I'd taped it up, but kept trying to step between the tape

That cat has ruined so much stuff of ours and I know she's going to try to chew all the baby's toys. She's already tried to eat the new mobile we put in the crib, so now I have to catproof the crib until the baby comes to try and teach her to stay out of it. Any sort of baby activity centre we get with dangly things is going to be ruined by her and it's going to drive me bonkers if I'm already sleep deprived...

She's got so many cat toys, and 2 kitty friends, but I think what she really needs is more space. She's too active a cat for the space we have and I just don't know what to do.

She's currently trying to jump from the couch onto the mantlepiece (which is a reasonable distance away). It will not hold her weight if she jumps from that far, and if it falls down, it's going to knock the TV over and probably break that too...

If anyone has any suggestions of how to stop her driving me bonkers, I'd love to hear them - DH and I are reaching the end of our tether.
post #2 of 14
Holy cow! What a nightmare. You guys are so patient! I hate to say it, but if Stumpy was ours my husband would have made her an indoor/outdoor cat a long time ago.

Sorry I don't have any suggestions but here's a <<HUG>>.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
Holy cow! What a nightmare. You guys are so patient! I hate to say it, but if Stumpy was ours my husband would have made her an indoor/outdoor cat a long time ago.

Sorry I don't have any suggestions but here's a <<HUG>>.
She is a nightmare. Oh yeah, she's also scratched up both our wardrobes because she's figured how to open them by pushing on them - and she uses her claws so they have big scratch marks everywhere as well.

I've put up with it because I figured she'd get better as she got older (she's almost 2 now), but she's gotten worse if anything. I couldn't have her be an indoor/outdoor cat because she loves going out to chew the grass, but is scared to death of cars and other outdoor stuff. She'd snuck out the other day so my neighbour grabbed her, and a little golf buggy that the maintenence men drive came by and she freaked out and scratched my neighbour all up her arms...
post #4 of 14
wow that is a pain, your deffinatly very patient!

I expect you have tried most things, I like the booby trap method to keep Mellow of the counter, I got it from this site. here is the link to the whole page http://www.thecatsite.com/Behavior/2...-Counters.html

(I use the soda can method with cans filled with coins)
Booby Traps

Another popular negative reinforcement technique is booby trapping the area you wish your cat to avoid. One way to achieve this is to prepare a few empty soda cans, fill them with some coins or beans, and tie them one to the other. Then, place them on the edges of any high surface that you wish to keep your cats from jumping on, such as the kitchen counter. Should your cat jump, the cans all tumble down creating a loud racket.

The mousetraps version of the same idea entails setting up several wooden non-baited mousetraps, and placing them upside down on the surface you wish your cat to stay away from, and then cover them with a sheet of newspaper of even a towel. Should the cat jump on the counter, the triggered trap snaps with a loud noise, scaring kitty away.

Booby trapping surfaces like this has the advantage of getting you, the owner, out of the loop. The loving owner is never associated with the loud noise produced by the mousetrap or line of cans. It is also more consistent, as you can set up your booby trap and leave the room. Your cat will still produce the negative reaction if she or he jumps on the counter… at least once. The downside of booby trapping surfaces like this is that the surprising noise can be too startling for timid cats, and you could end with a stressed feline instead of a trained one.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Honestly, if there was anyone who had a big house for her to run around in, and other kitties for her to play with (she's very social with other cats), I'd send her off in a flash. I'd miss her - she IS a sweet cat, and very friendly, and makes us laugh, but I just can't take the destruction much longer.
post #6 of 14
My gosh -- she leaps up and sinks her claws into the walls? That's just amazing!

And I wonder if it's really within the realm of normal. Maybe she's got an anxiety problem she's trying to work out. And if so, maybe it would be worth trying some kind of medication -- maybe something herbal or homeopathic, or maybe some kitty Prozac.

If you tried it and it worked, and Stumpy still seemed to be a happy girl... problem solved. If she didn't seem happy... then you wouldn't want to give her the meds, and maybe you'd have to think about rehoming her.

Might be worth a try!
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yep, numerous large gouges out of the wall. We rent, so they're going to charge us for all the damage she's done. There's also 3 blinds that she's chewed as well...

Hey you know, Prozac isn't a bad idea... I need to take Lily for her annual check up sometime soon, I might ask the vet what she thinks about Prozac, or see if there's anything else I can do for her. When she's not being destructive she's such a nice cat. And what if I rehomed her to a nice big house and she was still destructive, and kept getting rehomed every couple of years? I could never forgive myself. I'm sure boredom is her main problem though, but realistically once the baby comes, I won't have much time and energy to devote to her.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
My gosh -- she leaps up and sinks her claws into the walls? That's just amazing!

And I wonder if it's really within the realm of normal. Maybe she's got an anxiety problem she's trying to work out. And if so, maybe it would be worth trying some kind of medication -- maybe something herbal or homeopathic, or maybe some kitty Prozac.

If you tried it and it worked, and Stumpy still seemed to be a happy girl... problem solved. If she didn't seem happy... then you wouldn't want to give her the meds, and maybe you'd have to think about rehoming her.

Might be worth a try!
I agree that it couldn't hurt to try. Maybe she has a cat version of ADD or something and really can't help being so active?
post #9 of 14
I was just thinking...

i read on some news site that a good way to keep cats off counters and table tops is to invest in those plastic mats with the little nubbies on the bottom. Some of them are really pretty obnoxious. You lay them smooth side down on your surfaces and you cut them to fit. That way it works even when you aren't there. I bet it's costly at the beginning but I can't think of a better way to keep them off the counters without having stuff falling and banging around all the time.


post #10 of 14
My neice had a cat Sadie that was very destructive, they took her to the vet and got some anti-anxiety medication, it made a big difference, she actually became a nice kitty
post #11 of 14
Start cutting her front and back nails real short. I mean really short, just above the quick. If she doesn't have any sharp claws to scratch with, she can't damage anything.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Start cutting her front and back nails real short. I mean really short, just above the quick. If she doesn't have any sharp claws to scratch with, she can't damage anything.
I can't even hold her in my arms - she hates being picked up. Clipping her claws is really hard. It takes both of us, and she struggles and squirms the whole time - if I tried cutting them real short, I'd just end up cutting into the quick.

As well as that, I think it's when her claws are clipped that she's damaging the walls, because the gouge marks are quite wide - more like a blunt claw on soft walls rather than a narrow scratch by a sharp claw.

I don't know if I could put her on Prozac or anything like that, I really don't want to drug her just because she's an active cat.
post #13 of 14
OK. Allow me, Ophelia, & our good friend Buspar to offer our two cents.

Ophelia is a sort of nervous kitty. She is also a very very very active kitty. I honestly discovered that once I put her on Buspar, an anti-anxiety mediciation, that she was even more active! I have taken her off Buspar & after consulting with the vet again, I plan to start her up again. She has withdrawn & is not as playful as she was on the Buspar. The vet said that the Buspar might just be the "kick" she needs to bring her completely out of her shell.

Meds & training to get her to direct her "energy" into something constructive might just be the trick.
post #14 of 14
Stimpy jumps from our fridge to our table all the time. I don't really care though. Our table is a dinette set we got several years ago, and it's a Kmart special. He's never damaged it, although it always sounds like it's going to crash to the floor when he does it (he's 17 lbs).

Can't help you with the counters. I gave up that fight ages ago. My cats figured out the traps. Walked on upside down carpet runners. Don't care about orange scented cleaners. Laughed at me when I tried shaker cans. So I just use a good cleaner and use a squirt bottle to keep them down while I'm using the counters.

Stimpy grew out of his chewing phase. He did destroy a fish tank hood and we had to get a new phone cord when he was into that. I never checked on him growing out of knocking down breakables. They've all been packed up or given away.

The only thing I can think of to make your space bigger for the cats is to add more vertical space. Just about every shelf and dresser top have been converted to cat spots at our place. Even the rubbermaid I store our photos in has a cat bed on top. that has been very helpful. We also have 2 2-story cat condos and 2 1-story condos. (and of course miscellaneous scratchers)

He's always been very active, so I just take that into consideration as Stimpy being himself. I wish I had better suggestions.

edited to add: I forgot tin foil. I tried that too. The cats don't care if there's tin foil on the counter. They will saunter across it anyway.
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