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cat still wont stop scratching under door even with the soft paws!!! i cant take it!!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This was my first thread:
I have 2 cats. Jada and Bella. Every night we kick them out of the room so they can get used to the fact they wont be able to sleep with us when our baby comes. Well when we close the door Jada will scratch under the door so we can let her in. Keep in mind we have carpet and we are renting. We tried water bottle, sticky paws, more tape, and foil. She stills scratches it off. I dont understand. So when I give up and let her in and I lay back in the bed. She then will get on the bed stare at me and meow and do that chirping noise or whatever it is. It's loud. its so annoying especially at 5am-6:30am!! So when I follow her to see what she wants she will lead me to the living room and she will just lay there and stretch out and I guess wants me to pet her. I dont know what to do. I just ordered the soft paws but is she going to keep trying to get in the room? How can I stop her from doing it? It sounds like someone is trying to break in the room. I just want her to stop before the baby arrives!! Any advice???

Ok I got the soft paws on Friday afternoon. I put them on her and thank goodness she really didnt mind to much. So I thought we were going to have a nice night. NO! she still scratched! I then put the rest of the sticky paws to see if it will work even with the soft paws. Nope. Still doing it. So my husband had enough and locked her in the laundry room. Tell me why she ESCAPED!!! He closed the door and she still managed to get out. I thought maybe he didnt close it all the way. So lastnight she kept doing it so I put her in the laundry room. Not even 5 freaking mintues and she was on the bed meowing away. I couldnt believe it! How the hell did she get out??? Nothing stops this cat, nothing. Meanwhile her sister Bella is an angel! She doesnt meow and she doesnt do anything like Jada. She actually sits there and watches Jada do these things. I even went to put a shirt where she has been scratching and taped it to the carpet. It finally worked and she let me sleep until 6:30am rolled around and she was at it again. I have no idea what to do. Im having a baby and I need all the sleep I can get before she gets here. And I know that when the baby is here she is going to keep doing it and wake her up. What else can I do!! I need some advice big time!!!!!
post #2 of 10
This is hard, because she thinks of herself as the baby and you as the mother and that you have put her out. Some cats get very needy about this type of change.

I joke with my husband that our one kitty doesn't care where she is on the other side of the door, only that there is a door in between her and me. I could be in a closet and she will scratch on the outside of it. When I have cats in my foster kitty room and I am in there, my cats will sit on the outside and cry and scratch and push themselves against the door.

Anyhow, each thing you have done in response to her scratching is a response to her stimulus, so she is being reinforced every time you respond in any way, even by yelling at her. She has separation anxiety, so she just wants to know you are there and thinking about her even if it is negative.

I think your idea of putting a shirt or pillow or something on either side to muffle the sound of her scratching is really good, because the only way the scratching will stop is if you stop responding to her completely. You should do whatever you can to just blot out the noise and then leave her be.

A big part of this is giving them a new ritual to substitute for their old bedtime routine. So in addition to blotting out the noise and ignoring them on the other side of the door: You can make a new ritual and also make them more comfortable by setting up a sleeping area for her and the other kitty, with comfy cat mats/beds for each of them. Give them new toys in the sleeping area and put cardboard scratch blocks there. Put a little catnip in each bed. Make a big fuss over which bed belongs to which cat and make sure they know which is their bed by using their names. Play with them before bed each night, and take them to their beds in their new sleeping area each night and give them treats. And then go to your room and put whatever buffer you need between you and the door to stop the noise.
post #3 of 10
I would close your bedroom door at all times, whether you are in there sleeping, doing things around the house, or away on errands or at work. This way your cats will get used to seeing the door closed. (Hmm, maybe I should try this but I love my cats snuggling)

It's also good to get used to closing your door, because when your child gets older, you are not going to want them coming in your room uninvited, especially when mommy and daddy have "private time."

Good luck!
post #4 of 10
Spray the door with vinegar, if you don't mind the smell-cats don't like any kind of scent, it may work, you might have to spray every night.
post #5 of 10
Soft paws are not a scratching deterrent. They are just to ease the damage on articles scratched.

I agree, leave your door closed at all times regardless if you are in there or not. Put a small pile of your dirty clothes in the hall as an alternative to sleeping with you. The behavior won't change over night and you have to be patient and consistent. She really thinks that she's the baby and you're the mommy.

And a scent like vinegar or citrus can get a cat to stay away from something.

If you can't sleep through the sound, try running a fan or AC in your room to drown out the noise. The best thing is to choose something and stick with it. Locking her in another room is not going to help because she doesn't understand why she's there. The goal is to keep her out of your room, not confine her to one room...you know? I hope this helps.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
these are all great ideas!!! I will let you guys know how it works out. Actually this morning I only woke up once from her. Then she kept doing it and I just laid in bed and didnt do anything. Eventually she stopped for a while and then went at it again, which it didnt bother me b/c I had to get up anyways to get ready for work. But thank you all for the advice!! I will keep you posted!!
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well we did everything we could to stop Jada from scratching. I called my vet to get advice and all the things she told me to do I already did. She said I might have to get her declawed. Which is something I dont want to do. So I went to Petsmart and I bought the motion spray and guess what???? IT WORKS!!! It really really works!! We have been sleeping so peacefully!! We have been using it for about a month now! I couldnt believe it. Its scares them alot. So now we dont have to worry about the baby waking up when she arrives. 6 more weeks. Just wanted to give you guys an update on the situation. Hope all is well!!
post #8 of 10
Can I ask WHY you feel you need to keep her out of the room when the baby arrives? The cats were never locked out of any room when my son was born. They were fine - most times they didn't bother coming into the room with the "stranger" for a long time
post #9 of 10
I was about to suggest ssscat to keep her away from the door when I read you bought "motion spray" at Petsmart, so I assume that's what you got and it works for you. That's a pretty expensive solution, but I'm glad you're getting some sleep.

I assume you don't want to buy $13 cans of compressed air for the rest of your life, so for a long-term solution, Barb gave you some excellent advice. By responding to the scratching (in any way) you enable it and reinforce it so naturally your cat continues to do it. A better solution is to get her used to the idea that you're not going to respond to her when you're in bed. The only way she'll get that message is if you 100% consistently never respond -- i.e. completely ignore her. Now that you've got something to keep her away from the door, you can start teaching her that.

And also the advice about rituals is excellent. Cats are creatures of habit. If you get into the habit of a little play session followed by treats then she'll have something to look forward to and also have her excess energy burned off. And then she knows that's it for the day and no more until tomorrow morning.
post #10 of 10
The trick is to distract and/or deter the behavior before it happens. Cats, much like dogs, can become fixated, intense, even obsessive with certain actions to gain our attention. Example begging excessively for food, one of the best ways to get attention is being fed, even if not really hungry. Maia does this constantly, so to feel less guilty for not giving her what she wants, I divert her attention from food to play with a laser light or her feather toy and she completely forgets she was actually trying to get food!
Your situation is a bit more difficult since you are on the other side of the door, but each time you discipline after the behavior starts, you are essentially giving her what she wants which is some attention. Maybe try placing something in front of the door that blocks her from scratching at it, maybe a box. The same time be sure to have things of interest for her to keep her occupied and comfy on her own. I have always had a window perch for my kitties, a foot wide shelf covered in carpet across a window that they enjoy watching out of and can claim their space. Believe me it works! Also be sure to give a good play session before going to bed and designate the going to bed mode as just this........................activity in your bedroom behind closed doors is probably going to entice her,at least till she is not obsessed with getting in.
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