or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Teach an old cat new tricks?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Teach an old cat new tricks?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a cat I've had for 11 or so years. A nice orange cat called Tegris. Over the years our relationship has been varied. At first he was very precious to me and he would sleep with me in my bed which I thought was the most precious thing in the world (I guess I was 16 then) After I came back from boarding school for a year when I was 17 there was only a loose affiliation with the cat for many years. Anyway, he's still around and the last couple years spends more time with me than he used to, even though I have been traveling a lot the last few years. Reason for my post is that he has had some behavioral problems for as long as I can remember. First one is randomly attacking the person who is petting him. Pet him for about two to five minutes and he usually will just randomly become upset like you did some mean thing to him and attack with his claws and jump off your lap with a funny nonplussed, but slightly annoyed air that is typical catness. Nothing too major, but strange unbecoming behavior nonetheless. As he's gotten older he attacks less, and nearly never does it anymore.

The other behavioral problem I'm more concerned with is his clawing the furniture. My dad wants to get rid of the cat now because he's getting new expensive couches and doesn't want them ruined like the last ones. He mentioned euthinasia but I'm not sure how willing he would be to follow through with that. On the other hand, he doesn't want cats in the house anymore, and isn't attached to them the way I am. The other cat is the neighbor's whom we sort of adopted along with their old dog they dejected. The dog is kind of annoying in a needy poor me kind of way (probably because he was so unloved by my neighbor) and the cat (a slender black thing with white on his chest) is also precious because he is very shy and only has become less shy (even found him on my bed once!) since living in my house. Anyway, back to the point: I want to know if I can learn my Tegris to claw the claw pole instead of the couches, which he seems to prefer. Maybe someone can recommend a *good* claw pole? Should i get a water pistol to teach the cat not to claw the furniture? He's also destroyed the corner of the wooden walls of the hallway at the entrance of the living room as well.

You can click on the image for a bigger view.
post #2 of 9
Looks like kitty needs those claw caps they sell to cover the claws.
post #3 of 9
It's going to be hard for him to un-learn scratching the furniture, but if you get him a proper scratching post (with sisal on it) that's tall enough for him to stretch up to, and at the same time temporarily cover the furniture with some kind of throws tied underneath, and covering his fave scratching spots, you may be able to wean him off them. But for heaven sakes don't let your father euthanize him! There must be some nice person out there happy to accept an older cat (ll isn't really that old anyhow for a cat) as company, and one who'll understand that petting beyond a certain point can overstimulate and irritate a cat.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys!

I just took an intro to psychology course in college, and was wondering if maybe using catnip might be a good way to reward good behavior?
post #5 of 9
I'd love to agree, but unlike dogs, while your cat may love a treat, the cause and effect sequence will not register with him - even if it's only a few minutes away. A LOT of repetition might eventually work, or some seriously explosive and traumatic noisy event, but just telling him he's good for not having scratched today won't ever come close. But what the heck, give it to him anyway :-).
post #6 of 9
if you place a tall scratching post (with sisal as reccomended above) near the couches and cover the couches with balnkets and use double sided tape on the corners where they scratch your cat will def. learn to scratch the post instead. IF it doesn't work for some weird reason, you can use claw caps (softclaws) that will stop the scratching from being an issue.

Good luck
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
what about furniture spray? Is that a good avenue? drawbacks?

Any idea where I can get a tall scratch post with a proper "sisel"?
Or where I can get claw caps? I live in rural area with a small mall 50 minutes away. any online store recommendations if anyone knows a good one, thanks!
post #8 of 9
Sisal ("size all") posts are available at any pet store, Soft Paws I would Google for - you may find them in stores, but I'd try online first (or ask around). Soft Paws do require you to put them on the cats, to if you think you might have trouble doing that, look into them first.
post #9 of 9
It is completely possible to "teach an old cat new tricks" but it isn't exactly easy....... For example, my last kitty who was absolutely my best friend and extremely traumatic for me when we lost her, was 14 years old when I met her for the first time. Her name was Sweety and some may know her on this site, she was my buddy when I joined TCS. Anyway, she was my boyfriends kitty who, after I moved in and a little confrontation of respect she should have in general manners, we became unbelievably close! I'm tearing up thinking about her now.......
Anyway, she had horrible behaviors like climbing the door frame from the living room to the bed room.........It was funny, cute, the first time. But the frame was shredded, and some times, since she was getting older, she would get herself stuck at the top and you would have to help her down. She would run into the kitchen any and every time you went in to beg, and I mean beg, for food! She would pace and howl at sleep time, urinate on anything that was on the floor in the bathroom, Sharpen her claws on the wall and carpet, forget about leaving a plate of food for one second, she was in there, and beg as well as be in your face while you ate. Basically, she had no boundaries, and really thats all she needed and wanted! All of these behaviors she changed, some because I asked, some because I changed her environment to avoid. It took a lot of time and attention, you have to be consistent and there for them, misbehavior usually is a call for attention, or unhappy environment. If the person they are closest to is gone for periods of time, often they will become depressed, upset, anxious........ Your on and off again through the years relationship has probably been very hard for him, especially if hes not appreciated, other animals suddenly in home, even being unwanted, they know.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Teach an old cat new tricks?