Originally Posted by Brette
It's really disheartening because I often can't tell what will provoke this behaviour which makes it really hard to avoid. I feel like I'm walking on egg shells around him trying not to get him pissed off. For example, If he's scratching at the furniture and I reprimand him, I'll end up with cat urine all over my mattress. He doesn't like to be reprimanded. Also, if i don't feed him quickly enough to his liking when I get home from work he'll do the same. If I reprimand him for biting me when I'm playing with him, same result. This has been going on for 5 years. I've had him to the vet several times and he is perfectly healthy. There are no other cats in the house and I keep the litter box extremely clean.
I've read the sticky about innapropriate peeing but am still at a loss. Does this cat just not like me or something? Or is he just a little tyrant? At what point does one give up and think about finding him a new home? I feel incredibly guilty as I consider myself an animal lover but i feel like he has me by the proverbial ****. I've had several cats before but I have to say this experience has made me never want to ever have another again.
Well when you say you "reprimand" him what exactly are you doing? The fact is, you are right, cats do not like to be "reprimanded".
From your cat's perspective he is being chastised for behavior that is perfectly natural to a cat. He doesn't know that scratching his claws on this piece or that piece of furniture is wrong. From his point of view he's probably thinking, "I'm just scratching my nails, why is "she" getting mad at me?"
Your cat doesn't know that when you get in from work, you're tired and need a few minutes to chill, all he knows is that he is *hungry* so why is "she" not feeding me right away?!?!? Why is "she" making me wait, can't "she" see I'm hungry?!?!? She must be punishing me for something again.
Shucks, even when we are playing "she" gets mad at me if I bite "her". I don't understand, aren't we just playing??
Brette, cats and discipline simply don't mix. Just think, if you were being "reprimanded" all the time for what you considered to be normal behavior, you would begin to get pretty irate after a while. It's the same thing with your cat.
When your cat does something you don't like you need to redirect his attention. You also have to be consistent and fair and *patient*. Cats can be very stubborn but with patience and a loving attitude, you would be amazed at what you can accomplish.
For example, does your cat have a scratching post? With patience and love, you can teach him to scratch only there. Rubbing cat nip on a scratching post is a wonderful way to attract his attention. It's also best if you have more than one so he has more choices where he can scratch.
You can try wrapping heavy duty plastic, you can probably find some at a hardware store, around those places you don't want him to scratch. Cats can't get their claws into that so it deters them.
You might want to try Softpaws, but for me personally, and that's just me, the idea of glue on nails just doesn't seem healthy and I really don't know how long they can be safely used. But there are some here that have used Softpaws on their cats so they will be better able to inform you about that.
If he *does* bite you when you are playing, cry out loudly in pain "Ow! Ow!" and pull your hand away, your cries of pain will alert him that he has hurt you. Or, if you don't want him to bite you, don't play with him with your hands. There are all kinds of ways and toys that you can use to play with him.
Also when you get in from work, don't keep him waiting on your whim, just feed him right away. It really doesn't take long. Unless of course you have to use the bathroom first
So, you do that and then you feed him.
Feeding time can be some loving time spent with your cat. For example, I always make a big deal with mine at feeding time. I talk to them, I tell them stuff like, "Yes I know you're hungry, it's coming, as I prepare it, and oh, this is going to be sooo good" and they purr and meow with happiness knowing that they are going to get a meal shortly. Also I love to pet them as they eat and my cats really love that.
The only thing I haven't mentioned is getting him checked for a UTI, which would normally be the first thing to do, but you said you have had him checked and that he is fine.
Brette, it's really easy to start over. Now it may take quite some time, but once your cat realizes he's not being "reprimanded" all the time, his love and trust in you will grow.