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a new trick!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Cats are so inventive, aren't they? My Maggie is super active, especially at night. I simply shut my bedroom door and sleep peacefully until morning. However, over the past week or so Maggie has found a new trick to get her into trouble. She snags and scratches at the carpet under and around the door frame to my bedroom at about 5 am every morning. I live in an apartment that doesn't know I have her--to avoid the fees. I move out in 1 month and don't want to incur any expenses. I have no clue how to get her to stop. I open the door and let her in, but she's so wild at that time of the morning that I can't sleep at all. Running over me, chasing her rattle balls around my room, knocking stuff off the shelves, and "attacking" my rug. She keeps me entertained, but please--it's 5 am!! I am open to suggestions or thoughts any of you may have regarding my very cute and irritating cat!
post #2 of 11
Find a large flat piece of cardboard...one that is wider than your bedroom door. Cover one side of the cardboard with sticky tape. When you go to bed, place the cardboard - sticky-tape side up - on the floor in front of your door. Cats HATE sticky stuff, so she will stay away from your door in order to avoid the tape. (You can also put the tape directly on the carpet if you don't mind jumping over it when you go to your room.)
post #3 of 11
I have a suggestion that will work, if you keep doing it and realize that it's going to take time.

First, take all the play toys and put them up when you go to bed.
Start going to bed about an hour earlier, it helps to have a T.V. to watch for this next part. While you're lying there, everytime your kitten decides to do something you don't like then Clap REALLY loud, calling his/her name and say NO, in a very stern voice. This usually deters behavior that you don't like. It will take a while, but eventually your kitten will get the idea.

Another is to get up and scruff your baby and growl in his/her ear. This is what a mom cat will do. That has worked on a couple of ours.

The thing is that your kitten needs to be trained, and if the above things don't work, then you'll have to find something that does, Except for like a super soaker or something like that and NEVER ever spank a kitty.

post #4 of 11
Aparments the bane of the civil world. Argh. Protect your carpet and your damage deposit any way you can.

Do try going to bed earlier, but you could also try play the ktten into exhaustion an hour before you go to bed. Chase her around, try some bath tub swirls. Hold her aloft and let her smell the ceiling. talk to her while you play. This won't do a thing for her really, but it will help you create an imaginary play scenario for yourself tah includes kitty. Pretend she's an extraterrestrial life form and you are the only hope for mankind.....or get down on all fours and pretend your both lions in the Serengeti stalking (imaginary) gazelle (i.e.her toys).....etc etc etc.

Dont play in the bedroom or on the bed. You want to avoid associating the bed or bedroom with play. I never play with my cats in the kitchen, but can't personally live without my 1/2 hour nightly bout of play technically known by the following name:

Giant Toe Montster Attack Leg/Tummy/Head Stomp Pillow Spelunking Ultra Mega Fetch Drop Your Toy In The Toilet And Get IT Back Out Without Falling In And Getting Wet But If You Do Go Immediately To Person And Get All Kissy Faced Don't Forget To Bring Your Wet Toy With You World Wrestling Federation Body Slam Dunk Your Cat Freinds And Pretend To Your Actually Going To Eat Their Noses Off Right There In the Middle Of The Bed Game.

Best of Luck in your new habitat - Don't forget the kitty cat!!!
post #5 of 11
I just re-read your post and realized that you said you open the door for her when she scratches. What this does is let her know that she can get what she wants (for you to open the door) by being naughty!

I know it is difficult, but when she scratches at the door either ignore her or open the door and squirt her with water and shut the door again. Just be sure that she never is rewarded for being naughty!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
The only reason I open the door is because I can't just let her tear the carpet apart. She's not scratching the door, but the carpet outside the door. It's not my carpet and I dread paying fees. Thanks for the suggestions. Last night I left my door open all night and she was really good--however, 5 am rolls around and she's wild kitty! It only lasts for about 30-45 minutes and then she climbs in bed with me and goes to sleep again. it's just annoying to be woke up that early! I'm still open to anyone's thoughts!
post #7 of 11
You know they do settle down once out of the kitten stage. We have gotten them all trained over time. Each new kitten goes through the routine of getting used to bedtime. I would never lock a cat out of my room. My room is just as much theirs. They are like children to me. Over time I have gotten use to scampering feet and playing. Cats are more nocternal and may never grow out of playing during certain times of the night. I am sure you will get through kittenhood just fine.
post #8 of 11
I also would never lock a cat out of my room - what's mine is theirs. After all, your kitty wants to be with you more than anything else in the world! One of my cats sleeps like an angel in the bed next to me and doesn't stir until I get up. My other cat wakes up between 5 and 5:30 (sound familiar?) and is ready to play. I simply put away the noisy toys before bed. Just like humans, cats have their own schedules. It will improve with age, but it may never stop. My suggestion is that you put up and shut up. Forty-five minutes is annoying but not the end of the world. It seems impossible now, but if she doeasn't outgrow it, you will get used to it.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I hear what everyone is saying and I appreciate the input. We all have differing opinions about raising a kitten, as most people do about raising children. I don't feel I need to defend getting a good night's sleep. And, most of the time, my kitty is with me in bed anyway. Thanks for the suggestions.
post #10 of 11
Research supports the idea that getting a good night's sleep is vital for emotional and physical health, so I applaud Mindi for standing up and saying she needs her sleep!

If you teach a cat (or dog, or child, or adult) that you will get what you want if you are really obnoxious, then you have trained the cat (or dog, or child, or adult) to be obnoxious when around you! So, if the person gets up and plays with the cat when when she starts getting rowdy, the cat learns "if I want to play I just have to get real crazy and make a lot of noise and I know that the wilder I get the more likely it is that the person will come play with me."

Yes, kittens are wild things and it is likely that Mindi's kitten will continue to be wild at 5:00 a.m. for years to come because that is what kittens and young cats are like. But, there is no reason Mindi should loose sleep because of her wild child. As long as the kitten is not rewarded for waking up Mindi and as long as the kitten has other things available to play with at 5:00, the kitten will eventually learn to play by herself rather than to wake up Mindi. (I find that a Turbo Cat is an excellent toy for self-entertainment!)

I am lucky that I can sleep through anything, so I keep my door open and let my cats sleep with me. But, if my cats consistently woke me up, you bet I would close the door.

Mindi...try the cardboard covered with sticky tape that I recommended before. I know it sounds dumb and will be a pain to do, but I almost guarantee that your kitten won't dig at the carpet or bang on the door if the sticky stuff blocks her access.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the words of encouragement! I will definitely try the old tape trick! Can't have torn up carpet lying around, now can we?
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