or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Wall Climbing Cat
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Wall Climbing Cat

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'm just about at my wit's end.
Our kitten (6 months old , neutered) has an irritating behavior that gets me screaming at him in no time. He runs madly around the house and then launches himself at my front hallway wallpaper (grasscloth) and hangs there. I'm steamed and the wallpaper is shredded.

I've done just about everything the books recommend - using the water sprayer, putting sticky tape up. Tried the foil idea and he thought it was a new toy. I've used the no-scratch spray, he thinks it's a new aroma for him to try.
I've purchased a scratching, climbing post (he loves it) which was a mild deterrant but he's back at it. We have wonderful dangly cat toys that he will play with for hours (with us attached to the other end). But he will still climb the walls.

I put him out in the garage to play and explore and he promptly shredded a deer head we were storing for a friend.
I don't think I can turn him loose in the yard because who knows what he might do to someone else's property.

I've read now that the water sprayer is a bad idea. And I agree it is ineffective. He just stops and looks at us before he launches himself.

I'm going to try the balloon idea. Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

a frustrated cat owner
post #2 of 34
I am sorry but I have to laugh! I have a wallpaper shredding cat as well. He has done it since he was a kitten- I am betting your kitten was a stray? It has to do with confinement and boredom. This is a new toy he has found that expends the energy he has and he loves it. Getting mad at him is a no-win situation. I ended up pulling down the old wallpaper. I then scrubbed the wall with a lemon juice and water mixture, let it sit for a couple of days then put up new and different wallpaper. I also placed right at his launching site, a 6' tall cat condo, giving him an alternative landing area. He stopped shredding the wallpaper- instead he made the condo his home base, and my blood pressure went down.

I would do a few things first if you don't want to replace a whole wall of paper.I would start spraying the wall with a lemon scented air freshener. Every day, it won't hurt the wallpaper and it will deter the mighty climber. I would also (if possible) invest in a sturdy cat condo. They are expensive, Cozy Cat Condo makes a good one and I would put it in front of the spot where he tears up the wall.

I would also go to an appliance store and ask them for a big empty cardboard box. The kind a small refrigerator comes in? Take it home cut the flaps off- make sizeable holes in the side of it, big enough for your cat to jump in and out of but off the floor level- throw about 3 ping pong balls inside- and perhaps sprinkle a tiny amount of catnip- though it sounds like kitty is high enough. *G* And let him have his ball bin to expend his energy.

Good luck!
post #3 of 34
Trin his nails. Try to keep them as blunt as possible and this will give him less "pull" when he tries to attach himself, and cause lass damage.

Get another type of scratching post, if you have carpeted, get siscal, or natural wood type. Carpet strips attached to a frame and attached to the wall that he IS allowed to climb may distract him. Carpeted shelves to give him height may help too. Cats like to be above everything else.

He has just found a neat game that makes him feel like Spiderman. Like most kids it is difficult to stop a fun and forbidden activity. He should eventually grow out of this behavior.
post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the good advice.
It is a very humorous sight to see this kitten hanging on the wallpaper and if I didn't know what was happening to my wallpaper I could laugh. He knows he's doing wrong, but is compelled to do it anyway.
I've sprayed the walls (it's doorway actually from the hallway to the living room) with a citrus spray today. I've put a box in front of the particular wall, but we keep kicking it going in and out of the house. Little stinker picked a really tough area to control.
And we just finished clipping his nails.

And yes he was a stray. That in itself is an interesting story. In Dec. we took in an 18 year old, friend of my oldest son, who had been kicked out of his home. He found the kitten who was maybe 6 weeks old in front of the local grocery store on a below-zero night in January. The two had something in common and it has really helped the new son feel connected to our house.

I'll keep trying things to discourage him from his game.
post #5 of 34
Also if you want to email me, I can give you the name of a good Cat Behaviorist who loves this type of challenge! *G*

Your other alternative now that I know he was a stray is to go to the link below and order one of their products. As they make their posts and scratchers out of natural trees, this appeals to the cat's inate and inborn responses and they gravitate to these easily and quickly.

And please don't get mad at him, he is just doing what nature has intended him to do and thinks it is great fun! You also might consider getting him a buddy to play with, but then you are faced with the fact he might teach this game to the newcomer! LOL

But please laugh about it, I know how frustrating it is. Cleo (my wallpaper shredder) has always been an outside cat, it is when he is contained that he goes bonks. He has the option every day of coming inside with the rest as we have a cat door, but he prefers our barns and those of our neighbors. God has been good to me, he has only been sick one day in his life, and what suffered was not only wallpaper, but a very loyal couch! LOL

And here is the link

natural tree
post #6 of 34
We bought this tree for our cats. We had one leg covered with sisal and the rest are natural wood limbs.

Although most of our cats step from shelf to shelf, we have a climber who loves to take a flying leap onto the limbs and then climb to the top. It is too funny to watch! The tree is expensive, but well worth the investment.

By the way....bravo to you for rescuing the boy and the kitten!
post #7 of 34
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
The picture of Zoey climbing the door was too good. I'll have to try and catch Donny in the act. He is such a sweet kitty - loving, friendly. And when he is sweet he is very, very sweet. I guess he's got me trained well.
His psycho act happens about twice a day. Once in the morning when I'm trying to drink my coffee and read the paper and then again at night when it's time to settle down and sleep.
And I know that this too shall pass. I hope.

Donny's mom
post #9 of 34
comp's mom?

I asked a cat behaviorist for you and here are some ideas she has come up with:

Attach sheets of bubble wrap as high as kitty can leap, so when the claws make contact, he POPS 'em. Alternatively, you might try hanging sheets of the plastic carpet runners, nub side OUT, to protect the wall and dissuade the cat. Don't know how easily that would be to attach.

We ended up putting a sheet of plexiglass on the bottoms of a couple of doors, when my Shepherd insisted on scratching to tell us he wanted out. *sigh*

Any chance you could create another kitty "wall hanging" using the grasscloth on a sheet of plywood or something, in a legal place for him to do his calisthentics? and maybe wean him away from this forbidden site?

Have you tried Feliway on the grasscloth? It really does deter clawing, but not sure if it'd help with this if he's just launching/landing/clinging to the wall.


Hope this helps!
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Why, Thank you. You are so kind.

Yes, I'm a computer instructor. And my kids claim I scare my students. I needed a nickname to use on the computer for some board I was posting to.
So my boys made the computer nickname for me - compmom = computer mom

Those are great ideas.
Yesterday I was moving a welcome home sign my middle son had made - multiple sheets of paper taped together. Donny ran from that.
So I tried putting up some paper taped together. Looks horrible but it's noisy.
Seems to be a bit unpleasant for him.

He loves bubble plastic and will play with it for hours. In fact, he has his own two strips that he commandeered from a returned gift.

I modified the balls in the box idea. We don't have room in the doorway for a large box. But I put a jingle ball in a box that a fan had come in and he enjoyed that. He chased the ball out on a regular basis so the idea needs a bit of improvement.

I've tried No Scratch. But not Feliway.

He's a character.

Donny's mom
post #11 of 34
Well thank God you have patience, and are not ready to ditch this cat for his behavior. My hat is off to you for trying to find a way to solve the problem in as less of a traumatic way as possible for Donny.
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well, I won't say I haven't been terribly frustrated. And fricasseed cat has crossed my mind ;-) just kidding. I figure he's just a kid and needs to learn the rules. And in some cases needs to learn the rule over and over and over. He's 6 months old so there is hope.

Donny's mom
post #13 of 34
another thing to try is get a large box planter and plant some cat grass and catnip and give him an alternate playground than your walls!
post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 
That's an idea. When do cats show an interest in catnip? He's 6 months and I did read there is an age where cats aren't interested in catnip at all.
I had wondered about the cat grass. I've seen it at Petsmart. What is the attraction?
post #15 of 34
Cats are attracted to any grass, cat grass is just a good type of grass for the cat and helps their digestive system as well.
post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
Here's an update...
Donny has made it to 7 months old. He still looks with longing at the wallpaper, but he can generally be distracted. The "ball box" worked wonders. It's 14" x 14" X 14" and Donny just loves it. He'll even turn it over to make going in and out more difficult. He is still a fairly small cat so I'm hoping this box will last him.
The paper strips I put up took a severe beating, but he really didn't like them. He takes the occasional swat at them but on the whole he is leaving the wallpaper alone. Whew! Is it too much to hope that he is leaving that phase?
He reminds me of a 13 year old who has just discovered he is a "teen" or a "tween". Too old for some things and not old enough for others.
The downside to this new phase is he isn't as cuddly as he was and doesn't demand attention as he did for the first 4 months he lived with us.

post #17 of 34

Sorry had to laugh at this one... that's why all my walls are painted
Glad you sorted it out though
post #18 of 34
Well, it's not why all my walls are painted -- that's because that's what the landlord did. But to be sure, if there were wallpaper on any of them, it would have been shredded long since.

Fawn is our acrobat. When she wants attention she climbs the nearest door frame; when she wants the door opened so she can go out, she climbs that door frame. When she has an excess of energy, she streaks through the livingroom, diningroom, kitchen, [hard left x2], bounces off the back wall, streaks down the front hall, takes seven steps in two bounds, does a hard 180, bounces up on the railing, and checks to see how many humans noticed how cute she is [GASP!]. Fortunately, since she has two feline companions and they are indoor/outdoor cats, this doesn't happen too often any more, as she works off most of that frenzy chasing Cindy, and climbing trees and things, and finding wonderful prezzies to bring home for us.

So -- my advice -- do any and all of the things suggested by other readers for the time being, to keep some degree of control in the short term. But in the longer term, he needs feline companionship, and they'll get all the exercise they need if you let them outdoors to follow their natural instincts.
post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
Fran, thanks for your tips.

We live on an enormously busy street so going outside is not an option.
We have a 94 pound labrador that has adopted the kitten for her own. It's a riot to see the two of them playing - 94 pounds vs 5 pounds. They have a ball and don't ever hurt each other. In fact the labrador is greatly pleased to have her own kitten.
Our other cat is between 16-18 years old and has no use for the kitten or the dog. She adopted us when she was grown and basically we provide food and shelter and she's happy.

Donny has calmed down a bit. He seems to zoom the most when he's trying to get us to feed him early. He is finally learning the meaning of No and Get Down.
He is 8 months old now so maybe it's maturity.

They are so amusing and worth all the hassles.
post #20 of 34
I am soooo glad you are keeping your kitty indoors! So many horrible things happen to outdoor cats -- they get hit by cars, wounded by other animals, and can even get sick from other cats. Too often, it results in the cat's death. I really believe that cats can get all the exercise they need ... safely, indoors. Sounds like you're doing a great job with little Donny! That box idea is a good one to expend kitten energy (not to mention his romps with the dog)! Have you tried interactive toys? My kitties LOVE the Cat Dancer toy. They fly through the air to get at it ... and it's just wire and cardboard, lol! It's so great to hear that you have patience and joy during Donny's fun and crazy kitten stage!
post #21 of 34
Donny has calmed down a bit. He seems to zoom the most when he's trying to get us to feed him early. He is finally learning the meaning of No and Get Down.
Glad the little guy is settling down. Their kitten antics are very cute, but quite exhausting sometimes, and to be sure, maturity will take care of at least some of it.

Sorry he won't be getting access to the outdoors. I know there's a growing body of opinion that it's not safe, but since my experience, both with my own cats and those of friends, suggests otherwise, I can't deny them the experience that they clearly want. However, I'm not here to get on a soapbox, so I'll have to agree to disagree.

Enjoy your little guy.
post #22 of 34
Thread Starter 
Donny has a halter and leash and my son will take him outside to roam with that.
I'll let him out in the backyard when I can supervise him. I don't want him eating all the birds that come to my feeders. So he gets some outdoors without getting into trouble. Usually he's so terrified he's ready to come back in.

Today I found him a jingle ball inside a much bigger ball. This wey he chases it and I don't have to fish it out from under neath the furniture. He tried his hardest to get the jingle ball out. But all he can do is stick is paw in through the various holes and bat it around.
post #23 of 34
Originally posted by compmom42
Donny has a halter and leash and my son will take him outside to roam with that.
I'll let him out in the backyard when I can supervise him. I don't want him eating all the birds that come to my feeders. So he gets some outdoors without getting into trouble. Usually he's so terrified he's ready to come back in.

Today I found him a jingle ball inside a much bigger ball. This wey he chases it and I don't have to fish it out from under neath the furniture. He tried his hardest to get the jingle ball out. But all he can do is stick is paw in through the various holes and bat it around.
Well, not all cats want to go out. We had one who would go out in good weather for a munch of grass, particularly if one or more of the humans was there too, but for the most part he could take it or leave it. Sounds like your Donny might agree with him

That ball toy sounds like a winner.
post #24 of 34
Is he still auditioning for the next spiderman movie?
post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
Yes, but the episodes are getting fewer. Now he looks at us before he does his routine. And usually we can talk him out of it or distract him.
post #26 of 34
That's good then... Did you get any pictures of him doing it?
post #27 of 34
Thread Starter 
No, but I need to. He had a particulary active time this morning. When I just wanted to get some sleep, he wanted to climb the walls.
I'll try for a pic soon.
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
If I've done everything right, here is a picture of our little mischief maker.
post #29 of 34
He looks like he's thinking...
Hmmm.... what can i get my paws into next?
post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 
He's been trying to figure out how the scanner works (he's reclining on it). Whenever I use the scanner or the printer he will come running across the house to see what's going on. Sometimes he will pull the paper out of the printer. We have to get to it before his teeth do.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Wall Climbing Cat