TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Serious Help Needed with Cats!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Serious Help Needed with Cats!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am going crazy trying to get my cats to listen to me. I have a 6 month old kitten, and a 1 year old cat.

I used to only have my older cat, boots, but we decided to get him a friend since cats do better in pairs, or so I thought. We got M, the kitten, in March.

I'll start with the issues:
- I cannot keep a roll of TP anywhere in the house without the destroying it.
- They enjoy knocking over cups of liquid, such as water and pop.
- They are ripping the carpet from the wall in the corner.
- They enjoy wrestling on top of me at 4 in the morning
- They LOVE knocking stuff off the counters
- They climb up my curtains with their claws, I am on my 4th set of curtains now. (same with shower curtain).

I have tried to discipline them, but nothing seems to work. I tried the pennies in a can trick, and all they wanted to do is get the can from me to see what it was, the noise had no effect. I tried spraying them with water, but they LOVE water, sometimes I will leave 1-2 inches of water in the tub, and they will get in and go nuts. I have even resorted to a slight smack on their side, but that also has no effect. I can yell and scream all day at these cats, but they just keep on being buttheads.

I love these cats, they bring me so much happiness, but at the same time they are bad half the time and I want to get rid of the, but I know I never could, so I want to see what you guys think I should do.

I am planning on getting a 6' cat tower soon, and I am hoping that might help? They have TONS of toys, and they love to play fetch and chase each other around the apartment.

Any Advice?
post #2 of 24
I'll start with the issues:
- I cannot keep a roll of TP anywhere in the house without the destroying it.
This is a common problem with cats - mine is kept shut away in a closet at all times
- They enjoy knocking over cups of liquid, such as water and pop.
Ahhh....the wonders of gravity. I have a cat who still does this after 7 years - I shoo her away when she's near a glass of anything, or keep my drinks in covered containers (apparently not as much fun when you can't see what inside the cup?)
- They are ripping the carpet from the wall in the corner.
Put a scratching post there. From the sounds of it they like to scratch there, so give them something appropriate to scratch on.
- They enjoy wrestling on top of me at 4 in the morning
Do you play interactively (like with a wand toy) for 15 minutes before bed? Tiring them out might help - but part of this is just plain kitten, it'll take time to outgrow. The other thing is you might want to try shutting them out of the bedroom at night.
- They LOVE knocking stuff off the counters
Again, gravity is irresistible to cats. I actually keep cat toys of my counter, so the cats knock those off - when they land they jump down after them & for the most part my things stay on the counter now.
- They climb up my curtains with their claws, I am on my 4th set of curtains now. (same with shower curtain).
Have you tried using Soft Paws? That might slow them down on the curtain climbing & scratching where they shouldn't (or at least they can't do damage).

One more thing - yelling & swatting them does no good - it only teaches them to fear you.
post #3 of 24
Disciplining ultimately doesn't work. The best you can do is time outs to a quiet room to make a cat calm down - but even that only works while you're cat is in the time out.

All of this can be solved simply by changing your behavior and habits. Stuff gets knocked over? Don't leave it out on the counter unattended. Repeatedly push the cats off the coffee tables (don't be rough about it).
Set something on the carpet to block it off.
Shut the bathroom door, or stash the toilet paper in a cabinet.
Shut them out of the bedroom a night?

Have you heard of soft paws before? Trying these could help solve your curtain and carpet issues. But yes, the cat tree could make a big improvement for that, too. Do they currently have anything at all to scratch on?


And they're not being buttheads, they're being cats - young cats. Much like human children they're going to do a lot of things they shouldn't. This should get better as your cats age.
But trust me, a part of you will look back and miss their kitten antics.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxJosh View Post
I tried spraying them with water, but they LOVE water. I have even resorted to a slight smack on their side, but that also has no effect. I can yell and scream all day at these cats, but they just keep on being buttheads.
All of the above needs to stop. Yelling and smacking no matter how light it is is wrong, because they will end up being scared of you. Their just like small children who don't know any different.

Toilet paper = Put out of their reach or in a cupboard

Cups of liquid = Don't leave lying around when the kittens are in the room

Ripping up the carpet = clip their claws, and get them scratching posts

Waking you up in the early hours = Keep them in another room until their a bit older and not as lively

Their kittens, and doing what kittens do i'm afraid, but if theres one thing you can't do on a kitten/cat it's discipline them.

Buying them a cat tree is a start, but do you interact with them as well?. Just because theres two of them they still need some play time with you.

Buy a laser pen so they can chase after, and give them a bowl of wet food before you go to bed at night so they have a full tummy and want to sleep.

At least they only wake you at 4.a.m in the morning because it could be earlier if they were babies
post #5 of 24
You might want to check the baby aisle at Target or Walmart - they have 'toilet paper guards' that might work for you - they're designed for toddlers, but, hey, cats/toddlers, what's the difference?
post #6 of 24
Maybe keep the bathroom door closed at all times - that works a treat to keep them out of the toilet paper and off the shower curtain. That applies to craft rooms as well. A case of training you not the cats for these things

Cats love to share your drinks - get cups with lids, drink out of sports bottles.

Carpet - put a proper scratching place where they already think there is one, put a couple of them, different configurations.

Play with them - doesnt have to be riotous play but do something. I have some cats that like to run and rip, and I will give a short session with something chasable, have others that love cuddles and others still that abhor cuddles but love petting and fussing over. I missed one cat this morning because he was in a Don;t TOUCH the Cat mood, so left him alone......the rest got their respective attention, and I will repeat it all tonight at the very least.

Counters - make them unhappy with the counter, take everything away and put down tin foil. Or do what I had to - make some parts of the counter allowable (by the window) and the rest unappealing.

All in all, however, they are just doing cat things, and behaviour modification on your part and theirs is what works best. Train yourself to close doors, and train them to stay off certain surfaces. Oddly, I have never lost a curtain to a cat and I have had an assortment of kittens brought in for various reasons, and a few house cats that started as kittens. The huge difference was my old cat trained Da Lip who trained another and now Da Lip trained Da Magpie.

Oh and close the bedroom door when you go to bed - they WILL get used to that too
post #7 of 24
I wholeheartedly agree with everything the above posters have said. I do have one suggestion for the early morning playing. Situate the vacuum cleaner near your bed. Turn it on, but unplug it. When they start playing, simply plug in the vacuum cleaner. That should get their attention and they should stop playing. Do this each and every time they start playing at night. They will soon equate playing on you with the vacuum and they don't want that!!
post #8 of 24
Actually it sounds like they are entertaining each other and accepting each other - exactly what you want.

I have a new kitten, for the past 3 weeks, and my older one Dusty, 6, is still hissing and swatting at Squeak (the baby). I'm afraid they will never be friends, though Squeak wants to be friends badly!

Good suggestions above.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxJosh View Post
I am going crazy trying to get my cats to listen to me. I have a 6 month old kitten, and a 1 year old cat.

I used to only have my older cat, boots, but we decided to get him a friend since cats do better in pairs, or so I thought. We got M, the kitten, in March.

I'll start with the issues:
- I cannot keep a roll of TP anywhere in the house without the destroying it.
- They enjoy knocking over cups of liquid, such as water and pop.
- They are ripping the carpet from the wall in the corner.
- They enjoy wrestling on top of me at 4 in the morning
- They LOVE knocking stuff off the counters
- They climb up my curtains with their claws, I am on my 4th set of curtains now. (same with shower curtain).

I have tried to discipline them, but nothing seems to work. I tried the pennies in a can trick, and all they wanted to do is get the can from me to see what it was, the noise had no effect. I tried spraying them with water, but they LOVE water, sometimes I will leave 1-2 inches of water in the tub, and they will get in and go nuts. I have even resorted to a slight smack on their side, but that also has no effect. I can yell and scream all day at these cats, but they just keep on being buttheads.

I love these cats, they bring me so much happiness, but at the same time they are bad half the time and I want to get rid of the, but I know I never could, so I want to see what you guys think I should do.

I am planning on getting a 6' cat tower soon, and I am hoping that might help? They have TONS of toys, and they love to play fetch and chase each other around the apartment.

Any Advice?
Everything sounds like typical kitten behavior. The answer is simple, don't set up situations where you know they are going to be "an issue"!
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
I guess I should have been more specific.

I cannot put away the TP because there is no where in my bathroom to stash anything, so I can't have my guests having to walk with their pants down across the hall.

I clip their claws weekly, and they already have 2 scratching posts which they love and use daily. I might look into those soft paws, I will NOT declaw them though ever. I would put a post by where they take up the carpt, but it's right in front of my front door so it would block the door.

I play with them a lot before bed, they love chasing the laser pointer around, the problem is they take a quick nap and they are back at it again, I can never get a full 8 hours of sleep without them meowing in my face, headbutting me, or wrestling on top of me and my fiance.

I keep stuff off the counters, but they still find things to knock down, things I cannot really put away. I had some decorations from Mexico that I had to put in storage.

I have lurked around the forums and tried what others have suggested, but nothing seems to work.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxJosh View Post
I guess I should have been more specific.
I cannot put away the TP because there is no where in my bathroom to stash anything, so I can't have my guests having to walk with their pants down across the hall.
Try putting it inside of a box. You can tell your guests the TP is inside of it.

Quote:
I clip their claws weekly, and they already have 2 scratching posts which they love and use daily. I might look into those soft paws, I will NOT declaw them though ever. I would put a post by where they take up the carpt, but it's right in front of my front door so it would block the door.
Nobody at TCS would EVER EVER EVER tell you to declaw...
Try placing a scratching post at the location he is destroying... Soft claws are great...
post #12 of 24
Oh those endearing kitten follies!!! Anyone with more than one young kitten goes through what you're going through. My two are just over a year old and think that they are Mario Andretti in the late evenings...it doesn't help that we have two staircases for their 'laps'....LOL....and there goes the scatter rugs...there goes their dry food bowls and placemant...and there goes the dining room chair being tipped over.....the fun and joy!!!

They are playing, interacting, socializing....when they race around...but enough can be enough sometimes.....I'll grab one as he whizzes by and give him great big hugs.....he doesn't like it...he'd rather be tearing around...but it does break his concentration....LOL

For the toilet paper...no cabinet...try a small box or container or plastic/cloth bag...it's just for now....they will lose interest.....or try shutting the bathroom door.

For tearing up the carpet....that's a toughie....my cats did that when the bedroom door was closed..they wanted in. Fortunately we were having the carpet replaced....and the door hasn't gone back up. If they start doing it again...I'll be needing help with that one. Perhaps laying books or something small, but heavy, at the ripped spot will detract them.

Most cats are inquisitive and like to knock stuff down....no particular reason.....it's annoying when it's liquid or breakable. Remember....they aren't doing it out of malice...they are being inquisitive. This is a real test of your patience and practice if you ever decide to have children.

When mine are being particular pains in the butt, I find that by hugging them or picking them up and removing them from the area...seems to break the mindset at the moment. I'm not above putting them in timeout....I have a back room....just a fairly big safe storage area...where I'll put one of them or the two of them..until I can get my patience back...or if I'm ironing...they like to jump on the ironing board..just not a safe idea and gives my anxiety attacks. I know that they are safe in the back room, I can iron in peace, and all is well when the ironing board is put away.

Rest assured, they will calm down in time. I also have a mantra for my cats......I chose to have YOU in my house....I will LOVE YOU through anything....

They love you and feel safe....that's why they can tear around....they feel your unconditional love. Just have some patience till they 'grow up' a bit. Remember, your brain is bigger than their's.....LOL....you can outwit them!!

Hope that helps.
post #13 of 24
Sometimes (not with all cats) you can spray citronella oil or even lemon juice where they scratch and it will stop them. You can buy it at pet shops or some pharmacies. AS for toilet paper, I have mine on the wall in a holder with a guard flap over it. I have lost many many rolls shredded to bits. Hey, but they had fun.
post #14 of 24
As has been said...they are not being buttheads, they are being kittens. Much of this (like climbing curtains) they will out grow. Stop buying new curtains until they do.

When you get the 6 foot cat tree teach them to use it by involving it in your interactive Games. And when they climb the curtains, gently take them off the curtain and put them in a climbing position on the cat tree instead.

Try sprinkling a layer of baking soda over the edge by the door where they are scratching. Or try sticky paws double sided tape in that area. or put a door mat or throw rug down for them to scratch on to protect the carpet. Or a plastic mat.

citrus spray may work, but don't use citronella, as it is toxic to cats.

I love the vacuum cleaner idea for the early morning body romps! <weg>

If you know you have cats who perform gravity experiments, don't leave glasses with beverages in them available for them to tip over.

Give them plenty of interactive Game time. If you have Games at the same time each day, they will soon come to look forward to those special bonding times! The closer your bond with them, the easier it will be to train them.

As has been said, hitting and yelling will not teach them anything but to fear you. Please don't do that anymore.

Keep us posted! and remember, cats are trainable, but it does take time and patience for them to learn what you want them to do.

.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
I guess I just had no idea how much of a handful it would be to have two cats instead of one.

They definitely have routines, its funny to see them do the same thing at the same time each day.

I will try to look for a small basket or something I can put on top of the toilet to hold the TP or something. My bathroom is tiny.
post #16 of 24
Good luck....... This too shall pass my son.... this too shall pass
post #17 of 24
I'm jealous you have 2 cats that play together! We have 3 cats but none play together.

Like others have said, there's not much to do about the toilet paper and stuff being knocked over and midnight playing. You just have to eliminate the possibility that the situation would even present itself. Shutting the bathroom door would save the shower curtain I know it's annoying. I just had to dig out a pair of glasses out of the toilet after a cat knocked them in. Playtime before bed is good, but they'll eventually calm down as they get older.

I've never tried keeping our cats off counters, but some people recommend putting aluminum foil on the counter. Apparently cats hate the texture of it, so they'll jump up to the counter and hate the aluminum, and then theoretically avoid jumping up in the future.

For the carpet where they are tearing it out of the wall, you might try putting a Feliway diffuser in the nearest outlet there. Make sure your scratching posts are all cardboard or sisal, not carpet.
post #18 of 24
ahhh..the joys of kittenhood! My first 2 kittens gave me my first gray hairs (with 7 cats, I dye my hair now!). It sounds like you've done a lot for them and you clearly love them. But, they are a handful! The difference between dogs and cats is you can train a puppy; with kittens it's more the owner that gets trained.

I think the 6' cat tree will help A LOT! Basically they are trying to get as high as they can because it's instinct to climb...hence the climbing the curtains. Once they have a place they are allowed to climb they will probably leave the curtains alone.

I was going to recommend aluminum foil also, for the counters and even for the corner of the carpet. It works well for some cats, others couldn't care less, but it's worth a try (and it's cheap). Another spray you can try is Boundary. It's made to keep dogs and cats away from certain things so it's animal safe. It DOES stink for about 1/2 hour after spraying, but then the smell disapates (for us) but apparently they can still smell it. We use it when we put up the christmas tree every year and after about the first week the cats learn to stay away from it so we can stop. Even covering the area with a plastic mat will help. My cats seem to get focused on one thing to destroy, and if it's taken away or made unavailable they lose interest in it, even after it is available again. Basically, anything you do for that corner will only have to be a temp fix.

As others have said, they WILL grow out of this phase. Now, the question is will YOU survive it?
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
I really hope they do grow out of this phase, but at the same time they are very entertaining.

I am having a problem this week with my older cat "missing" the litter box when he goes, I don't think he is doing it on purpose though, I think the litter box we have might just be too small, even though it's the largest one we could find, I guess I am getting an enclosed one now.

I still need to get M nuetered, we are looking for low-cost options but are having trouble, they used to offer free nuetering here in Phoenix, but now you are required to go to their office and fill out a form and they are taking half the cats they used to last year for free.
post #20 of 24
That's a false economy. They'll end up spending more for shelter services than they do for neutering.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxJosh View Post
I really hope they do grow out of this phase, but at the same time they are very entertaining.

I am having a problem this week with my older cat "missing" the litter box when he goes, I don't think he is doing it on purpose though, I think the litter box we have might just be too small, even though it's the largest one we could find, I guess I am getting an enclosed one now.

I still need to get M nuetered, we are looking for low-cost options but are having trouble, they used to offer free nuetering here in Phoenix, but now you are required to go to their office and fill out a form and they are taking half the cats they used to last year for free.
Enclosed boxes are not a good idea, as they hold in odors. Instead get the large rubbermaid tubs like this:



Many cats don't like to share litter boxes, so you should have at least two boxes, better three. (Make sure the older cat is just "missing" and is not developing a UTI, by watching him closely for signs like repeat trips to the litter box, straining in the box, or peeing in strange places)

As for the neuter. You won't know if you can get on the low cost list until you go do the paperwork, and, as the neuter needs to be done regardless, go get the paperwork done now, no excuses!

In the meantime start saving up for the neuter so if you don't get on the list, you can get it done anyway. You're house will begin to smell very unpleasant very soon, if he is six months old, if you don't! Nothing worse than the smell of unneutered cat pee!
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip for the rubbermaid container, but I doubt it will fit in my bathroom.

I live in a 500sq ft aparment now.

The car tower has helped alot, they love the thing, they never seem to leave it anymore, they sleep on it and play on it.

I don't think they have a problem sharing the box, I think my box is just too small, he barley fits in the box right now.
post #23 of 24
Yes, an un-neutered male STINKS so you'll want to get that done ASAP. Otherwise you'll have much bigger problems than just some rowdy behavior!

A bigger litterbox sounds like a necessity. Plastic totes are good, and much cheaper than jumbo litterboxes. I really recommend having 2 boxes....you can put them right next to each other is you have to, and they don't HAVE to be in the bathroom. A closet or a corner of the bedroom works just as well. Having too small/too few litterboxes can lead to some serious litterbox problems later on. They might be OK with sharing now, but that could change. If you decide not to add another box at this time, be sure to keep the box extra clean.

Everything else sounds like normal young cat behavior. I keep my toilet paper in a coffee can.....I don't have to put the lid on anymore but that's an option.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxJosh View Post
Thanks for the tip for the rubbermaid container, but I doubt it will fit in my bathroom.

I live in a 500sq ft aparment now.

The car tower has helped alot, they love the thing, they never seem to leave it anymore, they sleep on it and play on it.

I don't think they have a problem sharing the box, I think my box is just too small, he barley fits in the box right now.
My apartment is 529 sq feet, including closets and bathroom. I have three cats and four litter boxes.

I'm glad the cat tree is helping matters! The sooner you get the male neutered the better things will be!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Serious Help Needed with Cats!