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Cat destroying carpet

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi -- newbie here. We have a 5-year-old cat that has developed a bad habit recently. In the middle of the night, if he wants to go outside, he scratches at the carpet underneath our bedroom door, and has destroyed a section of the carpet in the process. He has plenty of scratching opportunity -- we have a scratching box he loves and uses daily, so that is not the issue -- he's doing this so that my husband will get up and let him out.

I argue that by doing that -- getting up and letting the cat out -- DH is reinforcing the negative behavior. I am suggesting that we keep a spray bottle by the door and spray him when he scratches, and only let him out if he meows or does something else (or allow him to wait until 6 AM rather than 4 AM!).

DH, who is very softhearted, thinks the spray bottle would be cruel, and wants to put something over the destroyed area of carpeting -- at which point, in my way of thinking, the cat will just move to another area near the door!

What do you think? The ripped up carpeting (brand new, by the way) is driving me crazy. Thanks.
post #2 of 3
First off, Welcome to TCS!

one method that some members have used to break a cat of this habit is to keep your vacuum within reach and if he starts to scratch, turn the vacuum on. He will asscoiate the scratching with a loud noise and we all know how much kitties hate the vacuum Might disturb your sleep also for a few nights, but it sounds like the kitty is doing that already

Another suggestion might be is are you able to just leave your door open? There are no closed doors in my house for just this reason. My cats go nuts if I'm behind a closed door, I think they think I'm going to escape out a window or something
post #3 of 3
If you must keep the door closed, get a piece of plastic runner. You can get this in black or clear from your local hardware store. Put if down under the door (make sure it sticks out the other side). You can put the smooth side up - your cat can still scratch then, but won't hurt the carpet. Or you could put the pointy side up, your cat won't walk on it. Just make sure you remove it every morning so you don't step on it and so that your cat learns it's not there during the day. Personally, I'd put the smooth side up and work on correcting the husband's behavior.

As always, make sure your cat has plenty of proper scratching surfaces - even in/near the bedroom.
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