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kitty training

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
hey everyone! i just got a new kitten and am trying to teach her not to go on counters and couches. Im also trying to teac her not to go into the dining room. the pennies in a can technique does not wqork as she is not the least bit frightend by the noise. saying "no" dosent help and the water gun technique isnt the best either, i have to spray her continuosly until she finnaly desides to stop what shes doing. does anyone have any ideas on what to do? thanks
post #2 of 15
I'll put this in behavior for you where you'll get the advice you need.
post #3 of 15
Before we can help you, we need more information. How old is the kitten? Is she spayed? Where did you get her? How long have you had her? Why can't she go in the dining room? Please answer these questions and give us as much additional information as possible and we will be able to help.
post #4 of 15
and put away your squirt gun please. It really does not solve the problem, and will sometimes create more of an issue.
post #5 of 15
i would also like to know how to keep my kitten from going on the counters. it hasn't happened yet, but once he is strong enough to get up there i don't want him doing it. right now he's about 12 weeks old. i got him from my friends' two cats that had the kittens. he hasn't been "fixed" and i don't want to do that too him. thanks

a picture of my cat (XI)
post #6 of 15
There is two sided tape that will make the surface feel yucky to the kitties feet. Mylar baloons floating will sometimes spook a kitty into staying away. There are "scat mats" that deliver a slight shock if all else fails.

Why can't the kitty get on the furniture or go into the dining room? My kitties roam the entire house as they are part of our family. How are they going to watch tv on your lap? Get or give cuddles to you? If the dining room has a door close it.

SamJamaica if you do not fix your cat it could lead to many problems. Male cats will spray (squirt a strong smelling urine) to mark their home as theirs. They will fight with other males that come into their territory and for the right to mate with a female in heat. Bites from these fights will often get infected and run up expencive vet bills.
post #7 of 15
The easiest way to keep a kitten off the countertops is to buy some really inexpensive shelf liner, cut it to fit, peel it off and put it on the counter with the sticky side up. Weight it down though, because once they jump up on the counter they stick and get frustrated and things can go flying.

Another way is to use bubble wrap, because when cats jump, their claws are out, they jump- the wrap pops they startle and jump down.

And SamJam if you fix your male, he will live a lot longer than if you don't. Plus you won't have to worry about spraying and strong urine.
post #8 of 15
i don't want to get him fixed, because that'd be taking away something that's his (his ability to procreate) and i don't feel it's my place to do that. i would certainly be upset if that were done to me. and i read that it is possible to train a male cat not to spray. i have not heard that fixing a cat will prolong his life, but that doesn't mean much, considering i'm no cat expert.

i'm not 100% against fixing my cat, but i'd rather not.

i'd love to hear you comments
post #9 of 15

Neutering your male cat prevents testicular tumors and also cuts down on prostate problems that develop as the male grows. Perianal tumors and hernias, will also occur in un-neutered males. Your male will get the wandering bug every kitten season, which means that he will be outside for up to 5 months at a time, without the likelihood of you even finding him. Following his instincts to mate, he will roam great distances, following the scents and will even cross busy roads if he knows that a female lies in wait on the other side. During Kitten Seaseon,he will be able to mate with up to 4 females a day, and although that puts a few notches on the bedpost for him, it also adds to the overpopulation problem that is already at critical stage of to many kittens in the world. He will tangle with other un-neutered males to get at the female, during that time, which will lead to him getting bit. Cat bites are difficult to find, until they abscess and after that happens you will need to rush him to the vet for his wounds to be debreeded and then he will be placed on antibiotics. But if the wounds are to severe, he may not be able to get back to you, and may just creep away to a dark corner and die. Plus, if he gets bit by another male who is sick, the disease is transmitted that way and you have yet another substantial vet bill staring you in the face. He will be a looming threat to any newborn kittens, being an un-neutered male for it is in their chemistry to kill any newborn kittens, because the grief throws the momcat back into heat and he can mate with her again.

I have been rescuing ferals for over 13 years now, and I have never heard about or seen effective ways to train a cat to not spray, that did not involve some substantial punishment for the cat that would really be called unacceptable. Every male cat that arrives here, is immediately taken in and neutered, and the females spayed, unless of course they arrive with kittens. But I mostly get orphaned babies here.

It does not seem to me that someone such as yourself would come to this board and ask decent questions without caring for the health and welfare of your cat. If you truly do care for this boy, then I will hope you do the right thing, the responsible act and get him in to be neutered. It doesn't change their personality at all, and I bet, if he could talk, he would thank you for doing this for him.
post #10 of 15
This information is quoted from: http://www.cathelp-online.com/spayneuter.html



* Cause laziness or hyperactivity

* Reduce your pet's instinct to protect your family and home

* Cause immature behaviors

* Postpone or delay normal behavioral maturity

* Alter your pet's personality in any manner

Your vet and his staff will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about spaying or neutering your pet. Please do not hesitate to discuss your concerns, and please do not hesitate to inform and educate yourself and others about the benefits of spaying and neutering.



* "My pet will get fat or lazy"

Pets who become overweight after spaying or neutering are usually those that are over-fed and not encouraged to exercise. It's up to you to ensure proper diet and exercise for your pet to reduce the chance of becoming overweight.

* "My pet's personality will change"

Altering actually decreases aggressive or dominant behaviors and will also help reduce roaming or wandering tendencies, which is, of course, much safer for your pet

* "I want my children to witness the 'miracle of birth' "

Any unnecessary intrusions during pregnancy and birthing can cause a great deal of stress on a mother kitty, thereby increasing the potential for her to neglect her newborn litter. Agressive behaviors can also stem during pregnancy and birth and possibly cause injury to children. Educate your children through literature, and allow them to visit or tour veterinary hospitals, zoos, and other animal related outlets to give them a sense of the facts of life and a sense of responsibility. Teaching begins with YOU, please be responsible

* "We can make money by selling kittens/puppies"

Even the most educated, experienced, and caring breeders are lucky if they can "break even" when dealing with the costs of stud fees, vaccinations, pet food costs, unexpected emergencies, and other health care costs. Please leave breeding to those responsible, professional breeders who care about the breeds and also try to improve the standard of the breeds they raise

* "I'm concerned about my pet undergoing anesthesia"

Although there are risks with ANY surgery or procedure that involves anesthesia, the anesthetics currently used by vets are very safe. Pre-surgical blood screen tests are also available to determine your pet's candidacy for anesthesia (and also determines liver and kidney function). Most vets use monitoring equipment that monitors the heart and respiratory rates of your pet during the course of anesthesia. Please discuss your concerns with your vet and he will be happy to help you in understanding the procedure, what's involved and the benefits


More than 4 MILLION pets are euthanized in U.S animal shelters and humane societies each year simply because not enough homes are available. Many are kittens and puppies less than 6 months old. Help stop this needless loss of life.
Please do your part,



I ask for the priveledge of not being born.....
not to be born until you can assure me
of a home and a master to protect me,
and the right to live as long as
I am physically able to enjoy life.....
not to be born until my body is precious
and men have ceased to exploit it
because it is cheap and plentiful.

- author unknown


According to the American Veterinary Association, having your male cat neutered will:

Eliminate the risk of testicular cancer;
Greatly reduce the risk of prostate cancer and prostatitis;
Reduce the risk of perianal tumors;
Eliminate spraying (territorial marking);
Eliminate the risk and spread of sexually transmitted diseases;
Eliminate unwanted litters

He may be a male, but if un-neutered, he WILL get a female pregnant if an indoor/outdoor cat.

Available at http://www.savesamoa.org/html/spay_neuter.html

"It is extremely important that we all spay or neuter our pets. The problem of pet overpopulation costs the U.S. taxpayer billions of dollars a year! According to the American Partnership for Pets, apart from the many health benefits of spaying or neutering your pet (or the local feral cats!), there are additional reasons of which you may not be aware:

*An estimated 8-10 million animals are taken in by animal shelters each year.

* An estimated 4-5 million animals are euthanized in shelters each year.

* The stray/feral cat population is estimated to be in the tens of millions.

* Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted animals.

* Animal shelters are overburdened with surplus animals.

* Stray pets and homeless animals may get into trash containers, defecate in public areas or on private lawns, and frighten or anger people who have no understanding of their misery or needs.

Be a part of the solution, not the problem! Listed below are resources to help you find low-cost spay/neuter services in your area. We have also included informational links on the benefits of spay/neuter, the misconceptions and myths about pet sterilization, answers addressing many common excuses people use not to spay/neuter pets, and information on early age spay/neutering."

Available through links in the spay/neuter section of www.savesamoa.org


Spaying or Neutering are a part of responsible pet ownership. It extends you pet's life, improves the quality of that life, and prevents unwanted cats and kittens. There are already millions of cats and kittens without homes. There aren't enough homes for them all.
post #11 of 15
About your kitten's problems - have you read this thread? Inappropriate Peeing Problems Answered

There are many things that can affect a cat's "interest" in using the litterbox:

Its placement
Its cleanliness
The litter used

You may consider putting several litter boxes out to help establish where he's most comfortable.

Try using different litter types

Experiment with different levels of litter.

Also, it is VERY important that when your kitten goes outside of the box that you use an enzyme cleaner such as Nature's Miracle (or whatever is available at a local pet store) to clean up the mess. Using ammonia-based cleaner products leave the area smelling like urine to a cat, which simpy encourages them to use the same spot again. The odor must be COMPLETELY eliminated - down to the floorboards. Their sense of smell is far greater than ours, and if they smell urine, it may be considered a place to go to the bathroom again.

Training cats is nothing like training dogs. Dogs want to please you - with cats, it is an issue of redirecting what we consider to be "inappropriate" behavior. They do not know that what they are doing is wrong, and if you attempt to let them know it's "wrong" all that happens is that you become someone that does something scary to them and they come to distrust you.

If you are not motivated to purchase any books on cat behavior, The Cat Site hosts several excellent articles:

Cats and Discipline Don't Mix - Why You Should Never Punish Your Cat

Spraying - When Your Cat Uses Urine to Mark Territory

Litter Box Woes - Seven Things You Should Check if your Cat Goes Outside the Box

The Litterbox - How To Make Sure Your Cat Uses It

Your kitty may just be spraying, which is easiy solved via neutering.

With the above information, you should be able to find the right litter box, the right litter, and the right place so that your cat will use it.

Remember - the number one reason cats do not use the litter box is a health problem Cats that do not use a litterbox should be taken immediately to see a vet. Once any health problem has been eliminated, then any of the above articles and links should help solve the problem.

Because of their physiology, male cats especially are prone to urinary tract problems and infections. A blockage results in the build-up of toxins and can kill your cat within 24 hours. Litter box problems need to be taken seriously - sometimes it is the only way your cat can communicate there is a health problem.
post #12 of 15
Hi kittycat2 and SamJamaica, this isn't going to be too helpful, but I've learnt that most cats will do this. Cats are just great little curious georges - they love to see and smell what's going on. They love to jump up on things and check them out, and that would include the counter, couches and dining room. Unless you have doors closing off those areas, there's no permanent way to stop them from exploring. My cats know I don't want them on the counters, so they just wait till night to get there I had to grasp that fact, and change things accordingly. And I echo all DragonLady's statements.

hissy and LDG have already provided great information on reasons to neuter your cat. I also urge to neuter. It is very good of you to invite comments, and be open about this, I really hope it changes your mind and helps you to make a decision to neuter your cat.
post #13 of 15
i was not aware that there were so many reasons to neuter cats. i guess i will do so, although i feel bad about changing the natural life cycle of a cat...but i guess such is the burden of domestication. now all i have to do is figure out where to get it done. is there any kind of time constraint? he is about 12 weeks now, and i'm pretty sure that he's not sexually mature yet. how long do i have to get him fixed? thanks
post #14 of 15
The general rule of thumb is that at one year a male cat can successfully mate, but at 6 months the urge sets in and he will try to mate, which can sometimes lead to problems down the road. Your best bet would be to take him in to the vet at 6 months and get him clipped.

He really will live longer, and be less likely to get into trouble. Right now I have 7 new ferals someone must have dropped out in the woods behind our place. They are all older, and all intact. This morning I was out with the horses, and I heard this horrible cat fight! I really have never heard such a bad one- and I went flying up to the house to see one of the new cats in hot pursuit of one of my females (who is spayed by the way) He grabbed her underneath the house and I couldn't get to her in time and rather than watch what I knew was going to happen (he was going to mount her) I grabbed the hose and shot water right on him and broke them up. I normally do not use water except in extreme circumstances and this one is extreme. The cat he chose to mate with only has one eye and half a paw which is why he caught her in the first place! I will be setting humane traps tonight to capture these guys and get them in to the vet. After that, I don't know what is going to happen to them, for they cannot stay here. I am full up!
post #15 of 15
Hey SamJamaica! One of the beautiful things about the cat site is that we are here to help each other learn new things. (And have some fun too, I hope!)

I'm so glad you've decided to get your kitty neutered. Both of you will be so much happier!!! I hate to say it - but I help rescue, and believe me it is a depressing world. I am so, so, so glad you've decided to help make less homeless pets! And your kitty will make a better pet this way. We've domesticated them - and you're so right - it is part of the burden of domestication, and that's a wonderful way to look at it.

Just so you know, our vet recommends getting cats spayed or neutered as soon as the first baby tooth falls out. This usually happens around 4 months.

But if your kitty is 12 weeks old, you really can do it any time you want to. It doesn't affect their growth or personality, and early/spay neuter has been shown to be safe with no repercussions at all. It is the same if you have it done now or at four months or at six months. Here's a report on it: Early spay/neuter in the cat a Report by the Winn Feline Foundation, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Cat Fanciers' Association.

If you want to look into low-cost spay/neuter services, there are a number of resources for searching for places wherever you live on my website, www.savesamoa.org. Just click on the low-cost spay/neuter link in my signature line.

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