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Box Spring Kitty

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm sure this is common.

Since I've moved Em has ripped up the bottom fabric of my box spring. He used to hang out under my bed at my old place, but he never did anything like that.

Now he plays in the box spring. I've been squirting him with water to get him to stop. All I get is a drenched kitten that is mad at me. Once he is dry he is back in there and the squirting starts all over.

Should I just remove the fabric? Any suggestions to get him to stop? I'm thinking of putting so much stuff under my bed he won't be able to get under there.
post #2 of 13
I removed the fabric under my 2 year old box spring a couple of months ago. Yep, they would tear holes in it and climb up on the wood slats to play (and do an aerial attack on any cat that wandered by).

For my other bed, I've got it so crammed full of storage bins that they don't fit under there.

Either approach will work. I think this is normal behavior.

Good luck!!
post #3 of 13
Please don't spray your kitty. It can cause aggressive behavior and is not the best way to correct. Kittens will tear the box spring fabric and play in between the springs. Provide him with alternate places to hide, a cat condo such as feline furniture company has with the fleece covered cat houses is good, even a cardboard box with holes in it, flipped upside down will work. Put storage items underneath the bed if you don't want him under there, but it really is a favorite place for kitties to play, so you just give him other places that will attract him.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I think he is just lashing out due to the change. I don't totally mind him under there, just not when I'm trying to sleep. I think I'll remove the fabric. Its not a place that is noticeable if the fabric is missing.

I don't like spraying the kitten, but the vet said that is a good way to punish him for doing something wrong.

He is uaully a good kitten and I never have to use the spray bottle much.
post #5 of 13
Mine also did that. I put a board under my box spring tha sat on top of the frame. I ended up doing that in both bedrooms. She found a new hangout which was inside my couch. She tore the bottom of that off. It was a couch in the rec room but I never repaired it. Its been a year and she still goes up there and naps. Cats certainly do crazy things! She has now started to jump from my washer into the rafters. I can hear her running on the ductwork. I don't have the heart to block it off. She absolutely loves it up there!
post #6 of 13
Originally posted by Creepyowl
I don't like spraying the kitten, but the vet said that is a good way to punish him for doing something wrong.
I would change vets
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
My vet is awesome. I would never change vets. I've heard the water bottle thing from many places and people. I don't think its too terrible. Its effective. I also praise Emmett when he does good thing. Everytime he used his scratching post I tell him he's a good boy and I give him a treat.

I'm not mean to my kitty in any way!!
post #8 of 13
The whole disciplining thing can be pretty confusing. About a year ago, when my cat first came to me, I checked out all the sites and they all advocated the use of the water bottle. The idea was that it didn't hurt the cat; it was just a little unpleasant. The only downfall was that you had to be out of site when you sprayed; otherwise the cat would simply misbehave when you were gone.

I also heard that it was okay to bop the cat lightly on the nose if they directly misbehaved towards you (scratched you or something). This is how other cats get each other in line. Of course, it had to be a very light tap. Still others would say that you should scruff the cat, hiss at them, then let them go, or pop them in the butt, or even scruff them and turm 'em over to show dominance.

The current wisdom seems to be that you shouldn't in any way touch them; just use timeouts or remote discipline (foil on counters, sticky tape on couches, etc.). Personally, I don't have a problem with the water bottle. I used it to stop Snowball from scratching at the screen door, and she stopped after a couple times. She didn't become scared or aggressive as a result. I don't think grabbing them and flipping them over or tapping them on the nose is a good idea. It's hard to say what is the right or wrong thing to do, because obviously every cat is different (to some cats, a squirt may indeed induce fear, but for others it is an effective deterrent).
post #9 of 13
In trying to figure out how to manage some troubleing cat behaviors in our house, without knowing anything else to try, we used the more punitive measures first (i.e. squirt bottles, nose taps, etc.). We found them to ultimately be counter-productive with our fur-babies.

We inadvertently and quickly instilled a water-phobia in one of our cats to the point that, for a while, if a drop of water came her way from anywhere she cowered and thought she was in trouble. She would also tuck tail and run if any kind of spray-bottle was in use anywhere in the house. To make matters worse, it really didn't stop the "bad" behavior. It was pretty sad to watch, because quite often the water that scared her had nothing to do with her at all. We've made some progress recently though; we let her out onto our balcony under strict supervision one day, and when it started to sprinkle, she looked a bit confused, but didn't freak out. It is pretty hard to get a cat to unlearn an averse response to something that you've taught them to fear/dislike (like drops of water). We really wished we had never tried it with her.

As for the nose tapping and our personal experience -- we had already ruled out spray bottles because of our female cat, so we tried little nose bops with our male when he'd take a bite out of one of us. I honestly think it escalated his aggression. Even if the tap was more annoying than painful, it was aggression on our part towards him, which didn't convey the message we really wanted him to get. We later, more successfully, tried shunning him briefly (removing him from the bed, if he was on the bed when he bit, etc.) and then praising him when he was calm again. At least with our cat, he never really seemed to get the causal connection between his behavior and our response until we turned it around and made it positive. We have found it to be much more effective in the long run to catch the cat doing the right thing, and lavish praise on him at that time. When he has let us pet him for a while without biting or scratching, we praise him and give him a treat. A firm "no", prompt removal from the counter or whatever situation he was in when the trouble started, and a few moments without human attention have worked really well to shape his more troublesome behaviors.

Oh, yes -- I should mention that both of our cats went through some rough times and tried some new things (some good, some bad) after our recent move; we didn't ask them if they wanted to move...and they, like the rest of us, need some time to adjust.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks 1kitty2kitty.

I'm going to try some other things to train Em not to do the bad stuff. I'll see how he takes to the time out when trying to attack the puppy next time.
post #11 of 13
We purchased a new mattress only a month before getting our kittens. I was really worried about this issue because for the first month the spent a great deal of time under the bed. The didn't scratch at the box spring material, but I was concerned.

This is what I did.I read this in Pam Johnson Bennet's book "Think Like a Cat". I went to Kmart and bought a plain white Martha Stewart sheet. We lifted the box spring up, and put the white sheet on upside down, so that gauzy box spring bottom is more protected. I like this idea a lot because now I feel as if my box spring is well protected from dirt and dust, not to mention kitt claws.

I suppose you could take it further, by putting on strips of sticky paws or carpet tape before you lay the mattress back down.

About the water thing--we tried using a squirt bottle with them, but the don't react to it at all--they don't even seem phased by it. They love to walk around the shower (after we're done), and our little boy has even jumped in the tub with the kids. Of course, he jumps right out, but it doesn't seem to bother him all that much.

post #12 of 13
I resolved this problem by stapeling a sheet to the underside of the boxspring. The sheet is too thick for kitty to tear into. I also put a small rug under the bed so she could still nap and hide there. good luck!
post #13 of 13
Ashleenicole....What a great idea and welcome to TheCatSite!
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