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Kitties + Mischief

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
They go hand in hand right? Of course... but are they always sneaky about it? Simba(15 months) and Buttons (9 months) seem to have a habit of going about and getting into everything we have. Well, not really getting into. More like, scattering everything. They are perfectly fine while we're around. But once were not with them they go nuts. Mail is found all over the floor. Pictures/cards are chewed. Dishes in the sink are overturned. Water dish is dumped and upside down leaving a wet rug. Photos in frames are knocked from shelves. Ornaments/gifts are removed from tree/base of tree. Paper towels are shredded. It really looks like a storm swept through the place.

Buttons has been doing this for a while now. We figured it was because he was lonely while we weren't home. Simba belonged to a cousin who became allergic to cats so we took Simba in figuring we would be helping the family and giving Buttons a playmate. Well, playmate isn't exactly what turned out. They rough house and we usually hear one of them scream once or twice while we're trying to sleep(Buttons can't be in the room or Becky[girlfriend] won't sleep, me I sleep like a log). But we know that they both cause the mischief while running from each other or individually. We've caught them in the act.

The problem is that Buttons knows he's being bad. As soon and he hears us or we see him he goes to his cage/another room and hides. Simba is too shy and I don't want to get upset with him because he's only been with us since Thanksgiving and he is very solitary. He also seems to know that Buttons is being scolded. Will they grow out of this behavior? Is there hope in the future??
post #2 of 8
Scolding cats isn't a terribly effective deterrent to undesirable behavior. It will only make them afraid of you, which is why Buttons hides when he knows you've seen him doing something.

Really, the best approach to "controlling" cat behavior is to remove temptations: kitten-proof your home. Put the mail in an enclosed container. Pin Christmas cards to the wall, out of the reach of kittens. Don't leave picture frames sitting on low tables. Gather all loose cords and cables and enclose them in special casing to prevent chewing. Don't leave dishes in the sink: put them in the dishwasher, or put them away in the cupboard. As for their water dish, get a heavy earthenware or ceramic one (dog bowls work well) that won't get easily tipped over.

If you don't want your cats to behave undesirably, your best bet is to remove opportunities for them to behave undesirably. Learn that you can't really change your cats. It's easier to change their environment.

The other part of this is to give them desirable alternatives of things for them to release their excess energy. Play with them, using interactive cat toys. Let them wrestle and tousle and play with each other. Give them a cat condo or tree for them to clamber up and down instead of using your bookcases.

You say they behave when you're around. If that is the case, maybe you can create a "safe room" where you can confine them while you're not at home. Keep a litterbox, a bowl of food and water, toys, a bed, and a scratching post or cat condo/tree. I live in a studio apartment, but I have a small area attached to the bathroom, which I have fashioned into a kitty safe room, for when I need to leave them for extended periods, and for when they are driving me crazy with their roughhousing when I'm trying to sleep.

Again, I don't try to change my boyz. I just adapted to the fact that they have moved in, and are letting me live with them.
post #3 of 8
I would say make them a play room, a place where they can tear it up if they wish, but they can't get to the other part of the house. Also if they aren't neutered, getting them fixed will help as well. They need cat condos, and cat poles and cat ramps, that's just their nature, cats like to be in high places.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Sounds pretty good... I kind of thought of the same idea when I went to bed last night and kept them in one room with water and litter. Seems like the place is still intact. Thanks for the insight.
post #5 of 8
I would have to agree with the other posters. Get as much things out of their way as possible. Make sure they have plenty of toys, and some cat trees to climb on and jump on. Buy a birdfeeder and put it outside the window so they can watch the birds instead of making a mess. Play with them more so they get tired. Buy a DaBird, my cats love this toy and it really tires them out. Cat.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well it's not so much as a firm single "no" and seperating them from the item in question. I know that it probably doesn't mean muchg to the cat but the fact that he does know that it's wrong must mean he's getting something out of it?
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well oddly enough after a couple days things are changing a bit. I keep them in a room that they don't destroy while they are not supervised(i'm sleeping/outof house). I think that they are bonding a lot more being confined with each other. When ever we let them out it's like they need to relase their energy and run all around the place and do some hardcore wrestling. It's so amusing to hear them pouncing and tossing each other while they attack each other. Don't worry they are just playing. They don't hide from each other and they come bolting around corners into a hiding spot and then go zooming back into the fray half a second later. Heheh.
post #8 of 8
I'm glad things are improving. A safe room is always a good idea. I have managed to make one even in my small studio apartment. Nothing there that they can hurt, and, more importantly, nothing that can hurt them. I used to leave Hunter and Cougar in the safe room for the first couple of weeks. Now I let them have run of the apartment at all times, and they haven't torn anything or shredded anything. I do take care to tuck away anything that they might destroy that would upset me. Also, if I see them getting into something that they're not supposed to (because I carelessly left it out, like my iPod headphones), I just say: "give me that" and they drop it. Then I look at them in the eye, and say, "Sorry, kitten, I shouldn't have left that out."
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