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Destructive Cat

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have an indoor cat who is getting on my nerves. It seems that nothing that I do to try to train him is working.

When I am cooking, he hops on the counter and tries to stick his face in whatever I am fixing. I have put him on the floor more times than I can count, I've splashed and sprayed him even more times, I've told him "no" while putting my hand in his face until he backed off and went away. What does this accomplish? Nothing. The second I turn around, he's sneaking across the counter toward the stove.

I sit to eat. Immediately, I'm in a huge game of "constantly move your plate around because the cat keeps jumping into your lap trying to eat your food". I've tried (once again) spraying him with water, hissing at him, growling at him, swatting him with an open hand, backing him off the couch. But the second I think that I might just once get to eat in peace- ZOOM- into my lap he hops in another attempt to steal my food.

If I am working on something paper oriented, he will hope into my lap and flop over on it. Hissing, growling, picking him up and setting him aside-he just comes back and flops on it again. Petting him then setting him aside, he comes back even faster (no matter how long you've done it). Set him aside over and over, and he attacks your hand. Set any work aside long enough to go use the bathroom, and he shreds/chews the paper into tiny ribbons. And whatever you're writing with? Forget it. He actively stalks and mauls whatever it is while you futily attempt to use it.

Put him in a room alone, and he knocks everything on a flat surface onto the floor. He shreds any paper that he can find. He turns curtains into ribbons in ten minutes flat. Bags of catfood? Shredded and strewn EVERYWHERE, no matter if you've left a tub of it the size of his body available (we keep it in bins now, but if you don't do it quickly enough-catastrophe!)


Put him in the pet taxi to keep him out of your hair for a while (so that you can eat, cook, or work), and he yowls so very loud that you'll contemplate moving him (in the taxi) into the yard.


I give him lots of attention. I play with him a few hours every day. he is mildly chubby, so feeding is not a problem. i even brush him so that he doesnt get huge hairballs. Please tell me what I can do to get him to stop being so destructive.
post #2 of 28
First, How old is your cat? Is this your first cat? ONLY cat?

Second, is he neutered?

Age determines the amount of playfulness. Your cat sounds a lot like how my 3 yr old Hammie WAS from kittenhood til he was about 2 yrs old.

Also if your cat is still intact, he's going to be more aggressive; a hunter, mauler, generally have all this pent-up frustration. Hopefully he's neutered.

I have to say, part of having a cat or many cats is, you just gotta deal with it! They will walk on the stove. Mine do, when I'm cooking; Hammie burnt his paws several times, Snickers steals leftover scrambled eggs from the skillet on weekends; Dusty will swipe any piece of forgotten cheese from a countertop before you can blink.

I do not nor have ever swatted my cats. Major no-no. No open handed, no swats, no hitting!

Regarding spraying with a squirt gun, I used that technique ONLY on Hammie; but the thing is? He loves water. I'd get the gun out and he'd laugh at me. So that didn't work.

Eventually -- he calmed down.

Re: hissing, growling and making "cat noises" at your cat --- he probably thinks you are a giant cat, playing with him. He might see that as a sign of aggression from you and just become extra aggressive back.

Also, regarding newspapers and such --- that's also part of being owned by a cat. Period. If I set out a newspaper on the floor, it is merely an open invitation for Zorro to come on and sprawl out on it for some loving. The minute I walk away (stop reading), Zorro will get up & lose interest.

And curtains? Take them down. OR buy really cheap ones (like, sheers or something) and plan on replacing them every now and then. Expensive curtains / drapes + cats is another no-no. Unless you really like spending lots of money.

Now, when it comes to eating, that's the fun part. My daughter & I know well to guard our food. We have several thieves. Snickers will reach up with a paw from UNDER THE TABLE and snag food from the plate. We just know to push ourselves in & guard the plates.

Regarding bags of catfood --- why don't you buy one of those lidded containers? They look like garbage cans, you can get it at PetSmart --- it's hinged in back with a handle on the front that NO cat can open. Keep it in a closet, a closet that your cat cannot open. Don't just leave the bags sitting around; that's an invitation, just like the newspaper spread out.

Anyway either plan on getting used to these aspects of having a cat for a pet, OR adopt another cat so he's got a buddy, but please don't swat him anymore! And if he's young --- under a year --- he will grow out of 'most' of the destructive stuff. And if he's not neutered, please take care of that; he'll calm down a lot.

And remember: Cats are curious. Cats are adventurous. Cats are always on the move & investigate every little thing. I've seen mine go from a comatose sleep where they're barely breathing, to running through the house like they are insane.
post #3 of 28
Oh my God. It sounds like he's desperately in need of attention. He sounds bored. You are in his social group and he sees you as his playmate. And it sounds like his playmate is very busy. Have you considered getting him a friend? Or have you considered getting rid of him and giving him to a good and thoughtful home?

The smacking with an open hand is very bad, and he will become traumatized by this. He'll become aggressive or he'll feel totally alienated. He sounds very unhappy. Locking him in a cat carrier...and smacking...eek.

I would suggest you find him a good home.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeyedgirl
First, How old is your cat? Is this your first cat? ONLY cat?

Second, is he neutered?

Age determines the amount of playfulness. Your cat sounds a lot like how my 3 yr old Hammie WAS from kittenhood til he was about 2 yrs old.

Also if your cat is still intact, he's going to be more aggressive; a hunter, mauler, generally have all this pent-up frustration. Hopefully he's neutered.

I have to say, part of having a cat or many cats is, you just gotta deal with it! They will walk on the stove. Mine do, when I'm cooking; Hammie burnt his paws several times, Snickers steals leftover scrambled eggs from the skillet on weekends; Dusty will swipe any piece of forgotten cheese from a countertop before you can blink.

I do not nor have ever swatted my cats. Major no-no. No open handed, no swats, no hitting!

Regarding spraying with a squirt gun, I used that technique ONLY on Hammie; but the thing is? He loves water. I'd get the gun out and he'd laugh at me. So that didn't work.

Eventually -- he calmed down.

Re: hissing, growling and making "cat noises" at your cat --- he probably thinks you are a giant cat, playing with him. He might see that as a sign of aggression from you and just become extra aggressive back.

Also, regarding newspapers and such --- that's also part of being owned by a cat. Period. If I set out a newspaper on the floor, it is merely an open invitation for Zorro to come on and sprawl out on it for some loving. The minute I walk away (stop reading), Zorro will get up & lose interest.

And curtains? Take them down. OR buy really cheap ones (like, sheers or something) and plan on replacing them every now and then. Expensive curtains / drapes + cats is another no-no. Unless you really like spending lots of money.

Now, when it comes to eating, that's the fun part. My daughter & I know well to guard our food. We have several thieves. Snickers will reach up with a paw from UNDER THE TABLE and snag food from the plate. We just know to push ourselves in & guard the plates.

Regarding bags of catfood --- why don't you buy one of those lidded containers? They look like garbage cans, you can get it at PetSmart --- it's hinged in back with a handle on the front that NO cat can open. Keep it in a closet, a closet that your cat cannot open. Don't just leave the bags sitting around; that's an invitation, just like the newspaper spread out.

Anyway either plan on getting used to these aspects of having a cat for a pet, OR adopt another cat so he's got a buddy, but please don't swat him anymore! And if he's young --- under a year --- he will grow out of 'most' of the destructive stuff. And if he's not neutered, please take care of that; he'll calm down a lot.

And remember: Cats are curious. Cats are adventurous. Cats are always on the move & investigate every little thing. I've seen mine go from a comatose sleep where they're barely breathing, to running through the house like they are insane.

He is neutered. Mega neutered. It is terribly shocking how castrated he is. In fact, most of this intensified post-neutering.

He has a buddy. He claws the other cat to shreds every time it goes near him. For that obvious reasons, It avoids him.

The curtains are cheap. And just about as expensive as expensive curtains if you constantly have to replace them.

We have no table. Guarding against something that will leap into your lap and actively try to scavenge a meal when it has just eaten a full bowl of its own food is a bit more difficult than just scooting a chair in.

I have cans i keep the cat food in, he simply knocks them over and scatters it everywhere. I do not just leave them laying about. I would like to figure out how to completely deter him from doing that.

I do not leave my papers laying around anymore. However, even when they are put away, he will seek and shred them. Even going so far as to drag them out of drawers. As the paperwork is how I make a living, being able to do it in less time than I currently can with a cat constantly disrupting it (or worse, shredding it to tatters) is a plus. By no means am I choosing meaningless stuff over the cat. I love him, but we both need food to survive and shredding my work doesn't buy groceries for either of us.

I swat him gently, and occasionally. I did not say that I fling him into walls.

I know that cats are curious. My other cat' biggest destructive trait? clawing the wall sometimes, flinging litter everywhere, and knocking things over occasionally. Doesnt bother me when I'm eating, cooking or working, and doesn't actively seek and destroy everything within her reach. She is only a year old.I am just at my wits' end about what to do about his destructiveness.

Not meaning to sound rude, But I would like to know if there are any other training tips I can try (besides bending over backwards any more than I currently am). Obviously it is part of the pet experience, but I'd like to eat dinner without a huge, shedding creature hopping into my food without having to resort to stuffing him into a pet carrier. I would also like to work with minimal interruption, and not have to wonder at night if that odd noise in the other room is hours of work being nullified.

Also, how much did vet bills cost you when your cat burnt itself on the stove, And how much pain was the cat in? I would like to train my cat to stay away when I'm cooking because kitchen accidents happen, and I do not want to accidentally burn my cat or have him splashed with hot oil or even worse, tip some boiling liquids over on himself.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimmyandNunny
Oh my God. It sounds like he's desperately in need of attention. He sounds bored. You are in his social group and he sees you as his playmate. And it sounds like his playmate is very busy. Have you considered getting him a friend? Or have you considered getting rid of him and giving him to a good and thoughtful home?

The smacking with an open hand is very bad, and he will become traumatized by this. He'll become aggressive or he'll feel totally alienated. He sounds very unhappy. Locking him in a cat carrier...and smacking...eek.

I would suggest you find him a good home.

I play with for hours a day. Four, minimum. He has a playmate, but he claws her to shreds every time she goes near him. It is a good home. I only do that occasionally, and very lightly. Locking him in the carrier is only while I eat (forgot to elaborate) so that I can eat in peace. Thank you for being non-judgmental and not jumping to the worst conclusion possible.
post #6 of 28
Cats are extremely sensitive. Something as simple as changing work schedules or changing litter brands can cause them stress. Cats are very intune and smart and when they are gently swatted, it's not taken as a good thing. You might not be flinging him up against a wall, but swatting him and punishing him by confining him to a cat carrier is not recommened according to the books I've read.

When you squirt him with water, it's important that he doesn't see you doing it. Although, it probably doesn't matter now, that you've swatted him with your bare hand. The important thing is to let him see the consequence of water without it coming from you, his beloved.

Cats are very keen on knowing if the stove is hot. I've never heard of a cat getting scollded from anything on a stove, they're very sensitive. My cat walks all over everything. Now, my fiance says in a deep tone of voice, "Hot!" when he thinks Simmy is heading toward the stove while he's cooking. But Simmy doesn't ever go too close when food is cooking. He senses the heat and backs away.

Training a cat is next to impossible. They're not like dogs. Cats pretty much do as they please. There are some kinds of sprays that leave a scent you can get that will make the forbidden areas less attractive to your cat.

But it sounds like you're at your wits end if you've put him in a carrier and swatted him. He doens't sound like he's bringing you much joy. He sounds like a complete pain in your behind. You might consider finding him a more suitable home.

All this distructive behavior sounds like he's troubled. When a cat becomes mentally disturbed over whatever reason, he displays bad behavior. Cats are known to start peeing and pooping innapropriately. They might begin peeing and pooping in your bed, depending on how disturbed they are.

He's getting a lot of negative feedback from you with the hissing and growling and swatting and confining. If you want to keep him and love him, you might want to get a book on cat behavior. Because cats are so delicate and sensitive, they have to be handled with kid gloves or things go arye.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimmyandNunny
Cats are extremely sensitive. Something as simple as changing work schedules or changing litter brands can cause them stress. Cats are very intune and smart and when they are gently swatted, it's not taken as a good thing. You might not be flinging him up against a wall, but swatting him and punishing him by confining him to a cat carrier is not recommened according to the books I've read.

When you squirt him with water, it's important that he doesn't see you doing it. Although, it probably doesn't matter now, that you've swatted him with your bare hand. The important thing is to let him see the consequence of water without it coming from you, his beloved.

Cats are very keen on knowing if the stove is hot. I've never heard of a cat getting scollded from anything on a stove, they're very sensitive. My cat walks all over everything. Now, my fiance says in a deep tone of voice, "Hot!" when he thinks Simmy is heading toward the stove while he's cooking. But Simmy doesn't ever go too close when food is cooking. He senses the heat and backs away.

Training a cat is next to impossible. They're not like dogs. Cats pretty much do as they please. There are some kinds of sprays that leave a scent you can get that will make the forbidden areas less attractive to your cat.

But it sounds like you're at your wits end if you've put him in a carrier and swatted him. He doens't sound like he's bringing you much joy. He sounds like a complete pain in your behind. You might consider finding him a more suitable home.

All this distructive behavior sounds like he's troubled. When a cat becomes mentally disturbed over whatever reason, he displays bad behavior. Cats are known to start peeing and pooping innapropriately. They might begin peeing and pooping in your bed, depending on how disturbed they are.

He's getting a lot of negative feedback from you with the hissing and growling and swatting and confining. If you want to keep him and love him, you might want to get a book on cat behavior. Because cats are so delicate and sensitive, they have to be handled with kid gloves or things go arye.


I understand all that, and I've been a bit frustrated, I admit. but i only put him in the taxi while i eat (otherwise he'll constantly hop into my plate and try to scavenge). Also, my vet bill question was in reply to darkeyedgirl saying "They will walk on the stove. Mine do, when I'm cooking; Hammie burnt his paws several times".

He has never peed or pooped inappropriately, and destroys almost everything, regardless of who it belongs to. it is not aimed at a single person.

He was this way since we picked him up (stray), but it got insanely worse after he was neutered.

In addition, I never let him see me spray him with the water, I t just never fazed him.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
I play with for hours a day. Four, minimum. He has a playmate, but he claws her to shreds every time she goes near him. It is a good home. I only do that occasionally, and very lightly. Locking him in the carrier is only while I eat (forgot to elaborate) so that I can eat in peace. Thank you for being non-judgmental and not jumping to the worst conclusion possible.
CommonOddity, I'm very sorry. I am just extremely sensitive about animals, especially cats because they can't speak to us and tell us what is going on with them. And I know what it feels like to be annoyed with your cat, but according to how you're dealing with all the frustrations, you sound like you've had it.

LOL, we're probably complete opposites. When i'm eating, I share with my cat, gladly. The only thing my cats aren't allowed to do is lay on my clothes because of the hair that gets all over it...

I'm a hardcore cat lover and quite possibly unbalanced at that, but I have read tons and tons of books and I know the actions you've described are major no nos and will only cause more trouble for you and your cat.

Please forgive me, I just cringed reading your post. You don't sound like you're in love with your cat.

Have you ever considered putting him in a bedroom while you eat? Instead of the cat carrier? Just wondering.
post #9 of 28
I agree with your cat getting lots of negative feedback. Confining a cat, and even occasional swatting will make him fear you. It will cause that aggression.

Re: Hammie with the burnt paws --- I treated him myself. I am a mother (to a human child) and I know how to treat burns. Vet bills, schmet bills... I have charged & forked out thousands over the years (actually $1,000 in March for Snickers) to keep my cats in great health, or, to save their lives due to health issues. The pawpads needing treatment was something I did myself. But I do know where you're coming from; Snickers got too close to a candle a few months back and it burnt the hair on his tail. My fault; I had the candle in a bad spot and he is ultra-furry. Anyways things like that happen, and while cats are hardy, it's up to us to cat-proof our homes for THEM. I do call it bending over backwards, and it's well worth it.

Hammie LEARNED on his own not to walk on the burners. All of my cats walk across the stove to get to the garden window in my kitchen; but they walk on the cool spot of the stove or back away when they feel heat. They just learned on their own!

If your cat is only a year old, just try patience. One of my cats came from an abusive home (Zorro) and for that first year in MY home, he was hell on wheels. Hell on footpads maybe... He would attack anyone who came near him, he was always on the defense; he would torture my girlcats. He finally calmed down after he saw that we were not against him and were not going to hit him, harm him, or lock him up.

His previous owner made him "live" in a bedroom closet; he would not let him out. He'd smack him if Zorro ever tried to leave the closet. Cats do calm down quite a bit after that first year; no matter what their personality or upbringing.

Regarding noises in the night, coming from different rooms... that happens every single night in my house. Granted, I have 6 cats; but even my oldest will get bored at weird times during the night and go downstairs and 'sing' to himself. Just give it time, be patient, and don't use anger or aggression... or he will, too.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimmyandNunny
CommonOddity, I'm very sorry. I am just extremely sensitive about animals, especially cats because they can't speak to us and tell us what is going on with them. And I know what it feels like to be annoyed with your cat, but according to how you're dealing with all the frustrations, you sound like you've had it.

LOL, we're probably complete opposites. When i'm eating, I share with my cat, gladly. The only thing my cats aren't allowed to do is lay on my clothes because of the hair that gets all over it...

I'm a hardcore cat lover and quite possibly unbalanced at that, but I have read tons and tons of books and I know the actions you've described are major no nos and will only cause more trouble for you and your cat.

Please forgive me, I just cringed reading your post. You don't sound like you're in love with your cat.

Have you ever considered putting him in a bedroom while you eat? Instead of the cat carrier? Just wondering.

I love him dearly, and have researched every cat behavior source i can find, tried everything they've said but still nothing. I've put him in the bedroom instead of the carrier many times. Every time, I've opened the door to find almost every available surface cleared (he knocks everything on the floor), shredded paper strewn everywhere, books chewed on, and shredded curtains. All in little under ten minutes sometimes. I simply got sick of looking forward to a full day of cleaning every time I put him there and just began to put him in the carrier instead. The swatting is very light and occasional. never in the face (just on the butt). I know it is a nono, but frustration gets the best of me sometimes.
post #11 of 28
Excellent advice Darkeyedgirl, and thanks for using the right words.. I tend to get over emotional when I hear anything other than "i adore and spoil my cats to pieces." The important thing is, CommonOddity came here looking for help, I'm glad she did. I hope she will get a book at the very least and see different options on how to react to cat's behaviors. Who knows what kind of life this cat had before he came to live there. If he's always been a stray and is now not allowed to go outside, that could be a huge factor. If he's not allowed to go outside, he may be going NUTS over not being able to patrol his territory as he always has. And if he IS allowed to go outside, there are other things going on and there are many books that deal with behavoiral problems.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
I love him dearly, and have researched every cat behavior source i can find, tried everything they've said but still nothing. I've put him in the bedroom instead of the carrier many times. Every time, I've opened the door to find almost every available surface cleared (he knocks everything on the floor), shredded paper strewn everywhere, books chewed on, and shredded curtains. All in little under ten minutes sometimes. I simply got sick of looking forward to a full day of cleaning every time I put him there and just began to put him in the carrier instead. The swatting is very light and occasional. never in the face (just on the butt). I know it is a nono, but frustration gets the best of me sometimes.

Is he allowed to go outside or is he now an indoor cat? My cats are indoor cats, I live in an apartment and there are a lot of cats here infected with FIV.

If he was a stray, he sounds almost ferral to me. Like a wild cat. Like he's having difficulty adjusting to becoming domesticated. If he's not allowed outside, that could be a huge insight to all the misbehaviors. The description of your room after ten minutes is absolutely alarming to me. Something is clearly going on with him. Is he allowed outside?
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimmyandNunny
Is he allowed to go outside or is he now an indoor cat? My cats are indoor cats, I live in an apartment and there are a lot of cats here infected with FIV.

If he was a stray, he sounds almost ferral to me. Like a wild cat. Like he's having difficulty adjusting to becoming domesticated. If he's not allowed outside, that could be a huge insight to all the misbehaviors. The description of your room after ten minutes is absolutely alarming to me. Something is clearly going on with him. Is he allowed outside?
He was (supervised). However, if any of the neighborhood cats approach him (even sitting a few feet away), he will growl at them, initiating fights. I would immediately take him indoors before it could escalate to this, but then he began to dash out past anyone who was walking in. One day, he did that and came home on 3 paws (and stayed that way for almost a week). I stopped taking him outside in an effort to stop him from dashing out like that (and it has been successful), and because he has the bad habit of sitting by the edge of the road to watch cars go by when he dashes out unsupervised. (it was usually where i'd find him when he did that). In addition, there are dogs who like to chase cats through our yard (the neighbor does not believe in confining). All of them are strictly indoor now,and have been for many months.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
I have an indoor cat who is getting on my nerves. It seems that nothing that I do to try to train him is working. How long have you had this indoor cat? How old is he? How much room do you have for this active creature? Are you in an apartment, a house what?

When I am cooking, he hops on the counter and tries to stick his face in whatever I am fixing. I have put him on the floor more times than I can count, I've splashed and sprayed him even more times, I've told him "no" while putting my hand in his face until he backed off and went away. What does this accomplish? Nothing. The second I turn around, he's sneaking across the counter toward the stove. Your cat sounds like he is Alpha over you. He also sounds extremely smart, and unfazed by any punishment that you dish out. So rather than punish him- squirt him, yell at him, stomp you feet- try and set up a routine with him. Play with him daily, yes, I know you play with him, but make a set schedule and play with him at certain times every day, play with an interactive toy such as da bird or a cat dancer, and at the end of the playtime, follow it with a nice tasty treat, one he does not get any other time but after hard active play.

Does he have a cat condo? Is it possible you can move the condo into the kitchen so he can sit on it and watch what you are doing? If you have to spray water, at least spray away from him. Get a safe houseplant in a big planter and put it somewhere close, in your living room, dining room, whatever is closest. When you see him sneaking to the stove or counter, take out the bottle and spray the plant- hit the leaves, make some noise, distract him from what he is doing by sending a message "critter in the plant!" Usually, this is sufficient to draw a cat's attention away from what he is intent upon doing and allow him to do something less harmful.

I sit to eat. Immediately, I'm in a huge game of "constantly move your plate around because the cat keeps jumping into your lap trying to eat your food". I've tried (once again) spraying him with water, hissing at him, growling at him, swatting him with an open hand, backing him off the couch. But the second I think that I might just once get to eat in peace- ZOOM- into my lap he hops in another attempt to steal my food. While you are eating, put him in another room with his own food and his toys. If he yowls (and he will) just ignore him. Turn up the radio, get a walkman, invest in earplugs, but let him have his own time to himself until after you are done with dinner, and have cleaned up the kitchen. Then, only if he is quiet, let him out and IGNORE HIM. Don't pet him, fawn over me, stroke him nothing. Just flat ignore him. Make sure you clean off your countertops with something lemon scented. Once the counters are clean- you can do several things to discourage him hopping up there.

Set up a line of soda pop cans, with a few pebbles, coins, or marbles in them. Set them up right along the outside edge of the counter so when he jumps up he will knock them over.

Get a small fan and those minature helium mylar balloons? Tape the balloons to the side of the counter, set the fan on low to blow them about.

With masking tape, tape some bubble wrap to the countertop. When cat's jump their claws are unsheathed. He will land on the wrap popping some of the bubbles and that might scare him.

Go buy a cheap roll of shelf paper, the self adhesive type. Take it home and unroll it, cut it into long strips, and unpeel the strips. Set the strips on the counter/stove/etc sticky side up. Have on hand some crisco shortening (lard) if the strips stick to his paws, apply some crisco to the strips and the pad, wait a few minutes and it will peel right off.

Go to a discount store and look for flat trays you can put water in. Buy enough trays to help cover the area the cat is aiming for. Fill the trays partially with water and set them on the counters. You can do the same thing with the inexpensive plastic placemats, use double-sided tape put the placemats on the surface,.

You can also use a can of compressed air to startle a cat out of behavior but NEVER shoot directly at the cat, instead aim in the air above the cat and try to not let him see you spray it- the noise will startle him out of the behavior.

But seriously putting something in the kitchen that he can get up and off the floor and watch you and be sure you are safe, because that is all he is doing. Somehow when he was a kitten or a young cat with you, you created this behavior in him without knowing it (Happens all the time). Now, because he is alpha, he has to make sure that the person he has bonded to is safe from harm. Give him a platform where he can do this, and don't allow him up on anything else in the kitchen at ANY time.

If I am working on something paper oriented, he will hope into my lap and flop over on it. Hissing, growling, picking him up and setting him aside-he just comes back and flops on it again. Petting him then setting him aside, he comes back even faster (no matter how long you've done it). Set him aside over and over, and he attacks your hand. Set any work aside long enough to go use the bathroom, and he shreds/chews the paper into tiny ribbons. And whatever you're writing with? Forget it. He actively stalks and mauls whatever it is while you futily attempt to use it. You know how the phone company wastes money? By giving you all those phone books you really never need. Take an older phone book and when you are working on a project or a paper, put the phone book on the floor, opened. Sprinkle some organic catnip randomly between the pages, not just the opened pages, but others. He will play for hours this way and allow you to get your work done. This worked well for Shredder who definitely earned his name and then some!

Put him in a room alone, and he knocks everything on a flat surface onto the floor. He shreds any paper that he can find. He turns curtains into ribbons in ten minutes flat. Bags of catfood? Shredded and strewn EVERYWHERE, no matter if you've left a tub of it the size of his body available (we keep it in bins now, but if you don't do it quickly enough-catastrophe!) He really sounds high energy, active, curious and fun. I know, you don't think fun would be the adjective you would use to describe him. Make a cat safe room where you remove all the items he could knock off, and let that be his time-out room. Bring the curtains up and off the window by wrapping them safely with soft cord and tying them out of the way. Make sure he has distractions in this room, a turboscratcher, a cat dancer, just something.


Put him in the pet taxi to keep him out of your hair for a while (so that you can eat, cook, or work), and he yowls so very loud that you'll contemplate moving him (in the taxi) into the yard. Don't turn a cat carrier into a prison for him. And again only pay attention to him when he is good (your definition of good) He is not misbehaving, he is being a cat. You can't grow trees indoors so they settle for the tops of bookshelves, countertops or the fridge. He can't find bugs or mice in your home because you are such a good housekeeper so paper that you move, ankles that walk across the floor and other items are his prey-


I give him lots of attention. I play with him a few hours every day. he is mildly chubby, so feeding is not a problem. i even brush him so that he doesnt get huge hairballs. Please tell me what I can do to get him to stop being so destructive.

I do wish you the best of luck with him, and as I said, he sounds fun and challenging!
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you for giving me actualy usable tips instead of immediately pouncing on me and telling me that I am a bad owner. If I did not love him, I would not have tried this hard so far, and obviously not have sought help, but others cannot seem to see that. I will try what you have said, and hopefully it it will work somehow.


Thank you again.
post #16 of 28
Please let us know which of the suggestions you tried and whether or not they worked for you ... we all have cats and we all have issues with those cats. It would be extremely educational if you could even think about journaling your progress and perhaps posting it here. I know that I would be very interested in your entries.
post #17 of 28
You are welcome- and please do not think ill of members here who have a passion for cats. That is not to say that your passion does not equal their's but when they read that someone is swatting a cat with an open hand- it does ring off alarm bells. No matter how gently you swat a cat, it always backfires on the person doing the swatting. : Good luck with your cat and please post any other questions you have on the boards. This is a really good community, I am sorry you felt like you were under attack and had to circle the wagons or get eaten alive-

By the way does he have Bengal in him?
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
I keep a journal of pretty much everything already (physical), so i will just post here later.


Question, out of curiosity. Won't the "critter in the plant" distraction teach him to shred the plants?
post #19 of 28
I'm sorry i didn't read this better.. That was the first thing you said was that he was an indoor cat. I would venture to say, that is his problem. If he was a stray, he's been used to patrolling his neighborhood. Cats, especially male cats are extreeeemely territorial and life for them consists of making rounds and checking out THEIR territory. He is now forced to remain indoors after always living outdoors. That's got to be difficult for him and that would explain the behavioral problems. He is going out of his mind and feels trapped.

He sounds very willfull and bold. He probably got that way living out on the streets. It makes perfect sense to me now. Female cats patrol a very small area in the neighborhood while boys cover a large amount of land. I don't know why it is, but the male cats just have this innate and strong urge to check out his area.

I would consider letting him out and trust that he is street smart enough to handle himself. I think if you did, he would stop being so destructive. It doesn't sound like either option sits well with you. You sound worried to let him outdoors, but the destruction of your home is disheartening too. If it were me, and I lived in a neighborhood like the suburbs, I would so let that cat out to do his thing. I know he's got to be miserable not getting to go out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
He was (supervised). However, if any of the neighborhood cats approach him (even sitting a few feet away), he will growl at them, initiating fights. I would immediately take him indoors before it could escalate to this, but then he began to dash out past anyone who was walking in. One day, he did that and came home on 3 paws (and stayed that way for almost a week). I stopped taking him outside in an effort to stop him from dashing out like that (and it has been successful), and because he has the bad habit of sitting by the edge of the road to watch cars go by when he dashes out unsupervised. (it was usually where i'd find him when he did that). In addition, there are dogs who like to chase cats through our yard (the neighbor does not believe in confining). All of them are strictly indoor now,and have been for many months.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
he is a huge, gorgeous cat...maine coon looking with brown and black fur that has orange fur mixed in heavily. his belly is white, as well as his bib, and he is mitted. he has spots on his top half (which is more orange than the bottom), and gold-and green eyes. his lower half is darker and has longer hair than the top, but there's still some visible orange in there. he also has orange/gold fur around the eyes. it would not surprise me if he were part bengal (i've thought it before).
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
You would let him out among cat-chasing dogs? To get into constant fights with other cats who most likely have diseases? And let him sit by the edge of a heavily busy road which is constantly trolled by people, some who would have no qualms swerving to hit him because they "just plain hate cats" or because they're drunk? The road is so constantly peppered with roadkill here that you'd think people got paid $1000 per carcass. And I'm sure my neighbors would appreciate yet ANOTHER cat pooping in their flowerbeds and marking their houses. Of course he would stop being destructive quickly, he'd be killed! That is why I am trying so hard to create a more equilibrius state indoors, so that it is a better experience for us both. He will be far safer, I won't have to come home one day to find my cat cemented into the asphalt, and I will not have to replace 8 or ten objects in my home and spend the rest of the day cleaning when I had different plans.


Street smarts and vaccines have nothing on a 2-ton car or someone with a gun.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
You would let him out among cat-chasing dogs? To get into constant fights with other cats who most likely have diseases? And let him sit by the edge of a heavily busy road which is constantly trolled by people, some who would have no qualms swerving to hit him because they "just plain hate cats" or because they're drunk? The road is so constantly peppered with roadkill here that you'd think people got paid $1000 per carcass. And I'm sure my neighbors would appreciate yet ANOTHER cat pooping in their flowerbeds and marking their houses. Of course he would stop being destructive quickly, he'd be killed! That is why I am trying so hard to create a more equilibrius state indoors, so that it is a better experience for us both. He will be far safer, I won't have to come home one day to find my cat cemented into the asphalt, and I will not have to replace 8 or ten objects in my home and spend the rest of the day cleaning when I had different plans.


Street smarts and vaccines have nothing on a 2-ton car or someone with a gun.
Good points, and well taken. I understand. I hope the suggestions Hissy gave you work well and that you all are very happy together. And for the record, I recognize your concern and the fact that you continued posting despite the reactions you received shows you care. Thanks for caring, and I apologize for making you feel bad.
post #23 of 28
I have to agree that letting him outdoors is not the answer. Perhaps you can find an answer here:

Meowhoo.com After having indoor/outdoor cats for years, I now have a nice cat enclosure. We built it ourselves, and I am quite proud of it. Of the 14 strays and ferals I do have, only three will not go into it. I am working with them slowly hoping to acclimate them and get them used to being in the house/enclosure only. Outdoors is no longer safe for my guys- I learned that the hard way after two of my cats had a run-in with cars.
post #24 of 28
Just for clarification when I say ignore him, do so in short spurts of time, and never ignore feeding, watering and cleaning his litter pan, just petting and adoring him, tone it down and never pet him when he is meowing-
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
lol. he's always got food, water, a litterbox, and lots of petting, toys, and playtime. all bowls are checked frequently, and i clean all the litterboxes daily. i probably do pet him a little too much though. possibly why he seeks it so often... i pet him every time he is within reach, usually.
post #26 of 28
I dont have any advice. I just wanted to wish you the best with your cat.From your description he sounds like he is a beautifull boy. What is his name? I"m sorry I might have missed it in your posts.

Would love to see pics of him too.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
lol. he's always got food, water, a litterbox, and lots of petting, toys, and playtime. all bowls are checked frequently, and i clean all the litterboxes daily. i probably do pet him a little too much though. possibly why he seeks it so often... i pet him every time he is within reach, usually.
I would say that he has you trained well. If you stop paying constant attention to him, you will calm him down considerably. He needs boundaries, and you need to set them, not create the behaviors within him that spoils him.
post #28 of 28
He sounds very intelligent. Different techniques work for different cats. I hope you are able to settle him down a bit to make your life easier.

I totally agree with your decision to keep this boy inside. And I love Hissy's suggestions, I'm sure they will make a difference.

Do you have a big cat tree for him to climb? Maybe if some of your play with him involves LOTS of his energy it will help. For example, him climbing to the top of a cat tree (chasing a toy), running after crinkle balls, wrestling with a stuffed animal (might need to be spiked with catnip). And does he have a windowsill shelf so he can watch the great outdoors? Although my cats have always been inside, they love to "hunt" birds out the window.

When I first read your initial post, I saw your frustration, but also how much you have tried with this kitty. I'm sure you will see improvement, keep us posted!
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