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they are driving me crazy

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
i recently adopted two kittens from the shelter. they are 6 months old and very destructive. they have knocked off and broken some very heavy and valuable things from my mantle...they really are out of control with their behavior and causing a lot of stress in the family. they are little lovey kitties for the most part when i am home wiht them but the trouble starts during the hours when we are at work or while we are trying to sleep. one is an abby and if he is not knocking things over in the middle of the night then he starts talking non stop around 5 am so i will get up and feed him(if i lock him out of the bed room he just keeps tapping at the door and whining out side of it)....can't keep them off my tables, counters, flower pots. my perfect 4 year old cat whole has always been very good is now picking up their bad habits..as i was eating dinner last nights she decided to get up and LAY on my dining room table!!! i can tell them no, and squirt them with water while i am there and see it happening but like i said the problem mainly is going on while i am sleeping or not there.. any suggestions??
post #2 of 6
They are not being destructive, they are being kittens. Kittens interact and play, and the reason they are so active at night (i would bet during the week they are the worst) is because with no one home, they play vigourously and then sleep the rest of the day to play again when their people come home. I would suggest that you set aside one room for them as a play area. Put in empty cardboard boxes, flipped over with holes cut in the sides at all angles, weight the boxes down with books, and let the cats play in there. Put in climbing trees, empty out a drawer so they can jump in and out. Use your imagination and give them something like an obstacle course to run. Hang toys from mid-air by a hook in the ceiling so they have to jump a little bit to get the prize. Plus, as soon as you can and it is safe to, get them neutered and spayed. Instead of spraying water at them, take a roll of tin foil and pull out a large section of it. Leaving it flat, when they start to act out, shake the foil in the air, and shout one word, NO then they will scatter- the noise will scare them.

To keep them off counters, tables and such, the easiest way to do this, and it is a pain but it works and only takes one time, clear off everything from your shelves, and go out and get a cheap roll of shelf paper. Peel the paper off and place it sticky side up on the areas these kittens are jumping on. Weight the paper down with something like bricks or flat stones, make sure you are home that day, and the first time a cat comes and jumps up on this area, he will not ever do it again. They hate stuff that sticks to them. Pick him gently off the paper, and put him on the floor, give him lots of loves and rubs and send him on his way. It is a very effective treatment and kitty will remember.

One other thing, they are going up high, because they like to be up there and be safe. Give them a place where they can do this, if you have high windows, buy a kitty hammock, or get a nice cat tree. Just give them an alternative space to satisfy their natural desires and once they are spayed and neutered and have grown a bit, this will stop. Good luck!

Oh and since you didn't say if they are spayed or neutered and they have been but it has been recent? It takes about a month for all those hormones to level out, so if that is the case, this just becomes a waiting game or patience for you!
post #3 of 6
I would agree with Hissy -- they sound like they are just doing kitten things.

Abysinians are known for very high energy. I have a Russian Blue and she similarly is high energy. We simply cat proofed a room for her and when we went to work she stayed in her own room. We inspected daily for cat hazards because she was apt to eat all sorts of weird things. The only time she was let out was when we were home. We had to do this until she was about 6 years old -- even when we went on vacation. She didn't have intentions to be "naughty" -- to her cat mind she was just entertaining herself all day long -- and obviously having a great time of it

We also did the thing that Susan said and that is to leave her all by herself at night. We never would respond to her meows once she was "put to bed". . .she now has the same sleeping schedule as humans and no longer needs to stay in her own room.

I know you really just want to get some sleep but when you get up at 5am after kitty meows and meows, what it does is teach him that persistant meowing and tapping on the door bring food -- not exactly what you want.
post #4 of 6
And I would advise (although you've probably done this already) that you put away all your breakable stuff. It's helpful (to me, anyway) to think of them as permanent two-year-olds; they are just big enough to get into things and destroy them, but don't really understand what they are doing, so you have to look out for them.

Also, try tiring them out before bed with some intensive play sessions. It might help them sleep through the night.

How long have you had them? My kitty used to stay up all night, too...but after she was with me for a few months, she learned that Mommy is not going to get up after the lights go off until the clock beeps, so she usually settles down and naps or plays quietly by herself.

They sound totally normal to me. Kittens can be amazingly destructive. But they're just so danged CUTE!
post #5 of 6
I agree with all of the above! (These people are so good! ) In addition to locking them away when you aren't there, here are some things you can work on when they are out and about.

Leave something like pop cans with a few pennys in them right on the edge of counters and tables where the cats like to jump up. Even when you are not looking, if they jump up they will knock off the can making a loud noise which scares them. Line the edge of the ledge with cans so that if they decide to do it repeatedly, they get the same result. It won't take long for them to associate jumping up with the bad noise.

Also, keep a can with pennys or ball bearings around. When they do something bad, shake the can (same concept as the tin foil mentioned earlier). With the noise as the deterrant, they won't associate the "punishment" with you as some cats do with the spray bottle. To them, whenever they jump up on something it magically makes a horrible noise.

You can also try leaving orange peel or other citrus smelling thing on the places you don't want the cats. They generally don't like the smell of citrus.

Just as a side note, my cats didn't respond to putting tin foil on the ledge (they aren't supposed to like the feel of tin foil, either). They just sat on it. My cats also like the sticky side of tape. They play with it and chew on it. I have also heard of cats eating oranges even though they are supposed to be repelled by it. I guess the point is that no method is fool-proof and each cat responds differently.

Good luck!
post #6 of 6
I agree with everything everyone has said. Their just kitten, no diffent than small children (2 years old and under). When my 2 were kittens, I lost 6 lamps in 1 month. They were just playing and through the years I have learn what I can have and what I can't (can't have plants--not even cut flowers in vase, if something is dear to me it goes in the curio cabinet). I've learn where I can sit things and where I can't. I have discovered that the older mine get (their 9 years now) the less they get into. Some may consider that a good thing, I think it's kinda sad.
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