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Cats driving me crazy!

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  • Cats driving me crazy!

    I have 2 indoor cats. We live next to a busy road so letting them outside is a death sentence. One we adopted 3 years ago and the other showed up this fall. Both are males, one is about 3-4 years old, the other around 1. Both are neutered, and not declawed.

    And both are driving me MAD! They are into EVERYTHING! I think it has gotten worse, and I swear the newbie is learning from the older one. They are constantly on the countertops, we have had to put childproof locks on the cupboards with chips and bread in, they gnawed through a bag of dog food that was in a cupboard in the basement, gnawed through a bag of cat litter, chewed through several bags of the chemical handwarmers, have chewed on the plastic ice cream pails that contain their cat food and the dog's glucosamine chews, and dug some dirt out of a plant today bc apparently they are running out of things to ruin.

    I also think they have eating disorders. They are fed dry in the morning and canned at night, and neither are underweight. We cannot leave anything on the table for any length of time. I realize a lot of this is normal for cats, but I have never had a cat(s) that did all of these things with such frequency.

    Any hints? Please don't tell me your cats are the same and that's the way it is. Because I will gladly punch a few holes in a box and ship them both. I've considered leaving food out when I leave-maybe they will get fat and lazy and behave.

  • #2
    They are bored off their rockers. The pair of neutered males will also enjoy the mob mentality, especially when unsupervised. Cats know the difference between when the Enforcers are around and when they are not. The rules change.

    So you can't build them any kind of cat pen outside? I have seen it done; there was a thread about it here a while back.

    Do you (or they) have the time and desperation to teach them to hang out on a kitty leash outside? Some outgoing, cooperative cats are open to negotiation. They get it that the only way they are getting outside is via the leash; they compromise and call it good.

    I take it they are well-behaved when you are around? You pay attention to them, play with them if they are wild and need some free lunging?

    I'd guess that cats who dig into food and then dig into worthless things like kitty litter and plant dirt are lowering their standards. They probably liked the goal of finding food and then, "inconsistent positive reinforcement being the best conditioning system" decided to dig in whatever else they could find, too. You never know when you'll hit paysteak in the paydirt. And if you have no job and no supervision, then you have all day to dig, eh?

    So can you shut up the food (and, I suppose the poisonous stuff), but provide them with things to wreck? Package it up and make it the hard task they want. A cat needs a goal, a raison d'etre, a reason to get up in the morning. You'll get one of two things: Either they'll quit and become useless slackers. Or they'll enjoy wrecking the legal stuff.

    But the key with cats is to give them something they want. They don't delay gratification. They don't do things out of the same kind of automatic loyalty as dogs. They understand that No is conditional.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

    Comment


    • #3
      You don't have to take them outside to relieve boredom. Plenty of toys (one of my cats prefers dog toys, as they're bigger), a cat tree or two, and invest in a laser pointer for some playtime daily. The more you can tire them out, the better they'll behave.

      Child proofers (the little tabs you install and have to push to open a door) do wonders for cupboards. And breadboxes. Don't forget to install one on the breadbox. Ask me how I know.

      Comment


      • #4
        Get them a kitten. Preferably an obnoxious little female one who will drive them bonkers.

        Otherwise....give them more stuff to do. Boxes with some holes cut out are a big hit with my crew, hours of entertainment. Bouncing off of MVP's idea...why not package up a box with some catnip in it? They'll be able to smell the cat nip, and if you give them a thinner cardboard box sealed up with packing tape, with maybe just a few pencil holes stabbed in it, it should keep them busy.

        Comment


        • #5
          After watching "Cat from Hell" on Animal Planet they gave me an idea. He had people create high spaces in their house using a combination of furniture and shelving to get them up high so they had a view that cats prefer. Also add lots, and lots of scratching places and put the no scratch tape on any place you want them to stop scratching like furniture. You can squirt water when they go where you don't want them. Add toys, dangling ones wherever you can, hang scratching things on door knobs. If you have a screened in porch that might work but you can add window seats, they sell them at pet stores for about $30 each. I think I would start by getting them to high places, creating walking spaces up as high as you can.

          Comment


          • #6
            Love that show...

            The cats need to be worn out. You need to devote an hour to wearing them out whether its inside with a laser pointer or out on a leash. However... if you can teach two cats to jog with you, you deserve your own show.
            Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

            Comment


            • #7
              An old boyfriend built an elaborate cat tree for his indoor only Bengal that was going crazy, it did seem to help, though the cat did need a loooong nightly play session with people.

              My SIL has two crazy indoor only cats, when my, cat loving, college student son is home on vacation, she hires him to come stay in her house during the day and play with her cats . Then she has some peace and quiet when she gets home from work.

              Comment


              • #8
                yup

                Yup, boredom. I like the cat dancers and the round plastic things with the balls in them for toys the cats can play with alone. On the counters, get some carpet tape (the two sided sticky stuff) and put that on the counters where they are likely to land for a while. They won't like the sticky stuff on their paws.
                Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

                Comment


                • #9
                  what about something like a toy that dispenses food?

                  http://www.petco.com/product/106777/...:referralID=NA

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks for the ideas! Except for the cat #3 idea, that was a HORRIBLE idea! They have a carpet and twine covered high perch that DH made. There are also plenty of windows on the 4 season porch that they can look out, and a large bay window in the living room that they can watch the birds from. I will use some of the ideas to give them things to destroy when I leave in the morning.

                    We have a long piece of cardboard with sticky tape that we can set on the counter. Also tried those vibration-activated high-pitched things, but we had to turn them off every time we went in the kitchen bc they were so loud and annoying, and then the cats knocked one of them off the counter and broke it. They were a PITA.

                    At night they go in the basement, otherwise they wrestle and ram around and keep us awake. And I do try to keep all food under lock and key, but it has gotten ridiculous. After my first post I remembered even more things that have been destroyed. I appreciate the ideas.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Honestly, I would leave dry food out for them to free feed. I would rather have a cat that is a little pudgy than one getting into my food.

                      I bought one of these and my cats love it. It keeps them entertained for hours http://www.amazon.com/FroliCat-BOLT-...6297544&sr=8-2
                      RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                      May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                      RIP San Lena Peppy
                      May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                        The cats need to be worn out. You need to devote an hour to wearing them out whether its inside with a laser pointer or out on a leash. However... if you can teach two cats to jog with you, you deserve your own show.
                        Cats and toddlers and young horses. Do they make a cat hotwalker?
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A good sturdy cat tower with lots of ledges and hiding tubes.

                          Leave out bigger sized card board boxes. Cut out a few small holes, so they can stalk and bat at each other. Mine love to jump in and out of boxes.

                          I've also left out opened paper grocery bags. My cats love to run into them, slide and bat each other through small holes you can cut in the bag.
                          MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                          http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Oh my gosh, that's what I was thinking too, lol.

                            Hey they make a sort hot walker, the ball in the loop with a scratch pad in the center. They love that and get the kind that lights up. Since the cat wants to do the chasing it's easier to have them chase after something than to put them into something that tells them to move. They would be annoyed and probably uncooperative, that's cats.



                            Originally posted by mvp View Post
                            Cats and toddlers and young horses. Do they make a cat hotwalker?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Walmart has some great feed bins for dog and cat food. Large ones on rollers. Got one for the dog dry food and one for the cat dry food. No more bags with holes chewed threw. Throw down empy soda cartons--the 12
                              pack and 24 pack boxes....those get lots of use.

                              Loved that laser thing toy posted earlier. Have foster cats as well as ours
                              and got 12 in the house right now and they don't seem to be as much as a pain as yours are right now. Got several big cat trees from Craigslist which
                              really seems to help. Had one on each side of fireplace but they used the mantle as part of the speedway. It moved to the front porch (screened in,
                              cat door in laundry room window).

                              The rings with balls in them also provide lots of entertainment.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Fish? You need to tie the top lid of the aquarium with a belt, so they don't lift the top off and flip the fish out with their paws.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  We have the ring with the ball/scratchy middle. They do play with that, especially the younger one. I gave them a box with some holes. They have been better lately, I swear the insanity comes in spurts. Maybe they realized they were getting close to being outdoor cats?

                                  Also got some of the SSScat sprayers. I think I have been sprayed by them more than the cats, but I know they have gotten it a few times. I am not concerned about them never being on the counter, but they had become obsessed.

                                  Fish are just one more thing for me to take care of, and for me to keep them out of. Otherwise, a good idea for someone wanting some fish anyway. The boys had tadpoles for awhile when we only had the one cat and I am pretty sure the cat got a few of those.

                                  I am going to check out the pet store on my day off and see if I can find some reasonably priced cool toys.

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