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  1. #61
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    That's a hard one. It depends on his motivation for going there. If you regularly leave food out, it becomes self-rewarding behaviour to check it out and that is impossible to stamp out.

    One of the tricks that exists is a motion detector you can plug into a socket on the counter top, which beeps at him every time he jumps up.

    Another is to fill the kitchen counter for like a month with cans with coins taped inside of them so that he'll get startled - even when you aint there - when he jumps up.

    The problem with both of these methods is something called resistance behaviour and afterwards relapse behaviour. It basically means that he'll first try harder, before the behaviour dies down and that he'll try again in a couple of months after stopping, just to see if he was right to stop.

    Again, this completely depends on his motivation to be on the counters.

    If it is scavenging - and he has been rewarded in that way by getting away with stealing food, then it is pretty much necessary to let him discover for months on ends that there *is* no food there to be found.

    If it is simple curiosity/boredom, you could train him with the methods listed above, but he'll recognise when those measures are taken away - so the motion detector might be your best bet. It would also pay to make another spot more interesting by making it the steady spot to find hidden candy, toys and catnip. If he is restless, a play session a day for 15 minutes might do the trick as well.

    If it is a matter of him wanting to be near you while you re working in the kitchen, or a matter of wanting a spot in that particular territory, it can also be useful to put like a scratching post right next to the countertop. Everytime he is on the countertop you use a fishing rod toy to lure him onto the scratching post and give him a treat there. And make sure that scratching post is like rubbed with catnip, or the IT spot to be. Make it more desirable to be on than the countertop. For all I care, make it his feeding station - it might even help him lose some weight as he'll have to jump up to get his food which may be too much effort for him.


    Whichever training method you choose, depending on your circumstances, it will take 2-3 weeks to get results, and consistency is a big part of it. Relapse typically occurs after a month, month and a half, and if you don't respond correctly at that point, you have just pretty much doomed yourself as an animal that has learned to work for a reward is ten times harder to train than one that has consistently gotten the desired result, so fair warning.

    Or, you could do like I did: shoo them off when IM in the room, knowing full well they'll be on it when I aint, and just do a quick wash of the countertop before I start cooking - and keeping the countertop clear.

    Since your stove shouldn't be on when you re not there, and he ll know that he gets shooed when you are there, that too shouldn't be an issue.

    Take your pick
    Ooh, fabulous ideas, thank you so much!!

    I think it's fueled by curiosity/boredom. I haven't done the catnip thing in awhile, so I think I will put a fresh dose of that stuff on his cat perch kingdom and see if that helps to give him a more enjoyable place for him to hang out on.

    I may just do what you do and just not care so much what he does when I can't see him/ don't make it a rewarding place to be by clearing off food and utensils, etc... and washing extra before I make food.

    thanks so much!

  2. #62
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    Ok, question for the cat whisperers of the forum: how do I keep my cat off of the counters in a nice way? He is unfortunately too smart now and knows that when I leave tape sticky side up on things to avoid those things until they are gone.

    Some of it is a health concern in that I don't want pee paws on my counters, and some of it is simply concern for him because I don't want him to burn his paws on the stove or step on a fork or knock over glasses... (He is a BIG kitty... like dog size.)

    I gave up on counters with Jack.. I just use disinfecting wipes on the countertops before prepping any food, & place glasses as far back as possible. As for the stove, you could get some metal covers if it's got regular gas/electric coil burners, or some cheap heat-resistant silicone baking sheets for a ceramic flat range. That'll keep kitty's paws cool if he just won't listen/does whatever he wants when you're not home.


    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  3. #63
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon View Post
    I gave up on counters with Jack.. I just use disinfecting wipes on the countertops before prepping any food, & place glasses as far back as possible. As for the stove, you could get some metal covers if it's got regular gas/electric coil burners, or some cheap heat-resistant silicone baking sheets for a ceramic flat range. That'll keep kitty's paws cool if he just won't listen/does whatever he wants when you're not home.


    More good ideas! Thank you!!

    He just loves to see what I am doing in the kitchen - often sprawling out in a giant puddle of fur in the middle of the floor that I end up gently pushing to the side like we are mopping the floor. But then when I am at the stove he stands on his hind legs, and he's so big... that he is able to swipe at things on the counter and he likes to see what I am cooking. So I always have visions of him just leaping onto the stove without thinking and landing in a pot of soup or stir fry and burning his poor little toes.

    He also will swipe at knives if they are too close to the edge. It's like he is begging for a Darwin Award... or as I have suspected he wishes to murder me and suicide himself given some of the dumb things he has done:

    • Knocked my rosary onto my ipad charger which caused a small explosion in the charger and fused the metal from the rosary onto the charger prongs.
    • Got his head stuck in a bread bag and came running over to me for help in extricating himself.
    • Likes to lie down on the staircase where his fur blends in with the shadows and carpet in an attempt to kill us both.
    • Likes to jump at me on the stairs.

  4. #64
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    More good ideas! Thank you!!

    He just loves to see what I am doing in the kitchen - often sprawling out in a giant puddle of fur in the middle of the floor that I end up gently pushing to the side like we are mopping the floor. But then when I am at the stove he stands on his hind legs, and he's so big... that he is able to swipe at things on the counter and he likes to see what I am cooking. So I always have visions of him just leaping onto the stove without thinking and landing in a pot of soup or stir fry and burning his poor little toes.

    He also will swipe at knives if they are too close to the edge. It's like he is begging for a Darwin Award... or as I have suspected he wishes to murder me and suicide himself given some of the dumb things he has done:

    • Knocked my rosary onto my ipad charger which caused a small explosion in the charger and fused the metal from the rosary onto the charger prongs.
    • Got his head stuck in a bread bag and came running over to me for help in extricating himself.
    • Likes to lie down on the staircase where his fur blends in with the shadows and carpet in an attempt to kill us both.
    • Likes to jump at me on the stairs.
    Yeah...your kitty likely needs more stimulation/likes your company. He's your only pet and an indoor one at that, right? I suggest trying the cat perch training, and 15 minutes of play time like 3 times a week with a fishing rod toy.

    He sounds like a very fun and sweet pet, though
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  5. #65
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Yeah...your kitty likely needs more stimulation/likes your company. He's your only pet and an indoor one at that, right? I suggest trying the cat perch training, and 15 minutes of play time like 3 times a week with a fishing rod toy.

    He sounds like a very fun and sweet pet, though
    He's only 2 so I think he is still a bit kitteny . Good advice! I got him some wire toys that he absolutely adores. He has learned how to fetch so when he wishes to play the most he will bring one to me and I will throw it and he will go attack it and bring it back. It's very endearing. I try starting a play fest before he does, or if he seems to be extremely under foot.

    He is mainly an indoor cat, but in the winter (he hates summer) he begs to go outside and I let him onto my enclosed second floor deck. He loooooooooves the snow. We just got a fresh snowfall so when I get home the routine is he makes a beeline to the door and I let him out for 20 min.

  6. #66
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    He's only 2 so I think he is still a bit kitteny . Good advice! I got him some wire toys that he absolutely adores. He has learned how to fetch so when he wishes to play the most he will bring one to me and I will throw it and he will go attack it and bring it back. It's very endearing. I try starting a play fest before he does, or if he seems to be extremely under foot.

    He is mainly an indoor cat, but in the winter (he hates summer) he begs to go outside and I let him onto my enclosed second floor deck. He loooooooooves the snow. We just got a fresh snowfall so when I get home the routine is he makes a beeline to the door and I let him out for 20 min.
    That sounds perfect! And yeah, at that age, he is bound to still have some wild hairs as we say in Dutch
    Environmental enrichment is important for cats that spend their life mostly between four walls and especially those more focused on people make you the centre of their universe because of that
    ★ڿڰۣ✿ℒoѵℯ✿ڿڰۣ★





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  7. #67
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Default *gathers seance materials once more*

    *Lights candles & catnip-infused incense*

    *scatters valerian root about the room*

    *throws Moulin Rouge into the DVD player*

    @Amargith, I seek your wisdom once more in matters of the feline realm. . .
    whenever you have a moment, of course


    My kitty, Cricket, will soon be freed from his long-standing Ringworm Quarantine. He'll be allowed to have the run of the upstairs of the apartment. Unfortunately, much as I'd like to give him run of the whole place, including the downstairs living room area, I'm extremely reluctant to do so because of an issue with some unhygienic neighbors.


    You see, they have a male cat next door. He's indoor/outdoor. Super sweet- I call him KittyFriend- but that's off topic. I've the suspicion his litter box in the next door apt is on the other side of my bathroom wall. When it's very warm, &/or humid, the whole bathroom toward the back wall REEKS of cat urine. Sometimes the odor permeates lightly into the back corner or the living room, but that's fortunately rare.

    The neighbors consist of several 20somethings who party often. I don't think they clean KittyFriend's litter box often AT ALL, &/or KittyFriend is likely spraying the wall and floor if his box is against it. To be frank, these people don't give a shit about much, and are kind of inconsiderate neighbors (parking/noise/trash issues). It is highly unlikely they'd make any adjustments if I were to approach them. At this point, I imagine the drywall & subfloor need replacing, and no way would that pack of assholes take that on. The landlord is also pretty hands-off, too. This also is my friend's apartment, technically, so I don't have much in the way of power, anyway. I just clean the bathroom like crazy, including the walls, & run the bathroom vent fan.


    So, with intermittent the bathroom odor ultimately beyond my control, I'm concerned about Cricket developing a marking habit if he's permitted downstairs & catches a whiff of KittyFriend's pee. Do you think just keeping the bathroom door closed & having a 2nd litter box downstairs nearby might help prevent a marking issue, or would it be better to just limit him to the upstairs? I don't know if you have any experience with an issue like this, but I figured you're the best person to ask.


    Second question, is a simpler one: I'm in the market for a new scratching post, since Cricket's old sea-grass tower bored him/got ruined from ringworm.. Does your colony of cats have a preferred sort of scratching post? My mom had Jack declawed as a kitten, which I won't ever do to Cricket, so, my experience with scratching posts are limited.



    Thanks in advance for any suggestions on this, O Great Cat Behaviorist.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  8. #68
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Hey!

    Sorry for the wait, had to mull it over for a bit.

    Here goes:

    1) That is a sticky situation - literally. In a nutshell - it totally depends on Cricket.

    Given that he is a male cat, he is likely going to need 4-5 rooms as his territory. Do you have that kind of space upstairs?

    Also...depending on what the other cat is doing on the other side of that wall, you may see two things happening, or if you're lucky - nothing at all. There is a distinct difference between marking and peeing for a cat. If the cat on the other side is in fact marking, he may just start spraying himself. If the cat on the other side is peeing, he may just associate the spot with a litter box. You see, we can't tell the difference with our underdeveloped noses, but they sure can. And then there is the option where the bathroom is not an interesting spot, too much on the periphery of his turf to care, and he won't do anything. The only way to know is to..well, observe him as he investigates - if you decide to let him go there.

    Normally, male cats start spraying as they hit puberty - around 7-8 months, though some have been known to hit it at 5-6. Try to get him neutered at 8 months, but if he sprays before that, get him to the vet, stat. The urge will subside and the habit of routinely spraying won't have set in yet. That said, it won't keep him from spraying if he feels his territory actually has been threatened, but it will at least prevent sexual spraying.

    Personally, I'd be tempted to let him downstairs and either keep the bathroom closed, or let him in and see what he does. If he does pee there, consider making that spot the litter box area if at all possible. Since you suspect that its a dirty litter box that is causing the problems on the other side, chances are that that is what the peeing is about (granted, the partying and stress of not knowing what will happen next could cause spraying, but usually spraying is a smaller pool of urine against the wall whereas litter box issues are large pools on the floor). Make sure you clean that place with either two thirds of water and one third of vinegar, green soap or better yet, enzyme cleansers from the pet shop. It will minimise the smell and will keep him from associating the entire bathroom with a litter box. Do not wash with ammonia or even bleach, as those can mimic cat pee in scent to a cat and will attract them. IF it does turn out to be spraying that he does there, wash thoroughly, spray with feliway and place a scratching post there so he can mark without having to use extreme tactics like spraying. You could also play games with him using a wand toy there, to make him feel more confident about the place instead of territorial and scared.

    If that doesn't stop him or he uses the entire bathroom as a litter box, consider closing the bathroom off for him, completely. Don't wait too long to do this as you don't want the spraying/peeing habit to establish - best to nip it in the butt. It is unfortunately normal for cats to exchange spraying scents on the periphery of their territories so they have all the info without having to face each other. It is up to us to teach them that our home is not a periphery, and that scratching and facial marking is all that is needed to feel safe there. I'd also recommend having at least two litter boxes, one upstairs and one downstairs, if you do let him downstairs.

    Lastly, keep in mind that he is young right now - territory may not mean much just now. That's another thing you've got going for you, chances are that he may get used to the situation without being territorial about it. That said...when he turns 2-3 years old, he may start thinking bout things differently, but hopefully by then he'll feel confident and relaxed enough with the situation that it won't become an issue.

    Remember to introduce him room by room, leaving his safe room open and available to retreat to anytime he likes, if you first introduce him to the place downstairs. And if at all possible, try not to stress or make a big deal out the situation, as he'll read your body language and may get uncomfortable himself. Just see what happens and know you can adjust if you need to. If you don't make a big deal out of it, he may not either.

    It's..a less than ideal situation, for sure, though, but it'll give you an awesome glimpse into what kind of individual you've adopted into your family

    ok - next item!

    2) I have vertical, sisal scratching posts, for the most part. Most cats are vertical scratchers (though some like both and some actually only like horizontal but they're a minority). Sisal is a type of rope that they tend to enjoy clawing up and it is a very popular material for making scratching posts. The main thing to think about is how big your kitty will get. Often, people buy scratching posts as they get a kitten, and, well...after a few months the cat kind of grows out of the scratching post. That means he'll be able to topple it or he cannot fully stretch on the scratching post anymore - which then means it is time to move on to the couch. So, get one that is really stable and that is going to be able to fulfil his needs as an adult as well and you should be golden. If he is a scaredy cat, one that goes high up will be much appreciated.

    You're best off placing a (bigger) scratching post either in the centre of all the action, which usually means the living room, so they can observe while being part of it all from their high hide.

    I personally also use singular scratching posts (one stem and maybe a platform) or scratching pads I can mount to the wall near exits - this is especially useful for the front door (both indoor and outdoor cats), and the back door (particularly for outdoor cats). This way he'd be able to vent his excitement at seeing you walk through the door while smelling of all kinds of strange things from the big bad world on the scratching post. However, if you only plan on buying one, this is not a requirement, as such
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  9. #69
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Ooh, timely thread! (Good luck with Cricket, @Lexicon !)

    May I get some advice, too? We just moved, and the cats are not consistently using the litterbox. We're keeping the upstairs bedroom doors closed since if they find piles of laundry they are liable to pee on them. Anything cloth-like on any surface is fair game, apparently. Now, they don't love the litterbox we have (a Litter Robot, bought about a month before we moved and introduced slowly, wasn't turned on for the first couple weeks) but they do use it sometimes, and I'm pretty invested in making it work full-time since I really hate litterbox duty (heh, "doodie").

    I thought we were doing okay with keeping stuff they might pee on out of their reach, but this morning I found cat pee sprinkles right out in the middle of the dining room floor. Not on anything, just on the bare floor. I'm really frustrated! Help!
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
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  10. #70
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Ooh, timely thread! (Good luck with Cricket, @Lexicon !)

    May I get some advice, too? We just moved, and the cats are not consistently using the litterbox. We're keeping the upstairs bedroom doors closed since if they find piles of laundry they are liable to pee on them. Anything cloth-like on any surface is fair game, apparently. Now, they don't love the litterbox we have (a Litter Robot, bought about a month before we moved and introduced slowly, wasn't turned on for the first couple weeks) but they do use it sometimes, and I'm pretty invested in making it work full-time since I really hate litterbox duty (heh, "doodie").

    I thought we were doing okay with keeping stuff they might pee on out of their reach, but this morning I found cat pee sprinkles right out in the middle of the dining room floor. Not on anything, just on the bare floor. I'm really frustrated! Help!

    Yeah.....without doing a full analysis/diagnosis (and I'm open to that, if you're willing to put in the time), I'm going to put it really simple to you:

    What do you hate cleaning more?

    Litter boxes?

    or...absorbing surfaces that may be all over the house?


    Coz your cats sure know what they prefer to use for their elimination
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