View Full Version : help! My cats are destroying the wall.

01-31-2001, 01:39 PM
I'm a new member here and hope to get some advice on a problem I've been having with my cats. My cats for some time now have been scratching the paper of my walls little by little every day. They are only doing it where there liter pans are. When they finish there business the stretch up and scratch. After a period of time it began to peel of which distracts them and makes them peel it even more. I took an old piece of carpet and nailed it to the wall where they were doing this so that maybe they would scratch there instead. It worked for a while then they moved the other side of the wall. I need suggestions on how to help stop this. They only do it in the laundry room where the liter pans are so company can't see it but I can and it bothers me. Any suggestions please, but declawing is not an option where I'm concerned. Any ideas?

01-31-2001, 06:58 PM
Welcome, bookitty1231!
Not sure if my suggestion will help, but here's something that I have tried in the past that worked with my cats. Cats don't like the smell of citrus, and you can buy different kinds of sprays (cat repellants)for this purpose. Take a look at www.drsfostersmith.com (http://www.drsfostersmith.com) under the cats only section. They may have something there. Another home rememdy is apple vinegar. Most don't like the smell of that either.

Another option is to make the area feel strange to the cat, so putting up double sided tape may work. It will keep them from scratching there. I also have softpaws nail caps(www.softpaws.com) on my kitty, and that can help reduce damage without having to declaw http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif I just love those things! They work great http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

4 feline house
02-02-2001, 10:09 PM
Would removing the wallpaper and painting be an option? Otherwise, a barrier, either smell-wise like the citrus or cover-wise, like the carpet may be your only choices, but one or another should do the job. Bless you for considering declawing to be no option.

02-02-2001, 11:10 PM
What about a covered litterbox? Mimi shredding the wallpaper in a bathroom of a rental house once, due to scratching around, and I had to pay to rewallpaper the whole room! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif
She isn't as bad now as she hardly ever has to use the litter box. She is an indoor/outdoor kitty. But when it is cold and I have to leave her indoors, I make sure to pull that litterbox away from the walls. She scratches everything, but the litter! I was thinking one of those two piece boxes might work for you.

Good luck. Let us know what happens. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

02-03-2001, 07:20 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif Spencer, thanks for the warning.I too have heard that the smell of a covered litterbox could be strong and overwhelming to the cats if not changed everyday. That can get pricy. The scratching post is a good idea and would probably work with my youngest Wylie but I have the feeling my to 1yr. olds would snub the idea complety and one of them (Lianna) is the ring leader. I think I will try the citrus spray and see how it works. My husband has come up with an idea I think might work. He wants to get some of that material, Famica I think it's called, that goes around shower walls and put it around the walls where the litter pans are. Of course he will have to put it high enough where they can't scratch around it. He says he can make it look nice plus it can be whiped clean easily. What do you think? Sounds like a good idea but will it work.

"As we all know, cats now rule the world."
--John R.F. Breen

02-03-2001, 07:38 PM
I certainly didn't know about the problems with covered litter boxes. Sorry! I used to use one for my previous cat, Shrimp Boat, a long time ago, because the lab always wanted to eat what was in the box! Yuck! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif I kept it scooped regularly and never had a problem with her using it and she was strictly an indoor cat. Just had to keep the opening pointed towards the wall, with just enough room for Shrimp Boat to get in and out of there.
As for wall coverings, maybe a Bead Board type of wall covering, that you can paint. You can finish it off with a nice molding. A lot of people do that in bathrooms, half way up the wall. Then you can keep your wallpaper where the cats can't reach.
Let us know what you end up doing, and good luck.

4 feline house
02-05-2001, 06:59 PM
The formica would be a wonderful solution, but it can be surprisingly expensive, and may be hard to install as part of a wall. lhg0962's idea of the wainscotting (sp?) may be the best solution yet.

02-12-2001, 06:26 PM
martin. Get a water pistol and "shoot" the offending cat when it misbehaves! They soon learn what you don't want them to do!
Originally posted by SpencerTheLion:
...what I'm about to try is proping the foam-reinforced posterboards between the litterbox & the litter pan (it's in a corner).

This might be a bit risky, but I'm also going to spray an ammonia cleaner on the walls, so the cats think it's 'marked'. Don't want to go overboard and discourage them from the litterbox!

02-12-2001, 06:36 PM
Martin, Don't think I haven't tried that already, I did. When they were kittens it was a suggestion in a book about caring and living with cats. Needless to say it didn't work. But the looks they gave could make you afraid to sleep at night. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

"As we all know, cats now rule the world."
--John R.F. Breen

02-12-2001, 07:30 PM
Hello Bookitty1231,
How can it not work? I used it on mine when they were kittens; I would first shoot their tail, and they would look around wondering what it was and where it was coming from, then they learned to associate the noise of the pistol with the water, and shooting on the floor near them was good enough to send them scurrying for cover! Then they got defiant and tried to stare me out, so I shot them on the tail, then the body, then the ... but I never had to shoot them in the head (thankfully!) as by this time they'd run away! In the end all I had to do was pick-up the water pistol and they'd behave themselves! Maybe you weren't strong enough to persist with the discipline when they looked at you all hurt? An example of "spare the rod; spoil the child" ?!

4 feline house
02-12-2001, 11:40 PM
Martin, the problem with cats that can't be disciplined with noise, water guns, etc. is usually not because the human is not persistent enough, it is because the cat knows that the punishment will only occur when the human is around. If the pleasure of the behavior is more rewarding than the displeasure of the punishment, they will keep up the behavior, even if it is only when the human is not around. This is especially true when the behavior is stemming from a natural instinct, as is their instinct to cover up their waste. Your are lucky it worked for you, and it can be an effective tool, but it is not foolproof.

02-13-2001, 06:59 AM
My daughter's ragdoll cat, Gabe, is not fazed at all by a water gun. He will simply stand right where he is and stare. At the first squirt he simply closes his eyes and stays his ground! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by Pam (edited February 13, 2001).]

02-13-2001, 02:41 PM
Oh I see! Sorry I can't help then. By the way Gabe seems like my kind of cat http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/mad.gif

[This message has been edited by Martin (edited February 13, 2001).]

02-13-2001, 03:28 PM
You are exactly right 4 Feline House. They never bother the wall when I'm there, they do it while I'm at work. My husband's brother remodeled his bathroom recently and we were able to get some of the fiberglass that was in the shower so we should have it up this weekend.

"As we all know, cats now rule the world."
--John R.F. Breen

02-13-2001, 03:57 PM
Gabe is a stinker. He stands there and squinches up his eyes and waits for you to pull the trigger. Then he just simply closes them. After you squirt, he opens his eyes and gives you a look of scorn!

My own cats were squirted as kittens more by my son than anyone. To this day if he even picks up a Windex bottle they run! On the other hand they don't run when they see me with anything with a trigger. They remember that I am the pushover! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

02-13-2001, 04:12 PM
Pam, this offering may not be appreciated by some people, but tongue is firmly in cheek when I say ...get a bigger gun!

02-27-2002, 08:01 AM
Another home rememdy is apple vinegar. Most don't like the smell of that either.

Recently, Fister has also started scratching on the wallpaper, it's only in the corridor about 1 meter from his litterbox. I have the feeling he does it when he is bored or doesn't get his way! But I'm not sure. He has not been down in the yard much recently (he has a tree there he likes to scratch) so that might be the reason.

I've heard before that cats hate the smell of vinegar, so I think I'll try and spray some of that on. :)

Declawing a cat I would never do!

Quote: A cat without claws is an invalid

02-27-2002, 11:06 AM
My female calico used to scratch the walls by her litter box.

I got three pieces of plexiglas, one for the floor, and two for the sides. They were held together with pieces of sticky back velcro.
The litter box was in a corner of the room.

The thing that is nice about it, is that you can move them to vacuum - and if you want to move the litter box to another room for some reason, you can.

At a plastics shop they sometimes have "leftovers" and so it isn't as expensive as having pieces custom cut.

02-27-2002, 12:36 PM
Gini - that's exactly what I did, by suggestion of someone here at Pet Talk to keep my cats from flinging poop on the walls. Works like a charm and I'm sure would solve the wall paper thing. :)

02-27-2002, 03:46 PM
Just a thought in passing - I knew someone who had textured wallpaper and her cats used to run up the walls and tear strips out of it - then she removed said paper - lo and behold - no more cats running and tearing wallpaper!!:D :D


Sara luvs her Tinky
02-28-2002, 12:18 AM
In Cat Fancy magazine they have an add for ( what looks like a thick double sided sticky foam) that goes on your walls, or other things that discourages kitties from scratching on things. I didn't look at it closely, fortunatelly I don't have that problem, but I know it is for discouraging kitties from scratching.