At my rope's end
Just when I thought things calmed down, Casey and Smokey are getting into trouble again.
Back in March, they knocked over my Dale Tiffany floor lamp on night while I was asleep. I still haven't figured out how they did that without my hearing it fall over.
The following weekend, Smokey decided to start shredding toilet paper, forcing me to have to hide it from them.
In October, they decided they didn't like on of my Dr. Phil books and destroyed the dust jacket.
Sometime after that, they attacked a second book.
After the second book attack, I found some new bookcases to put in.
Originally, I had two of the black 3-shelf cases like the one still next to the two new cases. With the new bookcases in, I figured that things were solved since they could reach the bottom shelves standing on their back feet, but they wouldn't be able to pull things off like before.
Last week, after a month of not putting cayenne pepper in my upstairs bathroom sink, Smokey decided to start ripping out the drain stopper (the one that used to attach to the little pull lever on the faucet) and hiding it from me. He also began knocking things off my sink, which he hasn't done in a long time. Casey also surprised me by jumping up into the bottom left shelf in the above picture. I yelled NO at him and got up off the couch, and he jumped down.
Tonight I came home and saw that they had pulled off two books off the bottom left shelf. Other books were knocked over but still on the shelf. The two on the floor had some of the edges of their covered chewed on.
I did some yelling, and the two of them kept their distance. I got out the cayenne pepper and put some on the shelves in front of the books. I'm not sure what to do now. I'm running out of places and ways to get things out of their reach. The only thing I can think of is to cut out a cardboard panel to put over the front of the books on the shelves so they can't get to them.
I'm just so tired with the stress of work and trying to start my new career/business and am tired of constantly wondering/worrying that they're getting into trouble when I'm not around. I try to make sure they have plenty of toys to keep them occupied, which they play with all the time, but it's like I'm not around and they get bored.
Is there one room you could shut them in while you are away?
Welcome to life with cats!
All this sounds pretty normal, to me.
So let me ask a few questions:
- do you have any cat trees for them to climb on?
- where do you keep their toys?
- do you spend any time playing with them, one on one, and 2 or 3 at a time?
Cats are curious critters, and are very social; they get bored easily! They also need exercise, like all living beings, and climbing is what they do.
I regularly (every other week) rotate which cat toys are out and which are put away. Those put away are in a container with catnip, so they are QUITE enticing when they come out again.
No, there is no room for them to be shut in because the rooms that have doors are the basement (where my painting studio and model railroad are), my bedroom (which I've moved a lot into to keep away from them), and my home office (don't want them getting into my computers and cables and other items stored in there as well as the Christmas tree).
They do have a cat tree, and they are allowed up on the kitchen table to look out the window at the birds and squirrels on the fence.
Their toys (except for the catnip mice) are always out for them to play with and scattered around on the floor.
I do spend time with them when I can, both one on one and two at a time, which they both love.
They also have a cat tent that I've been leaving out when I'm home, but I've been putting it away when I'm gone because Casey has taken to chewing on it, even though he's had it since he was a kitten at my parents' house.
Maybe take to hiding away some of the toys at a time, to vary the environment some, and make it interesting for them. Do other "environment enrichment" things like, one day, leave some paper grocery bags standing on the floor, then some other day leave a couple cardboard boxes, maybe with holes cut in them for them to explore, etc. In short, keep things changing enough so their minds are occupied, and they will find less "trouble" to get into.
Oh, and if they like catnip toys, keep a container - a coffee can or cookie jar will do - with some loose catnip in it, and throw some toys in there to "marinate" for a week or so - it makes old toys new again!
Your cats are bored!!! Get them a their own cat tree. It'll give them places to sleep and play. One no-brainer toy is the laser light. You're sitting there watching tv, chilling? It takes a twist of the wrist to get them going and it tires them out! Too much work for ya? How about a battery operated laser light? Absolutely no effort on your part.
How about putting baby blankets or kitty beds in that black shelf? Cheap and easy.
Rule of thumb for being owned by cats: CAT PROVE YOUR PLACE!!! You HAVE to if you want to keep your sanity and your belongings. SEE FIRST PARAGRAPH
Feliway concentrated cat spray! Spray 8 inches from the floor (not directly on cats). Spray on their bedding. I SWEAR by this stuff! I've had MANY cats come and gone through my doors and have not once had a problem with neither them or my cats!
Please don't give up on them.
My babies are all pretty good about not destroying things, except for Ming. Ming is my resident scratching machine. ANY surface in my house has felt the wrath of his claws and he just cannot resist chewing on anything plastic. Since he is a fairly lazy cat, not to mention LARGE, I just put most of my thing up where he will be too lazy to climb. I can't leave plastic laying around anywhere for his sake and my couch is denim, that holds up to long, sharp, Siamese claws pretty well. I know your frustration. I would leave paper bags and milk bottle tops out during the day. They can amuse themselves for hours with those.:D
Well, I got another cat tree after work tonight. The one in the upstairs hallway is waist high. This one is about six feet high and fits nicely in the one corner of my living room where I'd been thinking about getting a cat tree for them. They've been checking it out ever since I brought it in. Once they get it figured out, I'm sure they'll be enjoying it.
I have a cat tree in every room. trust me, it works. and it is worth the investment.
One thing I noticed in your pic: their beds are right near the book case. Try moving their beds away from it and see what happens.
Maybe put the cat tree in front of the window and move the kitchen table if possible.
Cats like to be up high and the bookcases are so appealing to them. The shelves look like comfy nooks to hide away in and have a siesta. Not much you can do there. Good luck and Merry Christmas. :)
I'm going to try moving the beds away from the bookcases. Can't move the kitchen table since it's the only place it will fit (I live in a townhouse). They are allowed on the kitchen table since I have a table cover clipped onto it, so they have that to get up on to watch out the window or watch me cook and do dishes. Granted, I only have the blinds open when I'm home due to security reasons. Once the holidays are over, and my Christmas tree is down, I'm going to start letting them into my home office while I'm in there. Their upstairs cat tree can easily be moved in there and put over by the window for them to look out, which I'm sure they'll enjoy.
Sounds like a plan, keep them busy!
I'm surprised that no one has suggested that you move that great cat tree to the window and open up the blinds so the cats can have another place to look out. Do have have any bird feeders near the windows that the cats can see the bird activity at the feeders? That is one thing that all the Clan enjoys, bird watching. I am convinced that Ralph has binoculars and keep a log of all the birds he has seen!!! Also, if your cats enjoy watching tv, they may enjoy a video( maybe it comes in a DVD by now)called " Catnip Video!!"