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Thread: Help!!!

  1. #1

    Help!!!

    Hi,
    Here's my story. I just recently got married to a wonderful woman, unfortunately for me she came with cats. I'm not a cat person but I do like animals in general, so I thought I might learn to love them. There are a few things that I've changed to make life more bearable, such as turning around the litter box and putting a hood on it so I don't have to smell their poop and walk on their litter. There are the things such as hair that I'm learning to deal with. Then there are the things that I just hate, and can't live with. I've done a lot of research and I've discovered that pretty much any problem the cat has, you have to "understand what they are going through". There has to be a better solution

    So there are two cats, brother and sister at 3 years old. They used to live in a house with a yard in So Cal where they could run around in the backyard all day, now we live in an apartment with a small porch in Colorado. In the winter time the get restless, but these behaviors dont change much in the summer when they can get some fresh air, watch the birds fly by, and catch grasshoppers. Roxy is a sweetheart and never really does anything wrong or obnoxious apart from trying to sneak into our bedroom, which isnt that big of a deal Oscar on the other hand is a terror. If there is anything at all he is unhappy with he'll poop outside his litterbox. He is completely defiant. If he does something wrong, and you let him know in any or every way you are supposed to, he wont miss a beat before he does it again. If he is somewhere hes not supposed to be and you say no and pull out the spray bottle, he'll hunker down and take it. The only thing that works anymore is spray deodorant, he hates the smell. He has a serious chewing problem. We both really like plants, so we do our research to find out what are the cat friendly plants, and he eats them all, then pukes them up. If you accidentally forget your shoes in the livingroom, you'll come back to find the laces eaten off. He ate half a handkerchief in less than an hour the other day. We hide the dishtowels the best we can, but hes managed to find them in most of our previous hiding places (he knows how open cupboards). He'll eat anything, he even likes to steal and break into salt and vinegar potato chips. He meows about nothing and everything. sometimes it's so loud that you cant even talk on the phone in the same room.

    His only saving grace is that he is very personable. He'll sit on strangers laps, he'll take any kind of attention he can get. He's even ok with being thrown up and grabbed. if we have a sheet out he'll run over and sit in it until he can get tossed. He can never get enough attention. I've played with him for four hours, and he still gets angry when I go to bed or have to do something else.

    Like I said before, I'm trying to live with these cats out of love for my wife, but every time I start being ok with Oscar he does something like chew a hole in my favorite shirt. Please tell me that he'll grow out of this. Or maybe when we get a bigger place, getting a dog might give him the entertainment he needs or something. HELP!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    36,534
    First of all, congratulations both on finding the love of your life, and knowing that she came with cats, didn't demand she get rid of them!

    Oscar sounds like a real handful. Does he have toys that he can play with to keep himself busy? As for him chewing things, like shoes or a favorite shirt, the only thing to do is put stuff where he cannot get them. You can also try - in the case of shoes, spraying the laces with bitter apple spray - available to pet stores, but first I'd try it on something you don't care about, just in case he actually likes the taste.

    An alternative to the spray bottle - which has obviously lost its effectiveness with him - is a soda can, washed out and then with a few pebbles dropped in - tape over the opening and shake, and the noise will be deterrent for some kitties.
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
    Posts
    16,831
    Kudos to you, searching for help!

    It sounds like Oscar is running the show, and you (and wife) are dancing to his tune, and reacting TO him. You need to turn things around, so YOU determine what is happening, YOU are acting, and he is reacting.

    So you see him doing something you don't want him to do. No scolding, hitting, spraying. You've tried that, it isn't working. Instead, get something he WANTS and play with it. Distract and redirect. Keep a few toys hidden in each room just for this reason, so you have someething close to grab. Put it back after.

    You need to spend "quality" time with him. Keep a few toys in a can w/ catnip, just for this purpose. These toys come out to play with YOU present. These are SPECIAL. When you leave, you take "your" toys with you.

    Plants and cats, tough one, easiest solution is NO PLANTS. But there is a REASON he eats them. He is not getting enough chlorophyll in his food. I use Barley Cat. This satisfies their need. Here is a link so you can see what it is; you can probably find it less money if you search. It is a powder, you shake a little on their food.
    http://www.vitacost.com/Green-Foods-Barley-Cat

    Child safety locks on the cupboards will solve the food raids.

    He sounds like a child doing anything, ANYTHING! for attention. Like the children on Sound of Music who div all the nannies away, the only way to get their Father's attention.

    You didn't mention if Oscar was like this before moving in with you in the apartment. H chewed a hole in YOUR shirt. Does he eat wife's clothes too? Or is he just dying for YOUR attention?
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  4. #4
    Thanks for the help everyone, I'll definitely be trying some of these tactics.

    Freedom, oscar has been like this his whole life, but it's gotten much worse ever since he's moved to a smaller place and where he cant roam as much outside. And he'll eat anything, he eats her stuff, my stuff, guests stuff, he doesn't care. Maybe he just hates everyone. My wife said he's been on the hunt for clothes to chew on ever since he was a kitten. Unfortunately, like I said before, no amounts of attention seem to deter him from any of these behaviors. I'll keep trying toys. He gets bored with stuff pretty quickly, unless we bought him a little cat toy mouse and he promptly chewed through it and ate the stuffing. We do try hiding catnip around the house to give him something to "hunt" for.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    27,644
    Welcome to PT. It sure does sound like Oscar is very bored. Some cats need a lot more attention than others do. I currently have 6 cats in a fairly small space too but only my kittens Alani & Blaze are the ones that are constantly getting into trouble. How old is Oscar? If he's still young, hopefully he'll mellow out as he gets older.

    I've had to put child safety locks on all of my lower kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets. I have to keep all paper and plastic products locked up. I always keep my shoes in my closet. Both of my bedrooms are off limits for Alani & Blaze because I have two computers and many other things that they can get into.

    Most cats hate the smell of citrus or even minty things like toothpaste or mouthwash. You could try spraying a citrus spray or even putting some orange peel around an area that you don't want Oscar to be in. Sometimes double sided tape will work too because cats don't like sticky things.

    Maybe you could also try getting Oscar a toy that you can put treats in and then he has to figure out how to get them out. I think you can also make something like this. I hope that you'll be able to find a good solution soon. Good luck.
    Owned by Sky, Pearl, Ziggy Stardust, Alani, Blaze, Colby, Finnegan, and Summer.


    My Rainbow Bridge Babies:
    RB Pepper 3/17/97- 2/3/03 RIP Sweet Pepper
    RB Starr 3/22/05- 7/1/09 RIP Sweet Starr
    RB Sunny 8/25/00- 2/28/10 RIP Sweet Sunny
    RB Storm 1/11/96- 8/2/12 RIP Sweet Storm

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