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Thread: Clawing through the door!

  1. #1

    Clawing through the door!

    Help!

    I have two cats, Purrl (7 year old female), and Sebastian (1 year old male). It turns out that I am severely allergic to my cats! I am on lots of allergy meds now, but I cannot have them sleep in the bed next to my head like they used to, or I will end up in the ER. We have to close the bedroom door at night to keep them from sleeping next to me. Purrl hates being closed out of the bedroom. She keeps trying to claw her way into the room. She has actually torn the carpet in half down to the sub-floor trying to get in!

    We've put down rugs to protect the carpet, but Purrl's clawing and crying keeps us awake at night. We've tried everything we can think of:
    • Spritzing her with water
    • Doing the "mother cat" discipline by holding the back of her neck down and hissing at her
    • Using a boundary spray that is supposed to keep cats out of areas they shouldn't go into
    • Using an anti-scratching spray that is supposed to keep cats from clawing at things


    None of these work - she just plows through them all!

    Some nights, she doesn't act out at all, whereas other times, she tries to get in all night. It's painful to hear her so miserable, and my husband and I don't get much sleep.

    This has been going on for four months now... any suggestions? Declawing her is not an option, nor is adopting her out to someone (I inherited Purrl after my dad passed away).

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    36,762
    I am glad you are not considering declawing, thank you! Have you tried a baby gate outside the door to just keep her away from it? Can you play some white noise or music so you won't hear her as much, or wear ear plugs? Could you put some scratching posts near the door so she can vent her frustration on them, and then gradually move them further away from the door slowly? Any hope of wearing her out with heavy playtime before bed so she's too tired to try, or taking the opposite approach and shutting in another room, like the kitchen for the night?

    Does catnip mellow her out?

    How does she feel about fans? Would a big window fan set up blowing air at her keep her deterred from the door? (I know some cats think fans eat delicate little kitties and others just HATE their fur being ruffled ...
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Middle Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    2,693
    What about trimming her nails? I know that won't stop the problem, but it may help prevent her from doing more damage.

    Time helps the sadness subside, but the memories remain forever.

  4. #4
    Wow! Thank you both for the great ideas. We had not thought of any of them. We are going to try the scratching post and cat nip tonight. Wish us luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Do let us know how it goes!
    I've Been Frosted

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Just north of Memphis TN, USA
    Posts
    1,450
    I've got shredded carpet in several doorways from the same thing, LOL. When they want in or out of a closed door, they really want in or out of a closed door! My guys accidentally shut themselves into my home office once and my brand new carpet paid the price. Havoc was probably playing with a toy between the door and the wall and pushed the door shut from inside.

    Cats don't like the smell of mothballs. You might want to put one near the door, if you can stand the smell yourself. But it might be too strong for kitty's nose to be in the house at all. Then again if you've already tried other repellants, this might not work anyway.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    27,644
    Hi and welcome to PT. You could also try spraying some Feliway near and around your doorway. It's supposed to help calm cats and maybe it would help her with having to be separated from you at night. You can buy both the spray and plugins at most pet stores. Good luck.
    Owned by Sky, Pearl, Ziggy Stardust, Alani, Blaze, Colby, Finnegan, and Summer.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Ploss's Halfway House for Homeless Cats
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    KrazyAboutKatz,

    Great minds think alike!!! Feliway is a great product!!! I have the concentrated spray at all times, as my guys have a tendency to go nuts when I'm trying to sleep. Just a few squirts high up in the air (don't spray directly on cats) and they calm right down.

    Have you tried isolating them in a room with their food and litterbox??? Another great product is Soft Paws. They're nothing more than "lee press-on nails" for cats!!! They can scratch all they want and it doesn't do damage.

    I tried shutting my RB MooShoo out of my room at night, and he did the same damage as he was so used to sleeping with me.

    Good luck, keep us posted and WELCOME TO PET TALK!!!!

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    California
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    This was on an episode of My Cat from Hell (I think that's what it was called). The "cat whisperer" ,Jackson, set up a motion sensored can of air. When the kitty came near the door it would trigger a short blast of air and scare the kitty away. It is not harmful to the cat at all. However, I have NO CLUE where you would purchase this device.
    Another thing you could try is the double sided sticky stuff. We got this to keep Jax off the speakers and things in the studio. It works! And when I bought it the guy at the pet store said he used it to keep his cat from darting out the door in his apartment. You can stick them to some cardboard and place in front of the door at night. When Purrl steps on it she won't like the sticky on her paws. Then during the day you can pick them up so you don't step on them.
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Ploss's Halfway House for Homeless Cats
    Posts
    18,317
    If you're going to get two sided tape, make sure it's the industrial kind. The kind they use to keep scatter rugs in place. THAT will definitely deter them.

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  11. #11
    If you think it might be partly because she hates being separated from you, do you think it would help to give her something with your smell on it to keep her company overnight, like an item of clothing you'd been wearing all day? Obviously she'll know it's not you, but I did this for Limpet when we had to board her or have her in hospital and I think it helped a little.

    Another thought I have is probably just a pointless observation. Cats apparently have these really interesting territorial arrangements. They claim turf chunks, which they patrol - but the turf chunks shift around over a 24-hour cycle. So for instance, if your bedroom comes onto the Patrol Schedule in the middle of the night, you'll have a cat that ignored that same room all day but suddenly Absolutely Positively Has To Walk Through There at 3am. My son suffered from this, and I can't really say knowing why she was doing it helped much with his sleep disturbance. But it was fascinating.
    "Hoe sou jy wat so baie reis die wonderlike mense van ons land beskryf?"
    En ek se vir hom, "Man, Johan. Die meeste mense is maar lekker zef"
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