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cat nearly ruining my life

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by JBombs, Jul 19, 2017.


  1. JBombs

    JBombs PetForums Newbie

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    So i got a cat a couple months ago, hes just over a year old now. Anyways, lately he has been completely going crazy and i find myself really pissed at him more than once a day now.

    The problem at hand is my desk. I'll admit, I have a cluttered desk that I try to keep clean (never lasts long), but my cat decides that while I am sleeping or distracted away from my desk, he will knock over and play/ run off with some very important medications. Now before anyone tells me to put them somewhere else- No. I have them on my desk for a reason and if I don't see them in front of me during most of the day, I will absolutely forget to take them. Moving them off my desk and out of sight (such as in a drawer) is NOT an option. They have to remain within arms reach, in my eye sight.

    I wanted to try using a spray bottle but water and thousands of dollar worth of electronics is not a good mix. I would use food items such as lemon or orange peel, but we have bug problems already and that would just cause even more. He doesn't do it while I am at the desk because i always stop him and move him off/ yell at him to move. I just can't have him knocking everything off my desk anymore. If i lose those meds i am a goner. He could also hurt himself if opens it and eats it.

    Another issue is that my bed is right behind my desk which is an easy access point. Not that that matters to him, he can jump high enough anyways. I would try to buy something but I am already broke and even if i wanted to bring something inside i need my parents permission first. he stays in my bedroom when parents are home too, as they hate cats and dont want to see him at all. So shutting him out isnt an option.

    EDIT: (from my post a few messages down)
    It seems everyone has misunderstood my post.

    Firstly, I am an animal lover- I volunteer at my local pet rescue specifically the cat area. I literally spend an hour each day just sitting and playing with cats.

    Also, I never said I used a water sprayer on him. I said I "wanted too" because I had read online that many people did to teach a cat not to go on places.

    Secondly, my cat has been perfectly fine with staying in one room. He gets let out on a 4 days on, 4 days off rotation. (Dads work schedule). He does enjoy leaving my room but honestly spends more time with me at my desk with the door wide open than he does outside. If he does go out the room, he literally sits on the window sill and watches life go by- just as he does my own window.

    Thirdly, I am asking advice on how to keep a cat from harming itself, and knocking over objects. It seems here that no one cares to ever train a cat on anything, and just let him own my entire house. I will admit, I am a previous dog owner so "training" is what i know. But surely someone out there has a kitchen counter or a table that is not appropriate for a cat to be on?

    And lastly, he has toys to play with. He has his own cardboard box with plenty of fun things to play with, and he always loves to chase his noise balls around. It's not like I ignore him all day and night and just expect him to learn/ "do all the work."

    As a final note, I have a difficult situation which is why I am asking fellow cat owners on advice. Telling me I am a horrible owner and non animal lover should be reserved for someone who abuses their cat. Or maybe doesn't feed him, ever. Or locks him in a cold, empty, dangerous room.
     
    #1 JBombs, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  2. Erenya

    Erenya PetForums VIP

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    So to paraphrase, you bought a kitten, who is shut in your bedroom for what sounds like a lot of the day and you want to know how to stop him playing with things on your messy desk.

    Simple answer, you can't.

    Yelling at your cat is the WORST thing you can do. Second only to spraying him with water...

    he doesn't understand what he's doing is 'wrong'. He's not being malicious or naughty, He's just playing with all the fun things you left around. Because he's bored. And he's a kitten. And that's what kittens do...

    Sounds like you're totally unwilling to make any changes to resolve this situation and expect the cat to do all the work. Sorry to break it to you, but that is NEVER going to happen.

    I suggest rehoming your cat to someone who lives in a house where the cat is welcome by all residents and where it won't get in trouble for just doing 'cat' things...
     
  3. JBombs

    JBombs PetForums Newbie

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    Well I was asking for some helpful advice, for a first time cat owner who already has a difficult situation. But I guess some people aren't friendly or polite enough to just keep their mouth shut on giving negative answers, and just assuming I hate my cat.
     
  4. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    Your cat is totally frustrated in your situation of being stuck in one room. I know you don't want to hear this but unless everyone in the household is happy having a cat, then I'm sorry but you shouldn't have one because you are not giving it the type of environment it needs to live in. Plus, you are blaming the cat, which is still really only a kitten, for what it is doing when it isn't his fault, he is just being a normal, active, playful cat. He also shouldn't be anywhere near your medication as cats will chew packets and tablets etc. which could kill him. We are not being unfriendly or judgemental just telling you how it is and you really need to think again about rehoming the cat or returning it if you got it from a rescue as you haven't had him very long and getting a pet which is more suited to your situation.
     
  5. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I'm not sure what reaction you were expecting from your initial post to be honest?

    This is a forum for animal lovers and you just don't sound cut out for the job.

    Your attitude towards the poor cat is atrocious to be frank. Using a water spray on a cat is cruel.

    You aren't providing the right environment or stimulation for him and punishing him for acting like a kitten.

    The fact your parents hate cats too suggests you shouldn't have got him in the first place. I suggest you hand him back to the breeder or rescue.
     
  6. Erenya

    Erenya PetForums VIP

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    No one ever suggested you hate your cat, but You've started your thread by saying your cat is 'ruining your life' and 'pissing' you off... It's not a great start.

    You've also listed a whole load of things that you're unwilling to do or can't do to resolve the situation.

    So here's the question. If You're unwilling or unable to do the majority of things that we would suggest, what are you willing to do and what on earth is left for us to suggest to you?
     
  7. LeArthur

    LeArthur PetForums VIP

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    I'm a bit confused. Your parents need to give you permission if you want anything in your room (fair enough), yet they allowed you to keep a cat that they hate. What made you want to get a cat in the first place?

    I always think of animals like young children, if they are naughty it's usually because they are bored. Could you not get an activity tree? A lot of toys to put out on rotation? A lead and harness to let your cat outside under your supervision?
     
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  8. JBombs

    JBombs PetForums Newbie

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    It seems everyone has misunderstood my post.

    Firstly, I am an animal lover- I volunteer at my local pet rescue specifically the cat area. I literally spend an hour each day just sitting and playing with cats.

    Also, I never said I used a water sprayer on him. I said I "wanted too" because I had read online that many people did to teach a cat not to go on places.

    Secondly, my cat has been perfectly fine with staying in one room. He gets let out on a 4 days on, 4 days off rotation. (Dads work schedule). He does enjoy leaving my room but honestly spends more time with me at my desk with the door wide open than he does outside. If he does go out the room, he literally sits on the window sill and watches life go by- just as he does my own window.

    Thirdly, I am asking advice on how to keep a cat from harming itself, and knocking over objects. It seems here that no one cares to ever train a cat on anything, and just let him own my entire house. I will admit, I am a previous dog owner so "training" is what i know. But surely someone out there has a kitchen counter or a table that is not appropriate for a cat to be on?

    And lastly, he has toys to play with. He has his own cardboard box with plenty of fun things to play with, and he always loves to chase his noise balls around. It's not like I ignore him all day and night and just expect him to learn/ "do all the work."

    As a final note, I have a difficult situation which is why I am asking fellow cat owners on advice. Telling me I am a horrible owner and non animal lover should be reserved for someone who abuses their cat. Or maybe doesn't feed him, ever. Or locks him in a cold, empty, dangerous room.
     
  9. Erenya

    Erenya PetForums VIP

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    Ok, see that's a much better post!! Need to get a train now and I can't run and type, so back later.
     
  10. Zenohki

    Zenohki PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there,

    Try and ignore the people here who would look down on your for your living situation. A lot of people forget that though some set ups may not be perfect for an animal, it's still better than it being left at a shelter.

    How old is your cat? I had what I can maybe suggest as a similar problem when our girl was a kitten and we lived in a 1 bedroom flat. I work from home and back then my desk was in our bedroom. She liked to steal items out of my pen pot (some of which were dangerous for her) and she also liked to steal my makeup brushes which was just plain unhygienic

    Persistence in telling her off was key, but she would still try it on as she loved stealing pencils. We tried giving her other toys which she still loved, but forbidden fruit is always more appealing of course. Our youngest cat now still steals rubber bands off my desk when I'm not looking, and yet she has so many toys already!

    It will be hard because of your living situation, I'm afraid there is no miracle easy answer, just patience and persistence.

    Our girl mainly stopped because she grew up a bit (2 years old seems to be the time cats calm down a lot for me) and being able to go outside helped loads too, but of course this sounds like something which is unavailable to you.

    What may help, is if you ware your cat down. Ours loves those toys that are a ball or mouse on a string attached to a stick, or before I had them my other two loved to chase the tie from my dressing gown. Give your cat a full work out with it, make him tired. If he's too tired from play perhaps he will ignore the items on your desk.

    Otherwise for your meds, is a large clear plastic tub out of the question? something that the cat can't get into but you can see through so you know your meds are there?

    You can train a cat, we've trained ours to not go on kitchen surfaces, and in the old flat they weren't allowed in the kitchen at all, they used to sit at the doorway while we cooked. And that includes my old cat who's training for that started at age 10. But, cats are little buggers, just like some dogs. And though they know they are not allowed on the kitchen counter, if my partner leaves the butter out at night you can pretty much guarantee there will be paw prints on the counter in the morning. It happens, just remember that you can't tell them off for it unless you catch them in the act, otherwise they have no idea what they are being told off for.
     
    #10 Zenohki, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
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  11. sidevalve

    sidevalve Banned

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    As above how about a clear plastic box / tub / cover ? Depends on the medication - pills - inhalers - liquid medicines - electronic gizmos ? Further must they be on the desk ? Look into the advice given for keeping small children away from medication - if it will keep a toddler out it should work for a cat too.
     
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  12. MilleD

    MilleD PetForums VIP

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    Absolutely and categorically not true.
     
  13. LeArthur

    LeArthur PetForums VIP

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    I am currently training Arthur not to climb onto the kitchen worktop or dining table. When he jumps up I just lift him off and tell him "no". If I see him sat there as though he is about to jump up I tell him "no" and he usually doesn't jump up. As I said I am still in the training process and have been for the last couple of months. Sometimes I stand between him and the kitchen work top if he looks like he's about to jump, he soon wanders off.

    Also I have found he isn't as interested in jumping up to where he shouldn't if there isn't anything else that has been newly out there. For example, the other day I emptied my handbag and let the contents on the dining table. Arthur kept jumping up and batting it all around!
     
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  14. steveshanks

    steveshanks PetForums VIP

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    Sorry but i didn't get passed the medication part........Lock it up and put a big sign on your desk that says "TAKE TABLETS"
     
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  15. Zenohki

    Zenohki PetForums Newbie

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    For the record I'm not saying all cases, of course we would take in animals who's living situation were harmful. But our rspca rehoming center and others in the area can experience over crowding, we would prefer animals had a home where we provide financial aid and they get the vet care they need, rather than them being destroyed or left out on the street to fend for themselves.

    For this situation this cat has a house rather than a small cage, which I personally am all for! For all we know this house could be cat paradise. Don't judge what you don't know, as for the cat's safety that's what we are here working on. All houses have dangers, all of my cats over the years have attempted to chew cables, that doesn't mean they should be in a shelter, its all about training and keeping a parental eye on them.
     
    #15 Zenohki, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  16. Erenya

    Erenya PetForums VIP

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    Ok, back now.

    In the basic term it's important to remember that cats and dogs are totally and utterly different. Cats have a huge streak of independence that to many owners is part of their appeal. I don't have dogs or children because my life as it exists currently, doesn't have the time for something that is dependant on me.

    Cats can be trained to a certain degree. But they will still exert this sense of independence when they want. For example. My two know the word 'No' and a lot of the time they will stop what they're doing when I say that, unless they're doing something they REALLY want to do. I had a friend who trained their cat not to go onto the kitchen work surfaces. Following the fitting of a cat cam in their kitchen it turned out that they weren't going on the work surfaces when their owners were around, but when they were out they were making the most or running up and down those surfaces like nobodies business.

    basically cats can be trained to a certain level, but not to the level of a dog and probably not in a way that will over ride their independence

    If you want to train a cat you need to use positive reinforcement, rather than negative - do not shout or spray water, your cat will just start to resent you. Your cat will not understand what they've done wrong. he's not being naughty, he's curious and wants to see what you're doing.

    Set up a specific bed for your cat near your desk - doesn't matter what, a blanket, box, cat tree, something near enough to your desk so that he feels involved/close to you. When your cat is in this bed, being calm and friendly, give him a treat. If he jumps onto your desk, pick him up, say no firmly but gently and put him on his bed. If he jumps back up, do the same. you need to be consistent. just keep calmly saying 'No' and putting him on his bed. If he stays on the bed for say 10 minutes, give him a treat.

    Your cat needs to associate being in his bed as a good thing that he will be rewarded for. This might take a long time. Months in fact.

    Other things you need to do. If something is dangerous/valuable/important and you don't want the cat messing around with it, you need to remove the thing from the cat rather than try and remove the cat from the thing. When we first got our kittens I lost two sets of stereo headphones when they chewed through the cord. It wasn't their fault, after all we play with them with cat toys that are bits of string. A cat/kitten doesn't have the cognitive skills to recognise the difference between a toy string that he is allowed to play with and stereo headphones that he isn't. I soon learn - my headphones stay in my handbag

    So anything that you don't want him playing with needs to be put away. As said above, a clear see through box with a lid could be used to contain your medicine - after all, they're rattley cat toy sized containers - he won't know it's not for him to play with. Everything else needs to go away, every night. You'll need to be really on top of this if you want it to work.

    Lastly, as people have said before, most destructive behaviour in cats can be put down to boredom. You need to make sure that you play with your kitten - and I'm talking serious play here - 3 x 15-20 minute sessions a day of running around with a wand toy so that he can chase, or getting him to chase a laser toy will burn up a lot of excess energy and will prevent boredom. This in turn will make him more relaxed and less destructive/troublesome.

    No cats are perfect - mine have cost me hundreds in vet bills, destroyed various items around the house - including an antique plate that was a gift from my parents - scratched me whilst playing, ruined clothes and deposited enough cat hair to make about 10 spare cats - but I wouldn't change them.

    Doing some reading on cat behaviour might help as if you keep trying to apply dog logic to cats you will become seriously unstuck.

    Hope that helps
     
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  17. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    There could also be an argument that some cats are better off pts humanely than being kept restricted in a home where most of the humans living in it don't want them there, and the one person responsible for their happiness and well being seemingly can't cope and wants to use punishment and aversives?

    Just saying ;)
     
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  18. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

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    I believe all young people have phones constantly about their person these days whatever their circumstances. Put the medication away in a box or drawer and set the alarm on your phone for the appropriate times.
     
  19. Citruspips

    Citruspips PetForums VIP

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    That is the best summing up of what cat training is I have ever seen! I think when we think we have trained our cat what we have really done is to get kitty cooperate with us when we are around and when the humans away all bets are off LOL.

    I think you just need to be a bit more inventive with how you manage and organise your room. Have you watched some of the YouTube videos on catification of rooms? Jackson Galaxy has a few.
     
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  20. Zenohki

    Zenohki PetForums Newbie

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    We could also say the same for humans?

    This seems like a pretty grim scenario that you are painting. I would have thought in that sort of situation the pet owner would not be on a forum like this looking for advice.

    I've seen a similar situation (or should I say worse) to the one in this thread recently with a friend of mine, her brother got a cat without telling anyone and wanted to keep it in a cage in his room, he was only going to let it out into his room when he was home from work (some of his shifts being 12 hours long) luckily she had a fit and intervened, he had no idea how cats work or what their needs are. This cat now gets to roam the house freely and is getting the care it needs, though my friend now seems like a mardy bitch in her brothers eyes as she keeps screaming at him about how to take care of it, the cat his happy enjoying a 4 floor house and the company of a german shepherd, rather than spending its days in a guys small bedroom and locked in a cage surrounded by snake tanks in this god awful summer heat.

    We were lucky in this instance that she was there to put a stop to it, but I can say I hate the idea of you thinking that kitten should be PTS. Killing a child because their home isn't currently perfect seems terrible :( the home needs adjusting and the owner teaching, and people around need to look at this and intervene, if the owner point blank refuses to change anything to improve the cats living situation then protective services like the rspca need to be brought in.
     
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