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Naughty kitty

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by BlondeMoment, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. BlondeMoment

    BlondeMoment PetForums Junior

    Feb 25, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Hi everyone.
    Desperate for some advice here from anyone with any 'know how' of the cat brain.

    My cat has somehow learned that clawing and scratching the furniture or carpet is how you get let outside.

    He'll come right to where I'm sitting, and scratch the nearest piece of furniture, then as soon as he has my attention he'll excitedly run to the door.

    This isn't because he needs to scratch. he has a post and uses it often. this is purely to get attention.

    This has been going on for months and for months. The one thing I'm not doing is letting him out for it. But he's not getting the message.

    How can I teach him this isn't how you get let out?
    I'm getting so fed up with him attacking my things. We rent our house and if he continues like this we'll loose our deposit.

    I've recently been trying shutting him in the kitchen when he starts, to try and teach him I won't put up with it. But the next time he wants to go out he just does it again.

    I'm at the end of my tether now. I don't know a lot about how cat's minds work. He is my first cat. So any help would be great. I know they need to scratch. but trust me, this isn't scratching for scratching.

    Can I somehow train him to miow at the door to be let out instead? He can do that loudly enough when he wants to come in lol!

    Does anyone have any experience or know anything about how I can stop this behaviour?
  2. IzzyTwig

    IzzyTwig PetForums Senior

    Jan 18, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I covered my sofa with a throw to stop Zu scratching at it, that seemed to work. So perhaps that might be an option for you to protect your furniture. As for getting him to miaow to be let out, I can't help sorry.
  3. Philski

    Philski PetForums Senior

    May 28, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Well, you're never going to train him to meow to ask to be let out instead of scratching - if only cats were that straightforward!

    Others may disagree, but I think that the best you can hope for with cats is to try and modify their behaviour. His scratching sounds like it has become ingrained now; just thinking about my cats, they would simply scratch harder and harder until they got their way! Thankfully, they have only ever scratched on doormats, and a tough, cheap old rug I have inside the front door. Actually, doormats are ideal for cats to sharpen their claws. Maybe pick up a cheap one, and when he tries to get your attention next time, put the mat close to him and see whether he tries scratching that instead. If he doesn't, then ignore him; with any luck, he'll give it a try at some point, and then immediately go to the door to let him out, even if he doesn't seem to want to, and try to do this every time he scratches the mat - go to the door immediately and open it. If you can get him to associate scratching the doormat with having the door opened for him, then you've got a result!

    Bit by bit, you can then move the mat over to the door where it belongs (presuming that you don't want a doormat lying around in the middle of the house - I wouldn't!), so that the association with scratching the doormat and being let out is complete.

    Good luck - it might work, or it might be a total waste of time, but let us know how you get on!
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