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Old 12-27-2008, 10:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cat Climbs up Door Jambs. Gouges Drywall.

i guess my cat, Louie, thinks the door jambs are trees.

we just moved into a new home, and he isn't used to the new rules. in our old apartment, he was allowed to climb up the walls because we didn't care. now we do. but we also don't know how to make him stop. we've been spraying him if we can catch him in the act. then we'll either throw him outside or put him in the carrier. we have yet to buy a scratching post (will soon).

we heard about a spray called sour apple to put on the walls. but haven't tried it. been using a water a tea oil mixture. doesn't really seem to work.

any suggestions??
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat Climbs up Door Jambs. Gouges Drywall.

Im a little unclear, Is he scratching the door jams?

Please know when cats scratch on things they are also marking their territory. It leaves their scent. Even big cats do it in the wild.

Sour apple will stop him from chewing but not clawing. If you can afford it, get a cat tree with carpet and sisal on it to encourage him to scratch and climb there. Other wise get a scratching post or cardboard scratcher quick! Youve changed the rules give him time to figure it out.

Tea oil should not be ingested by cats. I would use water from a spray bottle to discourage him.

Please don't put your kitty outside. Esp if you've just moved to a new location.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat Climbs up Door Jambs. Gouges Drywall.

he's not scratching the walls, he's climbing up them. too much energy or something.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat Climbs up Door Jambs. Gouges Drywall.

Wear him out. Try a pen light and getting him to chase it.
Alot of members on here have the cat toy called da' bird,
Or the poles with string and feathers to chase around.

It sounds like he is a young kitten?
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat Climbs up Door Jambs. Gouges Drywall.

yeah he's pretty young. 10 months. neutered, of course.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat Climbs up Door Jambs. Gouges Drywall.

You need to give him a climbing alternative. I second the recommendation to invest in a good cat tree. You can get some really good deals on eBay. I doubt you'll have much success until you have a way to re-direct him.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat Climbs up Door Jambs. Gouges Drywall.

Like M&T said, you've changed the rules on him all of a sudden. He doesn't understand that what was allowed before is not allowed now. Sorry for saying this out loud, but the blame falls on the people for this one, not the cat. You need to give him time to adjust.

Give him scratching/climbing options. Maybe a tall cat tree in a window that gives him a view of daily outside activity.
Wear him out with rousing good play sessions. I like toys I can control, like Cat Charmer (fleece ribbon on a wand), DaBird (wand, string and feathers), laser lights, leather strings to drag (leather doesn't get teeth/claws caught in it like fabric shoelaces do) and then soft small toys I can toss for them to catch in the air and wrestle with.

As to squirting him with water...I think that will only work when you are there. You need something that will stop him doing this behavior at all times, whether you are there or not. Here is an idea you can use to help him change his own mind about that activity:
First, you need to give him other outlets for his energy, like I gave ideas for above. Next, use double-sided sticky tape. Pet stores sell similar products for protecting furniture/walls that are very large/wide. Use these to place along the walls/doorjambs he leaps/climbs on. Most cats cannot stand the feel of sticky tape on their feet and after he tries his monkey-act a few times and gets his feet in the sticky stuff, he may decide on his own that he doesn't like that activity any more and then you can remove the tacky-looking tape.

I have a kitty I call Louie, too. Your Louie sounds much more active than my Louie!
Best of luck and keep us informed of what works to keep Louie from climbing your walls. The information you share could help other cat owners who have similar problems.
Heidi

PS, edited to add:
Is that a pic of him in your avatar? If so, he is ADORABLE! He looks like my tabby/white Toby (1995-2007). Toby also liked to leap up in doorways as high as he could and then he would sliiiiide down the jamb with his claws digging grooves in the drywall. I used the sticky tape and he stopped. Then I patched and re-painted the walls and jambs.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat Climbs up Door Jambs. Gouges Drywall.

these all sound like great ideas, but he also likes to do it in the morning when me and my roommate are sleeping. it's a royal pain to have to spring out of bed as soon as we hear scratching, and spray him.

also, is it a bad idea to mix tea oil and water in a water bottle? can that hurt a cat?
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat Climbs up Door Jambs. Gouges Drywall.

I think Heidi suggestion of the double sided tape would solve you having to jump out of bed in the morning. They even sell it in sheets at the pet store and online.

Tea oil should not be ingested by cats. Its harmful to them. Plain water is just as effective as a water with something in it.

It sounds like your going thru kitten-hood. Part of being a kitten is the craziness. This too shall pass. Then your going to miss the antics!

He needs you to play a couple times a day with him. Part of the responsibility of having a pet. Hes depending on your to meet his needs and understand how a cat works!
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With my hands, they will know comfort...With my action, they will be free...
~TNR and Rescue changes lives of animals.~

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Old 12-27-2008, 11:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat Climbs up Door Jambs. Gouges Drywall.

Yes, tea tree oil can be toxic to cats. When you spray him, it gets on his fur then he grooms it off.

http://www.messybeast.com/teatree.htm

As we've suggested, spraying with water really isn't going to fix this problem for you, you need to redirect this behavior to something acceptable. I really think that a large cat tree is really your best bet.
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