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Old 03-15-2012, 06:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Getting cat to stop scratching at the door?

During the night, we keep our three cats (Luna and Voldie are about 8 months old, and Monkey is 10 years old, they all get along) in the living room (it's the main room, the rest of the house is basically a corridor and the bedroom) so that they can't whine in front of the bedroom's door all night long. We've, in the past, tried to allow them everywhere, however, they are quite frisky things and wound up jumping on the bed and playing around us whilst we tried to sleep...

So, they are now locked away (the room is quite large and there's enough space for them to play, obviously) during the night. The problem is, that as soon as any amount of light hits the curtains, they (Voldie is the instigator, though the others have now learned it too)start howling and scratching at the door, wanting to be let out and fed. This might not seen problematic, but it is, since it mostly happens BEFORE WE'VE EVEN WOKEN UP. Me and my partner wake up at around 6:30am, yet the cats are at it as early as 5:30, which is insanely annoying.

I've tried to spray the door with nasty smelling, bitter tasting spray, which deters them from a while, but it doesn't bring long-lasting peace to our door.

Ideas/help?

Last edited by Dominoes; 03-15-2012 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Go to bed earlier?

Put a vacuum outside the door unplugged but switched on. Feed the cord under the door to the nearest plug to the bed unplugged. When they start fussing reach over and plug it in. After a few times they will learn to stay away from the door.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowMow View Post
Go to bed earlier?

Put a vacuum outside the door unplugged but switched on. Feed the cord under the door to the nearest plug to the bed unplugged. When they start fussing reach over and plug it in. After a few times they will learn to stay away from the door.
Not sure I understand the point of your comment: we don't go to bed particularly late (about 10-11pm), however, waking up earlier isn't really a solution as we both enjoy our sleeping time.

The vaccum cleaner is a good option, although I have to say that Voldie isn't afraid of them. The others cats are, but him? He just struts about at my side whenever I have to use it.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not an expert, but this is a cat forum for discussion of these things so I'll add my bit of experience.

Our situation is a little different in that we allow the cats in the bedroom. But we were having difficulties with our youngest cat waking us up to play or eat before the alarm went off. I decided on two things to solve the problem.

The first thing was when he decided to be a disturbance, I would pick him up and carry him to the bathroom at the other end of the house and put him in a large, soft sided pet carrier then close the door. He wasn't allowed to come out until our alarm went off, we were dressed, and the coffee maker was brewing. This made a big difference after about two weeks worth of training.

There were no exceptions. He made a disturbance, I'd get out of bed and put him in the carrier.

Along with this, even when there were no problems I decided to make it a point to never feed them right after I get out of bed. We always go through a bit of a lengthy "getting ready for the day" routine before I feed. That way they didn't immediately associate food and play with getting out of bed.

I realize that's a bit different than your situation, but maybe it will give you some ideas. It worked for me permanently.

Last edited by GhostTown; 03-15-2012 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had a similiar problem with Apollo for about 5 months. He finally stopped (for the most part) about 2 months ago. Which has been AWESOME!!

I tried the vacuum idea for a few days, but he kept coming back for more. I even put a draft protector thing under my door, and he wound up tearing it to bits and pieces within a few days.

I don't know what happened that made him stop. He eventually just.. stopped. I guess he got the point. He can whine all he wants, I wasn't getting out of bed til I was darn ready to to let him in my room and feed him and such.

How long have you been keeping them in that room? They might just need some time to get adjusted to the idea of it. And then it might take some more time for them to realize that it's useless to do all that scratching and craziness. Eventually it'll stop all together.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think the biggest thing is to ignore them when they make noises at the door. Mine used to jump around the bed and be generally annoying any where from 5 minutes to an hour before my alarm went off. After awhile they figured out that I wasn't going to get up and feed them if they woke me so now they wait patiently by my head until my eyes open. THEN they trill and headbutt and do all the cute morning things lol.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My cats do this even though we don't confine them throughout the night. I think they just want their breakfast. We've learned to deal.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Get a can of SSSCAT and put it outside the door beside a wall, so that the airspray will cover in front of the door. Motion activates it, so you don't have to plug in a vaccum or do anything.
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Don't free feed. Give them their last meal before you go to bed, and they won't be quite so hungry in the morning. Ghost Town's suggestion of not feeding immediately when you get up is a good one. Have a peaceful sleep!
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