Pawing Problems - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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Old 02-14-2007, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4
Pawing Problems

Hello,

I have had my cat for almost 2 years now. When I got him, as a stray probably abandoned by owner (according to his card at the Humane Society; no further information), he was already neutered & declawed.

For the most part, he's a very good cat. Lately, over the last several months (some nights more than others), he is pawing everything. I live in an apartment with those very cheap hollow doors and so when he's pawing the doors its like someone is holding a megaphone up to an electric sander (I'm an extremely heavy sleeper, as in 4 alarms to wake me up, and this wakes me up everytime!). I wish I could get a video of it so you can actually hear how loud it is because it does sound like an exaggeration until you actually hear it.

I correct him during the day if I catch him, but my concern is he does this all night long (usually starting about 3 am). As soon as I sit up he runs and hides (I think he thinks its a fun game), but I correct him (He's well acquainted with the phrase "Bad Kitty!").

I've tried multiple suggestions. He's gotten light swats on the rear and firm no's & "bad kitty"s. He's been squirted with water. I've turned the hair dryer on at him (I have a cold setting so its just cold air). I've tossed things at the walls around him (NOT AT HIM).

Its not one particular area. For example, if I'm sleeping he paws the closet door closest to my bed. Or if I'm in the living room (I've tried moving to the couch to sleep), he'll paw the hall closet door or my front door. He paws cabinets and walls and windows and furniture. The windows and furniture I really don't care about because that doesn't make any noise when I'm trying to sleep, but I try to correct him when I see him doing it so he doesnt get confused on what is ok and whats not....

If I leave the closet door open, its just worse because he paws it and that in turn makes the door bang up against the wall.

I don't understand what started this behavior, but its getting progressively worse and I'm not getting much sleep! I had to put him in his kitty kennel the last two nights, which I don't want to do since I want him to be able to run around if he wants, but unfortunately, I don't seem to have much choice unless someone can give me a few more suggestions. I do have to move the kennel into another room because he then paws at the kennel door, which isn't as loud as the electric sanding noise.

He has a large scratching/climbing post that have ledges and hideaways that he doesn't paw at all; he just jumps from ledge to ledge and into the hideaways. I've also tried wearing him out during the evenings before bed time. He's got a billion and one toys to play with, but that doesn't seem to do any good either!

If he had claws, I wouldn't have an unscratched piece of furniture, cabinet, or door in the place.....Can anyone offer a better suggestion besides what I've tried and locking him into his kennel at night??
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Old 02-14-2007, 01:38 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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This behavior could be caused by the declawing. Poor little guy!
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Old 02-14-2007, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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He was declawed before I picked him almost two years ago and just started this before Christmas. If thats it, why would the behavior change so sudden and rapidly?
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Old 02-14-2007, 08:40 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: New Hampshire
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Sounds like a bored kitty looking for attention....even negative attention is better than nothing. By getting up and correcting him, you're giving attention. Try just pulling the blankets up or burying your head in the pillow and sticking it out. You can also try some ear plugs. It may take a couple weeks, but the only way to break him of this is to ignore the behavior.

I would continue a play session before bed, also provide a small meal after play. You could try one of the 'kitty sitter' videos and play it in loop mode. Is there a window he can look out (leave the shade up in a spare bedroom or bathroom)

BTW, cats really don't understand being swatted. And I'm not sure how the hair dryer thing is supposed to correct the behavior. Squirt bottle works when you can quickly squirt it while the behavior is happening and you can give a quick squirt without them realizing where it's coming from. But if you have to get out of bed to go squirt him, it's not going to work. He's already gotten what he wanted...you up.


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Old 02-14-2007, 11:04 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlebug
Sounds like a bored kitty looking for attention....even negative attention is better than nothing. By getting up and correcting him, you're giving attention. Try just pulling the blankets up or burying your head in the pillow and sticking it out. You can also try some ear plugs. It may take a couple weeks, but the only way to break him of this is to ignore the behavior.

I would continue a play session before bed, also provide a small meal after play. You could try one of the 'kitty sitter' videos and play it in loop mode. Is there a window he can look out (leave the shade up in a spare bedroom or bathroom)

BTW, cats really don't understand being swatted. And I'm not sure how the hair dryer thing is supposed to correct the behavior. Squirt bottle works when you can quickly squirt it while the behavior is happening and you can give a quick squirt without them realizing where it's coming from. But if you have to get out of bed to go squirt him, it's not going to work. He's already gotten what he wanted...you up.
Agreed! One of my cats does that on the side of my cupboards when it's dinner time as if to say "hey monkey! It's dinner time if you haven't noticed!" so I agree that it's attention getting behavior. Cats are nocturnal animals for the most part so if they're up, they think you should be as well. Cats are inherently lazy, he will eventually discontinue a behavior that isn't working for him. In the meantime though, they're persistent. Stick with it and he should realize that it's not working anymore and stop doing it.
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Old 02-14-2007, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Thanks! Someone had suggested a hair dryer as its loud and thats a rush of air on him and I wouldn't have to get up to get him with it. He definitely doesn't like it, but he still comes back for more.

I do have a small super soaker that sits on the nightstand. I just have to reach up and grab it.

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Old 02-14-2007, 11:37 AM
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Well since the hair dryer and the squirt gun aren't doing the job...I think your only choice is ignoring him. That means no yelling, no getting up...nothing...no signs that you're awake....play dead


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