Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Chicago suburbs
At wits end.... considering returning cats
My two girls know they aren't allowed on counters or tables, and this isn't a problem when we're at home and downstairs. However, we know they're on the counters and tables at night and when we're gone, since we constantly find things moved around or knocked on the floor. I know it's pointless to yell at them after the fact, since they won't understand what they've done wrong. The problem is that they've now broken hundreds of dollars worth of our things, and I can't take much more of this. They have an obsession with my cabinets - they can open the doors, and then Fergie jumps into the upper cabinets and knocks things out. After a couple of shattered glasses we started clamping shut the cabinets with breakable things. Then they jumped onto the console table and knocked down the lamp that was there and a number of my winter decorations. I didn't think I had to worry about the speakers, but they've also jumped onto those and knocked down/broken a couple of houses in my treasured collection of Thomas Kinkade buildings. Then this morning I was upstairs getting dressed when I heard a crash from downstairs, and went running down to the kitchen to find half of my cereal bowls shattered and Fergie sitting nearby looking at the mess. We unclamp the cabinets in the morning and leave them until we go to bed, since it was only a nighttime problem before, but apparently the problem is growing.
This behavior has gotten worse in the last couple of weeks, quite possibly in connection with us being gone a lot more all of a sudden. My mom had surgery at the end of January and was in the hospital for a week, and the day she came home my niece went into the hospital for surgery and will probably not come home for another two weeks. Since we both lost our jobs in December, we've been able to make our hospital visits during the day, and we haven't been gone any longer than we would have been if we were working. I'm sure they've gotten used to us being home most of the time, but sooner or later we will both be working again and gone during the day, so they're going to have to deal with it at some point anyway.
My hubby is going to try to find some magnetic latches for the cabinets, so hopefully that will solve the problem with the dishes in the upper cabinets. But if I can't find a way to keep them from jumping onto tables and speakers and breaking things they're not going to be living here much longer. I realize cats jump on things, but I know they can be taught. I absolutely REFUSE to pack away everything breakable and live in a house with no decorations. Even if I did, that doesn't solve the problem of them knocking over and breaking lamps. (three so far)
They're adorable and we love them very much, but I won't let them destroy my home! We've been making sure to spend time playing with them, probably about an hour a day, but between our hectic lives and their energy level, they're still running all over the place when we turn out the lights at night. We could shut them in our guest bedroom at night, but as I found out this morning, that's not going to solve the problem. My husband is so angry with them that he's already talked about returning them to the shelter where we got them, and if I can't find a solution to their behavior soon that's what will happen. This is starting to affect my marriage too, and the cats are going to lose if I have to choose between them and my husband!
~Diana, happy mom to Fern and Fergie