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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Help.

Hi,

I'm new here. Have to say, it's refreshing to meet others who care as much about cats as I do.

My kitty, Mz. Allie Katt was a stray who adopted us 5 years ago. Tried to make her into an indoor cat but everytime the door opens, she bolts.

We are have 2 big problems:

1. She is an excellent hunter who brings in her catch.

2. For the past 6 weeks, she's been jumping up onto the kitchen counters and getting into foods up there.

Any suggestions on how to halt these behaviors will be greatly appreciated.

LadyCoyote
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 09:44 AM
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Welcome to the forum, LadyCoyote!

There are lots of things and techniques you can try. Search the forum using terms like counter, kitchen, jump, deterrent, etc. The reason I'm not going to spell them all out here is that frankly, in the end, with an adult cat that's been free to do this all along, your chances of success are pretty close to zero. Most people in this situation usually end up resigning themselves to putting all food away and cleaning the counters before use. Sorry!

The one thing that might have the highest chance of making a lasting impression on a cat is this: ssscat
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 11:00 AM
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I don't know of any way to stop a cat from hunting, it's what cats are made to do. It's instinct to bring the prey back to the den, so my best advice is to monitor her when she comes in and make sure there's no prey in her mouth. I usually try to accept my cat's mice good-naturedly, make "yummy" sounds, and give her a treat to distract her while I dispose of Mr. (or Ms.) Mouse properly (she is an indoor cat, but we live in heavy woods, so every fall is "mouse season"). Also, if she is an outdoor cat and a good hunter, make sure that you keep up to date on any vaccinations and parasite (worm/flea) control that your vet recommends. You can't prevent her from hunting or bringing home the catch, but you can keep an eye on her to make sure that she's not bringing her prey in the house.

Counters? Don't leave food on 'em. Cats like to get on counters because they're high. You can try keeping a barricade of empty tin cans around the edge of the counter, but that usually doesn't work for long. You can also buy a plastic carpet runner or chair mat (with the little hard plastic nubs) and put it on the counter with the nubs up...but again, they figure these things out. Best bet is to keep unattended food off the counter.

A cat tree can sometimes help by giving the cat a high place of its own, but as long as there's food left on the counter, it's fair game for the cat, and you can't really fault her for jumping up there.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 12:07 PM
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I have also read that cats sometimes act in a sort of pack manner, bringing food to the dominant cat. In household cats, this sometimes means a person.
I have had cats in the past who PROUDLY brought me what they had caught. (A couple of times things were still alive) Once I got past the initial shock of it, I understood that they were giving me a "present". After that, I would accept it and get rid of it once they weren't looking. As much as you may dislike the catch, she is showing her respect and love for you by bringing it home, where she feels comfortable.

As far as the counters go, at the age she is, you may not be able to completely change this behavior, especially since you have had her for 5 years. Keep food put away, and as others have said, give her some alternatives for climbing on. Is the a window on the kitchen counter? If there is, keep the shades or curtain closed so it doesn't attract her attention.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 12:20 PM
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Oh yeah...absolutely cats like to bring their prey back to the den, though I haven't figured out if Assumpta thinks I'm "The Big One" or a slightly dimwitted and misshapen kitten.

I'm leaning towards "dimwitted kitten," though, after her attempt to feed me a live mouse while I was sleeping last fall. Yes, it was very gross to wake up with a live mouse twitching on my cheek, a cat paw on my face, and two very happy, proud eyes staring down at me...she was so pleased with herself that I couldn't get mad about it...plus, it will make a great piece for the next non-fiction workshop I take.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 01:31 PM
 
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one of my cats once brought a live bird in the house. it flew around the house, into windows, and we finally got it outside. once i STEPPED ON a dead, rotting, swollen mouse that Lilly had left on our front walk. that was horrible..... we've found shrews and voles in the bathroom with their guts spilling out, etc. she doesn't usually "bring" us things, but we find them scattered about. strangely enough, when we had a few mice actually get into the house, nothing. she never killed THOSE mice.....-.-'
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank You

All the info is greatly appreciated. I know she is bringing me presents BUT it got to be a bit much when we found the Komodo Dragon she'd brought in. Okay, it wasn't a dragon. It was 12" Salamander but it looked a whole lot bigger than that.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day. Thanks once again.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 01:54 PM
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Hey, stick around and tell us some of your funny cat stories and post some kitty pics!!
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