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Eating my couch, shoes, and rug

1355 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  LaurulFeatherCat
Hi All,

Well my fabulous Fred just turned 1 year old. He is my dream cat and best pal/snuggle bunny. Smart, cuddly, noisy, basically perfect. There is just one thing about him I would change: he is literally eating me out of house and home and furniture.

He is eating my sofa, has eaten shoes, shirts, sunglasses, my blinds look like corn on the cob, lampshades have tooth marks ect. This has gotten worse after I had to put a lock on the refrigerator because he has figured out how to open the doors.

I have talked to the vet who has generally not met another cat like Fred. She does not think Fred is stressed or suffering from some sort of separation anxiety (I come home from work for lunch and we play fetch for an hour everyday, then he has my undivided attention pretty much the rest of the time). He is self assured around strangers and was asking the vet for belly rubs.

She did blood tests to see if there was some sort of diet deficiency and that came back all normal. He isn't underweight at 12lbs. She thinks he just has an oral fixation.

I of course love Fred more than my furniture and material possessions but have no idea what else to do to get him to stop eating...everything.

Has anyone ever experienced something like this? I'm open to suggestions!
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Is he just destroying the things or actually ingesting pieces of the material? I would bet it is just destruction. I would also bet he is an only cat. If these two facts are correct, then you need to find him toys he can safely and fulfillingly destroy. Cat attack pillows are a big plus. About six or eight inches long, four to five inches in diameter, generally a tube of material sewed shut on both ends and stuffed with enough fluff to make it feel firm in the middle. The cat wraps his forelegs around it, clutching it to his chest while he bites the crap out of the pillow with his teeth and rips at the soft underbelly of the pillow with his hind legs. In essense, killing the prey, of course. Does he have a cat tree where he can stretch out at full reach and dig his claws into sisil or carpet and rip the stuffing out of it (instead of your furniture). Then give him smaller toys he can pounce on and toss into the air and chase and 'kill' by biting as hard as he can... Use bitter apple or vinegar spray or even cayenne pepper water sprayed on surfaces to keep him from chewing at things. Give him freeze dried treats cut down to cat size for him to chew, like chicken or turkey, etc.

He is bored, being by himself. He is a very active cat. You need to find a safe, enclosed area for him to be in when you cannot supervise him. Usually bathrooms are get areas. Leave him with food and water and toys and make sure the toilet seat is down and anything he may chew up is put away where he cannot get to it. You need to get used to making sure he cannot get to your shoes and belongings to destroy them and also giving him stuff he is allowed to destroy. Of course the ultimate cure here would be getting him a cat companion. That way, he can bug the new cat while you are away and interact with this new playmate when you are not available to play with him. I would bet ninety percent of his destruction would stop almost over night. Do you leave him out some food when you are gone? I am sure as active as he is, he gets quite hungry while you are gone. Low blood sugar could be part of the impetus to explore the refigerator. I had one cat that learned to open the freezer on the top of my refrigerator and get the ice cream and frozen meat out for a midday snack when I was not at home! As you are probably aware, visitors look at you kinda wierd when they see a lock on your refrigerator or see you have duct taped the freezer shut with multiple peices of tape!

Your Fred sounds so much like my Bob Cat. Makes me miss Bobby so much. Good luck with Fred.
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