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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all, Looking for advice or suggestions on how to deal with Grimalkin who is an 8 month old Cheetoh, 13 pounds, and is a lot like dealing with a teenage daughter.

He is half Bengal so I expect him to be vocal, but he is howling like crazy from the time I get home until I finally cave and give him his raw meat. I've tried the squirt bottle until he's soaking wet and it doesn't work. He just keeps going. Ignoring him works sometimes but rarely.

He continues to get on the counter tops in the kitchen even though he knows it's off limits. Squirt bottle and swats to the butt failed to keep him from jumping up there last night and nabbing the package of vacuum packed, thawing tuna steaks, taking it down to the floor and proceeding to recruit the dog to tear it open and feast with the dog. This is absolutely unacceptable.

I need to find a way to curb these behaviors, but not make him hate me for punishing him.

Some things I've considered:

Squirt bottle - limited effectiveness

Swats - works for a short while but I don't like smackin' him as that makes him leery about coming to/around people and I want him to be as social cat as possible.

Ignoring him - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes he stops after 5 minutes, sometimes he'll carry on howling for hours.

Locking him in the garage for a while - haven't tried this one yet so don't know its effectiveness.

Any comments, advice, or suggestions are very welcome. He's starting to be a source of stress for both me and my girlfriend (who isn't really fond of cats to begin with).

I know he's still young and in that rebellious teenager phase but I need to do something. Him ruling the household is not an option, and neither is getting rid of him.

HELP!

Bobby
 

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You might want to reconsider his feeding time, changing it to when you get home.

As far as keeping him off counters, it's a losing battle.

This breed, from what I've quickly read, is very VERY curious, active and a bundle of energy.

You might get some better answers and suggestions from a forum for exotic cats where they'd have more experience.
 

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How often are you feeding him? He's just a kitten and he's a Bengal... you're going to need to feed him at least three, preferably four times a day, 3 or 4 ounces each time, for a total daily intake of about 12 ounces.

If you're only feeding him once, the cat is starving.

As for the counters, as Marie already said, don't even bother - it's a battle that'll never be won. :wink

AC
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Feeding is not a problem. He gets canned food along with his always-full-and-available bowl of Wellness Core in the morning, then meat (chicken breast, stew meat and chicken heart) when I get home, a another serving of one or the other before I go to bed. He is definitely not wanting for food. He eats better than I do! :)

He gets a minimum of an hour of dedicated play time every night, usually until he's pooped and collapses on the cold tile floor to cool down.

He has his own tree, a few houses, full run of the house and garage (with the exception of the counters)

Basically, he's spoiled rotten. There's really only 3 places he's not allowed. The counters, my poker table (custom made by yours truly and not claw resistant) and the table where we eat. That's it. The rest is fair game.

I think I'm going to try locking him in the garage until he quiets down for the yowling and sticky tape for the counters. Hopefully one of them will get the message across without physical punishment which I really don't like to do. The squirt bottle is as mean as I care to get.

Thank you for the comments. I do appreciate them. Any and all are welcomed!

Bobby
 

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I don't know the extent to which a Cheetoh would react to things as would other cats. But, I use a coin can from time to time when I want my girls to stop doing something. Just an empty can with a lid, half-filled with coins. They hate the noise and will immediately get down off counters or stop doing whatever they're going when I shake it. Of course, that only keeps them off the counters when I'm there to shake it!
 

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I had these same problems with my kitten, Apollo. He's a very energetic, social cat, and in has case, he was simply bored. He basically wanted attention and play most of the day. Any time I couldn't offer it, he'd start getting into trouble, exploring places he was not supposed to go, etc.

Maybe Grimalkin is bored? You say you play with him an hour minimum, but what's the max? If it's just an hour or two, he may not consider that enough. Especially as a kitten of a very energetic breed.

Obviously it's not always practical to play with a cat for hours upon hours all day. We've all got things like work that keep us occupied. In Apollo's case, getting him a friend solved the problem. Another kitten had the time and energy to keep up with his crazy frequent play moods when I couldn't.

So that's something worth considering. It does mean more expenses/another cat to look after obviously so it's only something you should do if you feel you're able at this time, but it definitely made a world of difference for my cat. Apollo still gets into trouble on occasion, but his behavior improved dramatically from the day we brought Athena home. Now when he's bored he just chases her around the house instead of messing around on the kitchen counters.
 

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The thing is, you are fighting a losing battle. If he is rewarded for these behaviors EVER, then he will continue them. That means, if he finds the tuna steak on the counter and eats it once, he's going to keep trying. Same with giving in on feeding him. You have to outsmart him by being more vigilant. Don't let him find anything when he rummages. Keep food well out of reach. (I have to thaw my meat in the fridge. Takes longer but ensures I get to eat it instead of Ninja)

As for meowing at him to feed you, just feed him. He's obviously hungry. Mine do this to me when I get home. I get no peace until they are fed. Its part of owning a cat. They dictate the schedule. Sorry to be all doom and gloom, but.....
 

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Maybe Grimalkin is bored? You say you play with him an hour minimum, but what's the max? If it's just an hour or two, he may not consider that enough. Especially as a kitten of a very energetic breed.

Obviously it's not always practical to play with a cat for hours upon hours all day. We've all got things like work that keep us occupied. In Apollo's case, getting him a friend solved the problem. Another kitten had the time and energy to keep up with his crazy frequent play moods when I couldn't.
I couldn't agree with this more. I got my Bengal, Teddy, when he was a year old. When I would get home from work he would go bananas to get every second of my attention. When he didn't, he would start doing all sorts of bad things just to get attention (climb on counters, knock over the trash, climb the shelves and knock off my knick-knacks). He also had LOT of time on his... paws... to figure out how to be naughty while I wasn't home.

This all got SOOO much better since I got his litter-mate, Leo, from the breeder. Whenever one of them is feeling ornery but I don't have the time to play with them, they use it up on the other cat.

Of course I still have to worry about them climbing on counters and eating food while i'm not looking, but the less interesting you make the counters, the less he will jump on it (I haven't seen by boys on the counter in months but I still find paw prints every now and then).
 

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I don't know much about exotic cat breeds but they can't be much different than your run of the mill alley cat, other than being bigger and stronger. The counters are an endless battle as everyone has said.

That being said, I HATE having cats on my kitchen counters. I bought something called a Scat mat that delivers a little shock to them when they step on it. (I tried it first, believe me. It's just a little static shock.) It works if I put it on the counter but the problem is that I would need to cover the entire counter with it. Ideally, it's suppose to condition them so that they won't get up there. It's worked on some of them, but not all. My youngest one, the 12 week old Layla is so ornery she stood her ground and decided to fight with it rather than run. There's also a motion activated aerosol can that sprays air at them. Some have an alarm on them so if the air doesn't bother them, the alarm will. It probably works better than the mat, but they're expensive and a little annoying too.
 

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I have been uncertain as to whether I should post here because of your choice of words which so clearly reflect your opinion about this cat.
Cats are not rebellious. Laws are a human construct. We have a cat here who is hungry and lonely. Every day of his life, when he cried, it brought results. now that he's no longer cute and little, this same behavior that you thought was cute some months ago is now "loudmouthed" and unpleasant. Cats are social animals, used to the constant stimulation of outdoor life, where there are birds, bugs and rodents constantly scurrying around to keep their interest.
You lock the cat up in a vacuum(your house) where there is nothing alive for hours except himself, where food can be found on counters (but he's not allowed up there) and also where he has to do absolutely nothing to GET his food out of his dish, so he is so bored...and what happens when you, his only(?) companion comes home? You get mad because he's bored, loud and hungry.
 

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What has cured my counter jumpers is the motion-activated aerosol spray Ssscat, tho your Bengals might not be fazed by it if water spray doesn't. But might be worth a try.
Ssscat Automated Cat Deterrent - Repellents - Cat - PetSmart

I think you should make your cats hunt for their meals. Lock them up in the bathroom. Put their food throughout the house/apt., under the bed, under plants, on shelves places where they can get it without knocking stuff off. Then let them out to find the food. I give my cats a "treasure hunt" with treats or kibble, and they enjoy trying to find it....gives them a challenge. Spread their canned food on a plate, so they can't scarf it down quickly, but have to lick it off. Should slow them down.

As for your poker table, I would keep it covered all the time with a plastic sheet when you're not using it. Good luck.
 

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What has cured my counter jumpers is the motion-activated aerosol spray Ssscat, tho your Bengals might not be fazed by it if water spray doesn't. But might be worth a try.
Hehe, I think its funny that the cat on the package really does look as though he could be a Bengal.
 

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I You lock the cat up in a vacuum(your house) where there is nothing alive for hours except himself, where food can be found on counters (but he's not allowed up there) and also where he has to do absolutely nothing to GET his food out of his dish, so he is so bored...and what happens when you, his only(?) companion comes home? You get mad because he's bored, loud and hungry.
Oh! That gave me a heart ache!:cry:
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
That was a bit harsh and judgmental, Mimi. We would all love to be home all day and play with our cats, but there are bills to pay so we must work. I was frustrated, and my description was not too inaccurate. He likes to push to see how much he can get away with, even when he knows the very few rules.

I tried the shaker can last night. That was a mighty failure. A few shakes and he wouldn't come near me. That idea got canned. No pun intended.

I started feeding him canned food in the morning today since it seems one of the reasons he meows so much when I get home is that he doesn't eat much if any of his dry food during the day because he knows that when I get home he gets the good stuff. He goes right to town on it so I'm hoping that will alleviate the some hunger when I get home.

Anyone have any ideas for automated type toys for when we're at work? He has lots of crinkle balls, strings, catnip toys and such but nothing that's really "active". The toys are all passive.

you can see just how hungry he is: :)



He has lots of affection for me. See? I've graduated to footrest!

 

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We would all love to be home all day and play with our cats, but there are bills to pay so we must work.
Is he an only cat?
Anyone have any ideas for automated type toys for when we're at work? He has lots of crinkle balls, strings, catnip toys and such but nothing that's really "active". The toys are all passive.
The best active toy for a cat is another cat. My Teddy was skittish around motorized toys.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
He is the only cat but he does have a buddy in the form of my girlfriend's dog, a Jack Russell Terrier. They're buddies and play together quite a bit, but it's not the same as two cats playing.

He isn't afraid of motorized stuff. He attacks remote control cars and the like. He bats at my electric shaver when I'm using it sometimes too.

I would like another cat, but it's just not in the cards.

Bobby
 
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