Cat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Thanks for the add...i am mom of garfield...VERY demanding,loud,destructive,counter surfing,fur exploding,stubborn cat...& Russel,skittish,likes little cuddles,well behaved,not demanding & very independent.
Previously have had many cats, 1 being Ziggy that was a full insulin dependent diabetic,that lived to ripe age of 13.
Had Pouncer...was a very dirty cat,couldnt house break him no matter what i did,(i rent,so cant have a dirty cat) so he is now living very happy out at my uncles farm..thriving living outdoors,keeping the farm mouse free, & has many warm hiding places with other cats & critters for company.
Rescued a feral cat from my previous job of running a campground...named him Squatter (cause thats what he was :smile:) Hand tamed him,ended up being a very loving,well behaved kitty..re-homed him to my new boss,as she needed a good mouser & house companion...he is thriving,& my boss loves & spoils him to death. (i had 4 cats @ once,so rehoming him was the best thing for him,especially that i can visit him)
I look forward to posting on this forum....especially issues im having with Garfield..as have read a few postings that are identical to his issues, have tried all things mentioned..& thinking about re-homing him to someone that can handle his attention needing,loud meowing ways...maybe a house with kids that love cats..as he's so demanding...will be glad when i can post :cool
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,188 Posts
Welcome! Lots of members here would give their right arm if their cat only was attention needing and loud meowing. :) Sorry to hear you might have to re-home. Maybe we can help once you give more details in the behavior section. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
Welcome to the board. I have a cat that sounds like yours, a counter surfer, loud, destructive, etc, he is crazy, but we love him. Thank you for rescuing your feral and finding a good home for him, that is so awesome. I have a feral that I adore right now have been caring for for a few years now too. I hope you like it here :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Counter surfing,meowing,attention demanding

Hi there...my Garfield is driving me INSANE!:yellbounce He of course is a ginger tabby..as a kitten he was very cuddly, attention demanding..& of course i caved to his cuddles etc. As an adult, his attention demanding has gotten out of control. I can pet him constantly, & its still never enough, to the point he tries to climb up me..claws & all.Drooling, pushing his way around..its just never enough attention. No matter what i try to do to curb his ways, he still insists on pushing his way for attention, climbing on my guests, always under feet.
He also constantly HOWLS! For no reason in particular. Really bad at feeding time, but throughout the day, bellows, howls, meows..i guess seeking more attention.., i used to tell him no..to realize by communicating, was attention to the behavior..have tried for months to ignore it..but it makes my hair stand on end, & aggravates me to no end, as it is constant!.
Next MAJOR issue, is he is a constant counter surfer! I have tried setting mouse traps to spook him..he walks around them, & the snap doesnt spook him anymore. Have tried pepper, tin foil, water all on counter..no luck.Theres never any food or crumbs for him. He also always gets up on china units, knocking things down. He has high places to go that he IS allowed..but insists on other areas instead. The counter thing..we have gone as far as getting the underground pet fence ( the collar that shocks him) & now that doesnt even faze him. Tried spraying him with water ( before the collar thing) but he's not scared of water. He looks at me as if to say "go for it, i dare you". He's very defiant personality.
It has gotten to the point of frustration, that im seriously considering re-homing him..yet how cant I in good faith, pass on his issues to someone else to deal with :( I dont want him to get beaten or mistreated as a result of his ways.
He has been an inside cat all his life (5 yrs) & we got him a friend (Russel) 2 yrs ago, to try & give him company, but that didnt work, nor did it make him worse...he had a friend before (Pouncer) but he was a dirty cat(pee'd everywhere) so Pouncer is now at uncles farm. Got Russel, thinking Garfield was grieving or lonely, but didnt cure any of his issues.
Also he (both cats) are on homemade food, as garfield was susceptable to UTI's
He has been vet checked, & has NO health issues to cause his annoying habits...
Any other thoughts or ideas would be appreciated, as much as I love him, & DONT want to have to re-home him....i cant handle his ways anymore! Its seriously affecting my life..cant sleep due to him meowing (no he's not allowed in bedroom, as he explodes fur)
HELP8-O
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,359 Posts
The counter thing is something I don't fight. It's not worth it. I simply clean the counters off before I use them. Cats like being up high, it's not like he's trying to annoy you. Things that he can knock down? I've either put those things away or secured them. You kind of have to make those choices, because if something gets broken, it's MY fault basically.

Did the vet check his teeth? I'm really useless for advice on the howling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,479 Posts
Have you tried dedicated one-on-one play time with him (to the point where you really get him worn out)? If you don't already have a wand toy (or a couple) and a laser pointer, I'd recommend those to start with. Interactive toys are best! I'd start with a minimum of 30 minutes twice a day if you can manage that. If you can't, at least do 30 minutes in the evening before his dinner/bedtime. The normal cycle for cats is to hunt/play, eat, then sleep, so if you get him in that cycle, maybe it will calm him down in the evenings. Does he have regular/scheduled feeding times?

In terms of the counter, good luck. I've never found anything that works, so I just don't leave anything on the counter that I don't want them getting into/breaking. You might be able to get him off while you're there, but when you're not there, there's no deterrent. He'll just keep doing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Rambo can be a pain like that too.....but is almost always in the evening. He has a range of yowls that used to get me running to him because they sounded so awful. He always has to be leaning against me when he sleeps....day or night. I feed my 4 wet food twice a day.....and I used to leave some kibbles in a bowl for snacking, but I found that Rambo would sit there and woof down the whole bowl...then regurgitate. He has NO control. He is 12 and overweight. So, now I have one bowl up high (Rambo doesn't do high anymore) for the other 3 cats....which they nibble on once in awhile. For the bossy howler, I put (literally) 10 kibbles in his bowl. Believe it or not, that seems to solve the problem at least temporarily. I might have to do that twice in an evening....but it shuts him up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Garfield is driving us INSANE!!

Our ginger tabby is 5 1/2 yrs old. He has always been very attention demanding, full claws & drools when you hold him. Explodes fur, as he doesnt seem to groom himself. Wakes us up howling at all hours of the night. When i do get up (5am) he EXPECTS me to feed him right away by "death meowing" at me before & during serving his food. He stops once food in front of him, but still meows while eating.
Once finished he meows again, yet he gets enough food to last him all day. He'll pig out on his food till he pukes,doesnt want to share with our other cat (i have been feeding them seperately for couple months now, as my other cat got sick/dehydrated cause he wasnt getting his share)
Garfield constantly counter surfs, pries cupboard doors open,climbs on all furniture,shelves etc..knocking things down as he is not dainty on his feet. This cat does NOT always land on his feet,he's quite clumsy.
For the counter surfing..have done/tried it ALL! Water doesnt scare him, tinfoil he plays with, double sided tape he gets stuck to his feet but doesnt care. Ive tried setting mouse traps, but he sets them off & ignores them..spiky bottomed plastic carpet didnt work, tobasco sauce just stained my counters, pepper he didnt flinch.
We ended up buying an electric fence "shock collar" running the wire around the counters. He figured out how to jump over it & not get zapped.
We have since resorted to tying him on a 20 foot leash, so he cant get in the kitchen.
I feel bad for him, but this is the only thing that keeps him off counters..let him off leash, & right back up..so back on leash. This punishment is not working either.
We are at our wits end with him, & seriously considering re-homing him, but at same time its not fair to put his issues onto someone else.

As for "not fretting" about the counter issue..i cant handle having his paws where i prepare food, no matter how much bleach to clean..the hair is insane, & gag at the thought of having it in my food.

He does get attention & play times..but in his mind, its never enough :(

Does anyone else have anything similar to my problems with him? If so what have you done to curb or prevent them..thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
Are you for real? You have him tied to a leash? Please let this not be real, and if it is, please find a home for your cat. And trying to shock him? I just don't even know what to say, really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
Garfield is driving us INSANE!!

Just so you know, any sanitizing counter wipe has enough sanitant in it to kill an ice cream scoop size colony of bacteria. Your counters are perfectly fine a after a quick wipe down.

If he wants to be on counters, he needs somewhere else to climb. Cats like to be up high, so a large, tall cat tree or cat shelves would help.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
578 Posts
He needs places to climb like cat trees or window sill perches. How many times a day do you play with him and what do you do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,151 Posts
Scccat air repellent keeps most cats off counters, but your boy sounds like he might enjoy the air blast if water spary doesn't faze him.
Amazon.com: SSSCAT Cat Training Aid: Pet Supplies

Shock treatments tho, really? imho too drastic! I agree he may need more places to climb. He does sound like a handful....he reminds me of a Manx boy I had once who would eat as long as any food was out. He didn't have a "stop" button on his appetite. I had to feed him in a separate room from my other cats until they had finished as much as they wanted. Then all the food was taken up and put away. I could never leave anything out on my counters either, so I didn't. When I prepared food, I wiped the counters clean, and then locked him away while I prepared meals. As he got older, he mellowed out somewhat and didn't jump on the kitchen counters so much, but remained a real "piggy". In spite of his bad habits, he was a very sweet lover-boy.

As far as his hair falling out, some cats just have a loose coat, and drop it constantly. Right now it's the "spring coat drop" time, and to get rid of a lot of loose hair, suggest you bathe him, and then comb him with a fine-toothed comb (not as fine as a flea comb) every day and that will get rid of most of his loose hairs.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,629 Posts
How much does Garfield weigh?
Have you had him checked for any thyroid issues?
How much water does he drink and what size are his 'pee balls'?
Between the food and his 'hyper' activity, it sounds like more than a 'behavior' issue...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,359 Posts
I've combined your three different threads, since they're all about the same issue.

If you make your counters boring and keep breakable stuff put away and keep things he can get into put away, he'll stop being such a pest. He won't stay off the counters, but he won't get into trouble while he's up there and you won't get mad about things being broken or gotten into.

I made a choice when I brought the girls home - I'd rather have my little adorable little bratz than knick-knacks and a clean counter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
You need to keep the counters clear so that he can't knock anything down and provide him with high places or shelves that he's allowed to climb.
I know you said you can't have him on your counters, but frankly that might be a loosing battle. Even if you train him when you're there, he'll likely still go up at night or when you're out.

It also might be attention seeking behaviour. I assume you come running when you hear him knocking stuff down? That's probably what he wants. Keep them clear, put toddler proof locks on the cupboards and don't react. Provide plenty of playtime and attention, so that he doesn't need to resort to annoy you. He'll tire of it eventually but might still jump up the odd day. Just wipe the counters and get the hair off before you prepare food, I'll do that regardless. The hair is so fine, it gets everywhere. I think if you can't or won't handle that then look for a good home for him. Please, don't dump him at a shelter, but find a home privately. I think many older or single people wouldn't mind a cat that wants a lot of attention and it may be a better fit at the end if the day.


Sent from Petguide.com App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
I've combined a few of your posts, and I'm going to respond to each as they come.

Hi there...my Garfield is driving me INSANE!:yellbounce He of course is a ginger tabby..as a kitten he was very cuddly, attention demanding..& of course i caved to his cuddles etc. As an adult, his attention demanding has gotten out of control. I can pet him constantly, & its still never enough, to the point he tries to climb up me..claws & all.Drooling, pushing his way around..its just never enough attention. No matter what i try to do to curb his ways, he still insists on pushing his way for attention, climbing on my guests, always under feet.
It sounds to me like he's bored.

My boys go through phases where they need more exercise and mind-games, or they're terrors. When they're like that we have a few solutions that work great:

-Automatic laser pointer (Frolicat - Bolt on Amazon) is a lifesaver.
When I was sick a few weeks ago I could turn the thing on and it would keep the boys occupied without any more effort than pushing a button. Love it.

-'Da Bird (on Amazon) is also amazing. Hard to find in Canada, but worth their weight in gold. Nothing gets all 4 of my cats going like this thing. My 2 girls aren't all that interested in the laser, but they love this toy.

Use some sort of toy to play with him for at LEAST 20 minutes, ideally twice a day. You need to get him panting, or it won't work. If you play for a bit, until you're bored, and he's still excited and ready to go you're actually making it WORSE, not better. You need to play with him until HE'S tired.

He also sounds like a prime candidate for clicker training! Food motivated, likes attention, athletic, clever, ect. Look up 'clicker training cats' on youtube (hey, look...it's a link ;) ) and work with him. Smart cats get bored easily, and if you teach him to 'come' first (HIGHLY recommended, btw) you can call him away from most naughty behaviors, and then he's being good and you can praise him! Perfect.

He also constantly HOWLS! For no reason in particular. Really bad at feeding time, but throughout the day, bellows, howls, meows..i guess seeking more attention.., i used to tell him no..to realize by communicating, was attention to the behavior..have tried for months to ignore it..but it makes my hair stand on end, & aggravates me to no end, as it is constant!.
When i do get up (5am) he EXPECTS me to feed him right away by "death meowing" at me before & during serving his food. He stops once food in front of him, but still meows while eating.
Once finished he meows again, yet he gets enough food to last him all day. He'll pig out on his food till he pukes,doesnt want to share with our other cat (i have been feeding them seperately for couple months now, as my other cat got sick/dehydrated cause he wasnt getting his share)
He's doing this because you're giving in. Actually, you've made it worse. Sorry.

The reason it's gotten so bad is because of a varied rate of reinforcement. Think of a person playing slot machines. You pull the handle and....EXCITEMENT...you lose. Darn. Try again. You pull the handle and....EXCITEMENT...you lose. Darn. Try again. You pull the handle and....EXCITEMENT...you lose. Darn. Try again. You pull the handle and....EXCITEMENT...you WIN!!!! OMG OMG OMG! It doesn't matter how much you win, it's the endorphins and the anticipation that's really the reward. The next time you play you'll pull the darn lever twice as long, even if you don't win at all, because you know it's POSSIBLE for you to win. That's how gambling becomes addictive, and it's the same cause for your boy's excitement.

Something called an 'extinction burst' happens, and that's when people are most likely to give up when training. It goes like this:

Cat meows, you ignore him. Repeat for 10-15 minutes. Then the cats starts getting louder, and louder, and meowing more often. This bit, when the cat is most annoying, is the extinction burst. He's giving it everything he's got - one last big PUSH. If you give in and yell at him he WINS. And the next time you try ignoring it he'll try TWICE AS HARD. See how ignoring him isn't working? Eventually you give in and he's rewarded for trying his very hardest. If you had instead ignored him at this point he would have given up and you'd be over the worst bit. He's still meow, but it wouldn't be as bad.

It works double for morning feedings because he's not only rewarded by attention, there's FOOD involved.

If you start doing clicker training with him (that magical 'come') you can call him to you, rather than hollering at him, and then you can reward him for coming rather than having him be an annoying PITA for an hour.

It's always better to replace a bad behavior with a good one.

Next MAJOR issue, is he is a constant counter surfer! I have tried setting mouse traps to spook him..he walks around them, & the snap doesnt spook him anymore. Have tried pepper, tin foil, water all on counter..no luck.Theres never any food or crumbs for him. He also always gets up on china units, knocking things down. He has high places to go that he IS allowed..but insists on other areas instead. The counter thing..we have gone as far as getting the underground pet fence ( the collar that shocks him) & now that doesnt even faze him.
Garfield constantly counter surfs, pries cupboard doors open,climbs on all furniture,shelves etc..knocking things down as he is not dainty on his feet. This cat does NOT always land on his feet,he's quite clumsy.
For the counter surfing..have done/tried it ALL! Water doesnt scare him, tinfoil he plays with, double sided tape he gets stuck to his feet but doesnt care. Ive tried setting mouse traps, but he sets them off & ignores them..spiky bottomed plastic carpet didnt work, tobasco sauce just stained my counters, pepper he didnt flinch.
We ended up buying an electric fence "shock collar" running the wire around the counters. He figured out how to jump over it & not get zapped.
We have since resorted to tying him on a 20 foot leash, so he cant get in the kitchen...This punishment is not working either.
There's more than one issue here, so one at a time:

Counter surfing happens because he finds it, in some way, rewarding. Most likely because he gets attention for it. When a cat has been reinforced the way yours has (probably for years) they stop caring whether their getting positive attention or negative. Attention is attention and he wants it.

Teaching him to come means you can reward him for coming, and he can't both come AND be on the counter. Mutually exclusive behaviors are a wonderful thing.

All of the things you tried are negative. ALL OF THEM.

I think it's time for a different strategy, because clearly what you're doing isn't working. Aside from the fact that things like tabasco sauce and shock collars are terrible ideas and border on cruelty. (Shock collars are against the law in many European countries...for a reason.)

Instead of all this fuss teach him to come.

Please throw out the shock collar. On cats they can cause HUGE issues like redirected aggression, and they generally don't work at all. Every time you use it you're taking a risk.

Tried spraying him with water ( before the collar thing) but he's not scared of water. He looks at me as if to say "go for it, i dare you". He's very defiant personality.
I wanted to respond to this directly. Can't aren't 'naturally defiant'. He's doing these things because at some point they were rewarded, likely by you inadvertently encouraging it. That's how that works.

Cats don't do things to 'get back at you', to 'challenge your authority' *eyeroll*, or because they're 'defiant'. They simply don't have the brain power for it. Period.

At one point or another he liked what happened when he was on the counter, and all the things you tried to dissuade him either weren't enough to change that (Please don't take this as a dare...) or were somehow rewarding for him (most likely, given your descriptions).

Basically, it's the kitty version of Fear Factor. 'Can you withstand tabasco on your paws to lick the steak juice?' 'Can you put up with a shock on your neck to get attention?' Not effective. (It's amazing what some people will do/eat *shudders* for a million dollars, animals aren't that different if you have the right motivators.)

Also he (both cats) are on homemade food, as garfield was susceptable to UTI's
He has been vet checked, & has NO health issues to cause his annoying habits...
I'm glad you took him to a vet to make sure he's healthy. That's a great step.

As far as his diet, can you walk me through what, exactly, you feed him? 'Home made' can be a number of different things, and diet can play a big role in behavior.

as he explodes fur)
HELP8-O
...I'm not sure what you mean by 'explodes fur? Presumably that he sheds a lot? If that's the case brushing can help, and diet plays a pretty big factor as well.

He does get attention & play times..but in his mind, its never enough :(

Does anyone else have anything similar to my problems with him? If so what have you done to curb or prevent them..thanks
One of my boys sounds a lot like your Garfield. Muffin is a love sponge, and when he wants attention he's done everything from chasing the other cats, to being on the counter, to sitting literally ON my face...if it gets him attention he WILL DO IT.

That's why we love the laser pointer. Also, in the summer he gets to go outside into our catio, which he loves, and I take him to the local kiddy park once a week or so (on a leash - which I trained him to accept from a very young age).

I also do training with my cats, and when one of them is being particularly feisty I break out the treats and we have a training session. Working their little bodies is only half the battle. You need to work their brains too!

Are you for real? You have him tied to a leash? Please let this not be real, and if it is, please find a home for your cat. And trying to shock him? I just don't even know what to say, really.
Tethering a cat isn't necessarily cruel or awful. It isn't something I typically suggest, but I have done it.

In our case the option was Doran spraying urine all over our home and the leash was used as a tool to help him re-integrate into our home, while under direct supervision.

If you leash your cat you MUST (not optional):

-Train them to accept a harness FIRST. You CANNOT safely attach a leash to a cat's collar. I can't stress how important this is.

-Must be directly supervising them at all times. You can't leave the room at ALL. Cat's can't understand how a leash works and will tangle themselves up, guaranteed. You have to be there to untangle them. (Doran got much better with this after a solid month of being tethered 1-2 hours a day...but it takes a LOT of time and he would have hung himself from his harness - why you can't do it with a collar! - more than once if I hadn't been RIGHT there.)

-Have them of the leash most of the time - even if it is confined to one room. They shouldn't be harnessed and tethered more than 1-2 hours.

Finally, I'd suggest if he's howling at night anyways that you confine him to one room for the night. Feed him his dinner in his room, supply a litter box, cat post, toys, and water and lock him in each night.

My boys love their room and spend quite a lot of time in there even when the door is open. At night they're currently locked in (Doran's UTI is causing spraying set backs :( ) and as he adjusts it may calm down his yowling...or at least put you far enough away that you can ignore it until you CHOOSE to get up.

There will be an adjustment period, but after a week or two it shouldn't bug him at all.

*cough*....sorry for the novel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Are you for real? You have him tied to a leash? Please let this not be real, and if it is, please find a home for your cat. And trying to shock him? I just don't even know what to say, really.

He is only tied up immediatly after going on counter..for less than 10 minutes..like a "time out". I know of people that would rather beat or hit their animal for being on counters (who shouldnt be animal owners)..so this in my opinion is WAY less torture. Again its for less than 10 minutes at a time. Never more than once or twice a day, immediatly after catching him on counter..he is free to roam except when he is in "time out"

As for the shock collar, it was recommended by my vet, as well as a trainer..to see if it would work, as he has a very defiant personality, & I had already tried every other option known to humans. The shock is no worse than sticking your tongue on a 9volt battery. I have shocked myself before putting it on him, to be sure it wouldnt hurt him. He also has very thick hair, so even less of a surprise to him. Thats all it did to him, was give him a "surprise"..didnt deter him from counters or climbing on things, so have removed the collar over 6 months ago. (after only using it for a short term)
They also sell them at most all pet stores, online etc...so i figured being at my wits end to break him of his bad habits..what harm could it do to at least try it..especially having it recommended to me by someone who had worked with cats before, & had great results with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thankyou LIBRARYCHICK for all the good points :) I know the way i worded my concerns..has completely made people freak out..shock collar, tethering. He is very loved, has MANY high climbing spots..he is harnessed,& leash trained as well. I will respond more to your post when i have a bit more time...thanks for understanding my frustrations
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
Your vet and trainer did give you bad advice on the collar. In the future I'd suggest looking for a trainer who uses positive methods and is registered with the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers or is a certified behaviorist (with a university degree). Vets don't learn much, if anything, about behavior modification in vets school and, without the certification I mentioned, anyone can call themselves a 'trainer'. Im working towards my DBTM (Dog Training and Behavior Modification), the fiest step towards the CAPPDT certification.

Ok, long winded, lol.

Testing the collar on yourself is a flawed idea many shock trainers suggest. Yet they never tell you to strap the thing to YOUR neck, typically they hold it to your wrist. This isnt a fair comparison. In any case, cats have much more delicate skin than we do (or a dog does) and they hide pain and discomfort well due to being a prey species. Aside from that most shock collars are recommended on the package for dogs over 15-20 lbs. If youre uncertain what the rating on your collar is you need to remove it. Continued exposure can cause long term damage in pets under the recommended weight, it's there for a reason.

And, the last thing I'll say on the collar, is that it ISN'T WORKING. What's thd point of a tool that harms your pet and has no effect? None at all. I wish they'd make the darn things illegal here too, they're used incorrectly 99% of the time, create worse problem behaviors than they were meant to solve, and are given to anyone who wants one.

Sorry to harp on it, but I have personally seen dogs with holes burnt in them by shock collars and nice dogs turned aggressive more than once directly because of shock collars. Not a fan.

Im looking forward to your response later :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
10CATS2DOGS
Garfield weighs just over 20 lbs..not fat,just a big cat..quite lean,just long & tall
No thyroid issues..all bloodwork good
He doesnt drink excesively, i previously had a diabetic,so am acutely aware of those symptoms

How do u post replies & have them stay within the box of the person u are responding to?
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top