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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, nice forum you folks have here. :)

I will be introducing three cats to my apartment here. My girlfriend is moving down to live with me and she'll be dropping off her belongings and the cats while she finishes her last two weeks at work (we live approx 600 mi apart at the moment). When she arrives to stay (in 2 weeks), we'll be moving into a (larger) apartment in an adjacent building in the same apartment complex that we'll be sharing.

My question is what I can do to accomodate the cats during all this? I grew up with cats and a dog in the house, so I'm not unused to nor do I dislike them. I've been around her apt for up to a week with her cats and get along with them great. One thing I did very quickly was establish myself in the Alpha role. These three (two females and one male) understand that I'm friendly, but that I don't tolerate misbehavior.

This is my girlfriends first time with cat ownership thus there are behaviors she allows that I view (and she agrees) are unacceptable. The cats are not barred from being on kitchen counters, tables or anywhere, really. They'll jump up on the bed and crawl all over your head at 3AM just because they feel like it, and one will meow incessantly at the bedroom door at about 5AM just because she's needy and wants attention.

So here I am taking in the three cats for two weeks. My gf will be here for only one night before they're left with me in what will likely be a very unfamiliar environment for them. My main concern is how I can avoid or minimize spraying, clawing (esp my nice pristine leather couch), and other unwanted behaviors? I've seen mention of (and visited the website of) Feliway, gotten myself a squirt bottle, put corrugate (that's cardboard) on my couch corners, and tried to minimize the number of objects/locations they'd likely tear up. Fortunately they have cat accessories for scratching that they seem to use, but I'm trying to cover all the bases here.

Any suggestions or tips for me? I want to make their stay here pleasant and I'd like for them to not make it unpleasant for me.

To answer question from next post, yes the male cat is neutered and the females are spayed.
 

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It sounds like you're pretty prepared.

Are the cats neutered/spayed? If they are and they haven't had a history of spraying, you shouldn't have a problem in that area.

As far as the clawing goes, I assume they still have theirs, since you are concerned about it. Make sure you have their scratching post available (I assume your girlfriend has one and will bring it). Also, you might want to ask her to clip their claws a day or two before she brings them down. Claws are usually still sharp right after you clip them, but after a day or two they are duller and that would minimize damage to your couch. Although the cardboard you have there should help.

As far as changing some of their behaviors, keep in mind that cats are different from dogs. They almost never respond well to violence, i.e. a light tap on the head, etc. Typically they will react more violently. i.e. They nip you lightly, you tap them, they bite you hard.

When the cat is somewhere or doing something you don't want them to do, just remove them from the situation and tell them No. For example, the cat tries to get food off your plate, move your plate away or block the cat from getting to it with your arm or whatever. Sooner or later, the cat will learn that that behavior will not earn them anything.

Also, keep in mind that they will be in a strange place with a strange guy and might do things they don't normally do. Therefore if they do act out, it is likely to be out of fear, stress, loneliness, etc.
 

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Thank you. That is useful information.

The cats claws are trimmed regularly and their toys will be coming along. They're also not at all unused to me as we get along fine. They all like me so I'm hoping that helps.
 

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You do sound very prepared - I think you will be a good kitty dad :D

I thought of one more thing that might help with the transition - along with all their toys and scratching posts and food, have your girlfriend bring along some soft stuff from their old home like [small] rugs, blankets, and even some of her dirty laundry - sounds weird but it'll smell like mom, and they might be calmed by that scent.

It'll be comforting to them to smell stuff from their old home, but also, all that stuff will smell like them too.
 

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Take the corregated paper off the furniture corners and put a double sided sticky tape up instead. The corregated cardboard will just attract them to the furniture. Make sure your GF brings a scratching post that they are used to. Also ask your GF to leave behind a few of her clothes that haven't been laundered so that the "smell" will be familiar to them.

Minimize the need for a water spray bottle by having a lot of interesting toys for them to play with. Any cat beds should also accompany them.

Enjoy them!
 

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Take the corregated paper off the furniture corners and put a double sided sticky tape up instead. The corregated cardboard will just attract them to the furniture. Make sure your GF brings a scratching post that they are used to. Also ask your GF to leave behind a few of her clothes that haven't been laundered so that the "smell" will be familiar to them.

Minimize the need for a water spray bottle by having a lot of interesting toys for them to play with. Any cat beds should also accompany them.

Enjoy them!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did eventually decide against the corrugate for exactly that reason. However my couch is leather so I didn't put sticky strips on it. I've had no problem with the couch except when they were running around (while I was at work) and the cover got pulled off. I came home to find cat claw marks and a few scratches all over the cushions. Needless to say, I was not happy. :evil:

They have been testing me and have been continually rebuffed. The sticky strips and water bottle work great for keeping them off of counters, but I'll probably have to work a little harder on that as well.

I think this is why I never owned any pets myself. I view all the time I spend cleaning up after them and protecting my home from them as a waste of my time. All they do is want want want... It's like having children with the drawback that these aren't ever going to get any smarter or grow up. :x This is why I've completely closed off the bedroom and bathroom to them. It's someplace where *I* live and don't have to continually be thinking about what the cats are doing.

I guess this is the tradeoff for being the determining factor of where we live in this couple. *sigh* :?
 
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