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1 30th August 16:01
jjmoreta
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Posts: 1
Default What's the best way to deter our cat from scratching at our bedroom door?


With my husband's allergies and our soon-to-be-arriving baby that we will be
cosleeping with, we made the decision a few weeks ago to keep the cats out
of the bedroom. We are extremely happy with the decision and we are both
breathing better at night (we are both slightly allergic to them). My
husband doesn't have to take extra allergy medicine anymore and his asthma
has improved. We did a thorough cleanup this past weekend and it is amazing
how much cat hair gets around our routine cleanings.

Unfortunately, our oldest cat Luna is not pleased with the decision at all.
He is a half-Maine Coon neutered male who just turned 4. He is definitely
the dominant cat, and I am "his". He is a very intelligent cat and
discipline has always been difficult with him. When he gets squirted with a
water bottle, he knows that we are doing it (as opposed to our younger
half-Siamese Mina who has an almost comical "where the heck did that come
from" reaction). He knows the meaning of the word "No" and the tone/gesture
for "Out", but being a typical cat, he will usually stall and sulk. He
basically has an "I don't care attitude" when we try and discipline him.

Early on, he had an obsession with clawing and meowing at the front door to
get out. As a kitten, we used to let him out for short, monitored
excursions since we've never lived anywhere where I've felt safe letting him
wander at will (we're now in the country but we live 100 feet from a heavily
traveled road and since we've lived here I've been unable to avoid hitting 2
cats and have dodged dozens more). After a while, though, he used those
excursions to try and run and hide in order to stay outside and they only
made the clawing and meowing worse, so we discontinued them, except for
every couple months or so. He rarely meows or scratches at an outside door
(it also helps we have an indoor porch between him and the outside now), but
we still have to be on guard for him rushing past us.

Well anyways, he has started a campaign of clawing and meowing at our
bedroom door once or multiple times during the night. We tried ignoring it,
but it made no difference to him, and after several days of interrupted
sleep, we found a yelled "NO" would usually suffice. That didn't last long.
We tried the squirt bottle, but within a few days of that, when he hears us
getting up to squirt him, he'll be all the way down the hall or hiding in
the bathroom (I know discipline doesn't count unless you catch them in the
act, so what if they know they're doing something wrong and run away from
the discipline - I'm really confused about this). We keep the bathroom
door closed now, which eliminated a place to hide, but that only worked a
few days. What we've been doing now, is that when he scratches the first
time, my husband will squirt him into the living room (if he isn't already
there) and close the door between the living room and hallway (he'll claw
and meow at that door too but we can only barely hear him thank goodness).
The only problem is that doing that isolates them from their litter box (and
we don't want the mess/hassle of setting up a second one in there), so we
can't do that too long. It also hasn't made any difference with his
scratching if the door comes open or my husband forgets to close it when he
leaves for work in the morning.

It drives me crazy that HE KNOWS that its driving us crazy. LOL I wasn't
always sure if it was the case, but I'm pretty sure that Luna is aiming for
any attention he can get from us, negative or not. When I open the door and
he's already down the hall, he's already won for all purposes of the
interaction. He's even started trying to run/sneak past us into the bedroom
or into the hallway door when we open them to discipline him, like he thinks
we won't do anything to him once he gets in there (yeah right). His
persistence is driving me crazy, but there is no way that I am reversing my
decision.

I'm at my wits end and sleeping right now is hard enough without the meowing
and scratching (I'm awake at the first scratch). Any suggestions? We've
pondered duct tape, which we've used with decent success in the closet where
their litter box is due to the very loud scratching/pounding he would do
after using the litter box. I think a Scat Mat would be perfect for this
purpose, but we honestly can't afford one right now (I've even checked
eBay). I've never used Feliway, but I've heard it discussed here. Would
that have a chance of working? Am I right in that Luna isn't being picky
over positive or negative attention? In that case, is there anything
differently behaviorally we could do? I'm very tired, very frustrated, but
committed to keeping the family together.

- Joanne
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2 30th August 16:01
rona yuthasastrakosol
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Default What's the best way to deter our cat from scratching at our bedroom door?


<snip>


I wonder if a citrus-scented air freshener in the hallway near your door
might not keep him away. Or some citrus scented cleaner around the area of
your door. Cats generally dislike the smell of citrus and will avoid things
that smell of it. It might not help with the meowing so much, but would
keep him away from the door. Aside from that, I think your duct tape idea
might be good.

rona
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3 30th August 16:01
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Default What's the best way to deter our cat from scratching at ourbed...


<snip>
First of all, stop being so mean to your cat. Yelling at him, chasing
him and squirting him will not work (as you seem to have figured out)
and it's abusive.

This poor cat has, until recently, spent his whole life sleeping with
you and cuddling, and it stands to reason that having that suddenly
taken away is upsetting to him. Punishing him so severely and cruelly
for what is an appropriate reaction is unfair and wrong. If this were a
child I would hope you would approach this with KINDNESS and
UNDERSTANDING, and work with him in a way that eases his anxieties about
the change and use positive measures to make the change easier.
I would suggest that you make the hour before bedtime a special time for
you and your cat. Play with him, snuggle him and give him lots of
attention. Give him that to look forward to as an alternative to
sleeping with you at night. You should also, for now, put a tall
scratching post next to your door. Once you go to bed, don't respond to
his scratching the door AT ALL. No getting out of bed and chasing him,
no yelling, no squirting. Wear earplugs if you must, but stop getting up
and negatively reacting to him. Just like children, cats will sometimes
settle for negative attention rather than nothing at all.
It may take a few days or more, but if your cat doesn't get a response
to his scratching behavior he will stop the scratching and settle down
for the night. Just remember that the key to getting a cat to do what
you want is to BE KIND.

Megan

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing."

-Edmund Burke

Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com

Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.PictureTrail.com/zuzu22

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one
elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and
splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then
providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and
material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his
way."

- W.H. Murray
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4 30th August 16:01
tonyb
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Posts: 1
Default What's the best way to deter our cat from scratching at ourbed...


Or maybe not. Ours did it for 17 years despite being totally ignored. He
died a couple of years ago and I still miss him but the sleep is wonderful!
Soft earplugs do help but sometimes you don't hear the alarm!

We tried lots of things with William, soon figuring out that reacting to him
didn't work. He was a big lad at 15 lbs and letting him in the bedroom was a
non-starter - he would walk on me all through the night and keep me awake.
Or sit on my head. Or pee on the bed. By ignoring him we did eventually get
some sleep but his habit of yowling and rattling the kitchen door persisted.
In summer he would sometimes like to spend a night out and as we live in a
very safe area away from roads we would let him. Then at 4 a.m. he would
come and yowl outside our bedroom window. Double glazing cured that but it
was hot in summer with the windows closed!

Tried leaving lights and radios on, giving him blankets & jumpers, extra
food etc. Even other cats didn't help.
Don't mean to sound negative but if you find a cure please post it for my
future reference!

Thanks
TonyB
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5 3rd September 03:12
jjmoreta
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Posts: 1
Default What's the best way to deter our cat from scratching at our bed...


You think that I've gone to ignoring him completely? You couldn't be
further from the truth. Actually I've been at home for several weeks since
I was between jobs and not about to start a new one with a baby on the way.
He gets attention from the moment I get up until the moment I get to bed,
and usually most of it comes at night (when my husband comes home from
work). And to be completely honest, the more attention he gets during the
day, the worse he scratches at night. He does not separate love he gets
during the day from wanting to be in our room at night. He believes that he
is entitled to both as much as he wants to, no matter what. If I was a
cruel person, the easy thing to do would be to ignore him completely, but I
don't.

But the problem is that as much as I love him, HE ISN'T A CHILD, and I can
never treat him as though he were human. He is an animal, with animal
instincts. He lives in the moment from day-to-day. He will never have
powers of reason. And most of all, I would be highly surprised if I ever
became allergic to my child. What is honestly better? That my husband's
asthma and allergies degenerate to the point that we get rid of our cats
altogether, or we make a compromise to keep a place where we spend a third
of our day fur and dander free? (we do bathe regularly but that only works
so far) When I was a little girl, my parents had to get rid of my cat
because of my brother's allergies and asthma and it still scars me to this
day.

I have tried ignoring him, and earplugs do not work for me (I've tried
several in the past and they all irritate my ears). He is a very large cat,
and his scratching at the door is actually more pounding, like someone is
knocking. I can't drown it out with fan white noise or the stereo (if I
turn it up enough, then I can't sleep anyways). He has never been
interested in scratching posts, even before he was declawed. He does like
rubbing his paws on clothes baskets, though.

I wish I had the cats you must have, but about the only way animals are like
children is that they all have individual personalities and respond
differently. We don't have ANY problem with our youngest cat and she is
perfectly adjusted to the situation. Luna refuses to adjust and because he
is a cat and responds like cats do, we're having problems getting him to see
how his life has changed, and will remain changed. God I wish I could
accomplish everything by being sweet and kind, but that has never worked,
that's not how my situation is, so get off of your soapbox if you don't have
any other constructive advice.

- Joanne
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6 3rd September 03:13
k3_e81
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Posts: 1
Default What's the best way to deter our cat from scratching at our bed...


Because he is suffering separation anxiety. He feels neglected.

You don't understand cats at all.

My husband married me and my two dogs and two cats - all of which he
is allergic to. You find ways to make it work for everyone. Megan
gave you the solution. Read her suggestions again.


Oh great. Declawed. Figures.

A cat tree and scratching posts are not the same thing. What this cat
needs is a tall cat tree near the area of your bedroom. He also needs
other distractions to keep him occupied at night, like interactive
toys. He needs special attention before bedtime - and play
time/interaction that will tire him out. Feliaway may also be
effective at calming him at night.

I feel sorry for your cats.


Well, the abusive methods you are using now aren't working, or you
wouldn't be here asking us how to solve your problems, now, would you?
Squirting and yelling do nothing to train a cat, except to teach it
that it cannot trust you - leading to further anxiety.

Stop abusing your cat. Megan's advice is spot-on. She's been in
animal rescue for years and is quite knowledgeable about behavior
modification.

And when you get fed up with your cat and dump him at a shelter after
your baby comes, it will be the Megans of the world who rescue him and
rehome him. So, heed her advice, and quit being PO'ed at her for
stating the obvious.

-L.
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7 3rd September 03:13
jjmoreta
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Posts: 1
Default What's the best way to deter our cat from scratching at our bed...


I KNOW THAT he is feeling neglected. But I made this choice first of all
because I was worried about a 25lb cat crawling into the crib (one side
dropped attached to the bed so easy access). If it was just because my
baby, he would be allowed back in once the baby could move around on its
own. But since we have made this choice, my husband has been able to
decrease his allergy and asthma medicine dosage and feels and breathes
better every morning, so I will not reverse my decision on that.

I never claimed to understand them 100%. That's why I'm trying to find ways
to persuade him to give up on this. Our other cat doesn't have a problem
with this whatsoever. He doesn't behave any differently once we're up and
about and gets lots of attention. I know that he will only truly be happy
with the door open, but I made my decision and that's how it is.

And does it not sound like we found a solution that would work? Bathing
them with regular shampoo, no-wet shampoo, and even Allerpet hasn't helped
significantly. Keeping the cats out of the bedroom, that has been the best
thing in months for his allergies! And he wasn't as allergic to them when
we got them. This has become a worsening problem, we don't know why and we
can't afford a trip to the allergy doctor to ask. I just can't do what my
parents did and take him to some farm somewhere to die of loneliness (which
happened to my Snuggles, the most loyal rumpy Manx cat in the universe)


Which I did a lot of research on and found a vet who only excises the claw.
My cats are not missing parts of their toes and have none of the problems
usually cited. But it doesn't matter anyways and I won't debate it because
declawing arguments always turn into circular arguments.

There is nothing near the area of our bedroom. We have a hallway and at the
end is the master bedroom. We also have a bathroom right off of the
hallway. There is no room for a tree in either the hallway or the bathroom.
We have a large variety of toys that he doesn't really like to play with.
His favorite toys are milk rings and laser pointers, with which he gets
exercised every night (laser pointers work better when its dark in the
house).

Tiring him out is not an issue because he currently has a weight problem I'm
also worried about and doesn't get a lot of activity to begin with. He
needs to be on a diet because the neverending-bowl-of-food which my
husband's family raised several cats on doesn't work for him. I am starting
to replace his normal food with diet food. I want to go to thrice daily
feedings, but I don't want to make things any more difficult to adjust to.
I'll see how the diet food and exercise works and then we'll go to separate
feedings AFTER the baby and all the houseguests.

We are considering Feliway, which I asked about originally and no one ever
commented on. I've heard of it, but never used it.

I don't like yelling at Luna. I don't like squirting him. But my sleep is
so disturbed right now as it is that I cannot endure the pounding. Ignoring
it did not work. I already explained that white noise and earplugs don't
work. He has toys available everywhere (that I usually step on if I'm up in
the middle of the night) and another cat for companionship. I know Mina is
no substitute for us, but I want to make this work for both of us.

Which is perfectly okay. I feel bad for Luna that he's at the short end of
this, but change happens sometimes.


When I yell at him, that's usually because I'm in bed and he's on the other
side of the door. Out of the bedroom, I don't need to yell. As for
squirting, I don't know what to say. Every cat owner I've known has used it
with good success to train cats from not doing it. I guess the people who
stand outside their front doors and squirt their cats with super soakers so
they won't run out into danger are horrible abusers too. Or the ones who
squirt to keep them off counters.

I guess we have different standards. I would be abusing him if I was
starving him or kicking him or, well I don't know how else people abuse
cats, but that would be more like it. Squirting, no. Yelling is
borderline, and I'm going to try and stop it. Denying him entry into one
room of the house is not abuse. Its rough because he's never had to deal
with it before, but there have been situations with other rooms he hasn't
been allowed into (like a ba*****t) and he learned to deal with.


Well do you think he would be happier without us? Nevermind, you'd probably
say yes.

If getting rid of him was an issue, he would be gone months ago, or I would
just let him be an outside cat like he wants and get hit by a car like all
the other cats around here seem to be.

What you both are missing is that I TRIED that advice and it doesn't work.
Luna is getting tons of attention, and like I've said, the more attention he
gets, the worse he gets with the pounding on the door. I can't ignore the
pounding. That's what I mean by constructive advice. All you've done is
called me an abuser and pointed out methods I've tried and haven't worked
(and by the way, will not work now because we did give up a few weeks ago
and opened the door to squirt him - from what I've read on here, he won't
give up now). If I loved yelling and squirting him I never would have never
have bothered posting here. No wonder so many cats get dropped off if the
advice is this useless.

We're trying the duct tape method today and I'm going to just buy the
Feliway next time I'm by the Petco, just to try it.

- Joanne
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8 3rd September 03:13
karen chuplis
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Default What's the best way to deter our cat from scratching at ourbed...


in article bkbanl$hib$1@sword.avalon.net, jjmoreta at jjmoreta@hotmail.com


I'm sorry if you really believe this. There is no "excising the claw". And a
vet who would tell you that is truly untrustworthy. You can write to Cornell
if you want, but there simply is no other way of declawing the cat besides
cutting the toe off at the first joint or you risk the claw growing back and
major complications. The vet just told you what you wanted to hear, not the
truth.

Karen
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9 3rd September 03:13
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Default What's the best way to deter our cat from scratching at ourbed...


I said NO such thing, nor did I imply it.


That's because until a few weeks ago, he HAS been entitled to it. What
is obviously very important to him (sleeping with you) has been suddenly
taken away from him and has been replaced with a cycle of abuse. He
doesn't know why he is suddenly banned from your bedroom, and he can't
understand why snuggling has now been replaced with repeated and abusive
squirting, yelling and angry chasing.

As I advised earlier, ignoring him will help to change the current
situation and is certainly kinder than what you are inflicting on him now.


The principles of dealing with children and cats are very similar. It
would benefit you to realize that and try to understand your cat instead
of considering him a nuisance.

Just as children do.


Cats do have the ability to reason.


I never once criticized you for making the decision to keep the cats out
of the bedroom. If that is what is needed then so be it. It's how you
are going about it that's the problem.


If he is declawed, how is he scratching?


So put a clothes basket in front of the door when you go to bed. Since
that is what he likes he may "scratch" on that instead.


You could if you would take the time to learn about cats and treat
behavior issues with kindness and understanding. I have 25 cats and none
of them
have had problems that couldn't be fixed and were addressed successfully
WITHOUT squirting, yelling, angry chasing, etc.


You just said cats respond differently and then you turn right around
and compare your youngest cat to Luna. Do you see the error here? They
are two different cats and you can't expect them to react the same.


When you stress him out by a sudden ban from the bedroom and treating
him badly what option does he have but to try to get to you at night and
convince you he is a good kitty and loves you? He doesn't understand why
he is banned. He only knows that all of a sudden you don't want that
special time with him and add to that by being mean to him.


And you're here now because the abuse has been SO effective... right?

Kindness DOES work, but you also have to have patience and
understanding. You have exhibited none of these qualities, and until you
do, you are doomed to fail not only with your current situation, but
with raising your child as well.

Megan

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing."

-Edmund Burke

Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com

Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.PictureTrail.com/zuzu22

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one
elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and
splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then
providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and
material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his
way."

- W.H. Murray
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10 5th September 02:43
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Posts: 1
Default What's the best way to deter our cat from scratching at ourbed...


Did it ever occur to you that the "mess/hassle" of having a second
litterbox (which you should have regardless and wouldn't take more than
5 minutes of effort a day cleaning) is preferable to continuous nights
of interrupted sleep? Such an easy solution, yet you prefer to abusively
squirt, yell at and chase Luna. Pretty sad.

Megan

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing."

-Edmund Burke

Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com

Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.PictureTrail.com/zuzu22

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one
elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and
splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then
providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and
material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his
way."

- W.H. Murray
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