Thursday, November 18, 2004

Invasion of the Cats

With names like Arthur and Beowulf, it should be no surprise that our kittens would soon start conquering more territory. We just didn't realize it would happen so soon. As of last night, they have taken possession of my desk and the dining room table. We removed all our breakable and small objects from both, but we're hoping to repel the invaders with some kind of behavior modification tool.

I'm looking at the Ssscat and at Sticky Paws as possibilities.

I actually don't mind them on my desk, but it's probably not a good precedent to have them walking around on the dining room table. Also, ultimately, we have to keep them off of the one place they haven't been yet but will probably go -- the kitchen counter, where numerous dangers -- a stove, utensils, etc -- are always present.


socidoc said...

Hello there, Avram and your two new best friends!
Congratulations on your adoption. Just a note... I also have two kitties... if you really hope to keep them off of ANY part of your home... I'm not sure that's realistic. After all, unless you lock them in a room while you are gone (something I personally could never do to my best friends!), you might as well accept that they will explore every square inch of their forever-home. Consequently, I make sure that there is nothing dangerous or overly tempting for them to eat, play with, or explore while I am gone. One of my cats LOVES butter so I have to be sure it's in the frig or a cupboard, turn off the stove, make sure the wood stove is cool or the top is covered, etc... you must take care of these wonderful friends as if they are VERY young children (who are nevertheless much more independent than young humans)... make sense? And once again, congratulations! They will no doubt be very rambunctious for the first year or so! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

One thing that I have certainly gotten in the habit of doing is keeping my place clean and tidy, ever since I got my cats. I am always mindful of not leaving anything that could potentially harm them lying around (eg. knives on kitchen counters).

My cats as kittens initially couldn't jump as high as the kitchen counters either. But after a month or so they could. So before, when I would say leave a dirty dish or what not out in the sink, I couldn't do that anymore. Because as the previous poster stated, you really cannot keep track of where they are exploring while you are gone. So I also make it a habit to disinfect the kitchen counters frequently and I never prepare food directly on the counters.

Also I am extremely mindful of the cats while I'm cooking. But it definitely would be a good thing to at least teach them to not go onto the counters while you are around and set precedence.

Avram said...

Thanks for your comments and advice; we're definitely trying to anticipate everywhere they could go, but it's not easy to remove everything they could possibly touch. We have put away small objects, removed vases that could be knocked over, put tubes around some of our wires, sprayed them with bitter spray, etc.

We rarely (but notice I didn't say never) catch them doing things like chewing wires and have to move that, but it's always the fear of what they'll do when we're not looking that makes me nervous.

Anonymous said...

I've also heard about aluminum being repellent to cats--use double-sided tape. Our cat came to us older, but he definitely knows not to go on the beds or kitchen counters.

As a kid, my parents had "french-fried kitty-toes" when the one of our cats (an orange, too) decided to walk across a pan of hot oil. He didn't come out from under the waterbed to go to the vet for a couple of days--just think of the worry of infection!! We definitely never had cats on counters ever again.

Cats definitely learn where they should and shouldn't go--but kittens are kids and have little if any sense of self-preservation.

Have you looked into clicker training? It works really well with our cat and he only started at age 9. Starting with kittens it should work even better and may help bonding...

Anonymous said...

I think you just have to pick your battles and be consistent with it. For me, the dining room table and the counters are off limits, but my computer desk and my coffee tables are okay. Also my cat has a couple perches (the window still and the cat tree) that are higher than both the table and the counter, so he prefers hanging around there. If I catch hm on the table, I would just give him the sterm eye and say, "no." and he gets off the table without further intervention.