Wednesday Rocks

My favorite day of the week quickly became Wednesday just a few months ago when I discovered Shannon's blog. Never in all the years that I have been online have I found such a wealth of information than on her weekly series, Works for Me Wednesday.

Being that this week is the Backwards Edition, maybe we should call it, Wednesday Works for Me?
Here is my dilemma:
My cat has two behaviors that are no longer acceptable.
1) He will flop down on the floor at your feet or even in the walkway. If you try to scoot him away, or even walk OVER him, he will grab your foot/ankle and bite. Not hard enough to leave a mark, but enough that it seems to be more than playing. One of these days he is going to do this going down the steps, which I am sure is his ultimate goal, and take one of us down.

2) We just bought a new dining room set. The chairs are upholstered on the seats and have a bit of a texture to them. Two things, he believes, are meant for him. I don't want him on the chairs so I placed aluminum foil on the seats. Besides the fact that we are lookin' so good as you come into the house, it doesn't seem to bother him, and I have caught him trying to go underneath the foil. We've tried dryer sheets on other things as a deterrent, but he actually likes them. I don't want to keep spraying him because: a) the seats will be wet and get soured, b) without any covering, the chairs will have cat hair and that is nasty [to me]. Of course, I should question my sanity in purchasing this set, but I'll save that for another WFMW.

Any suggestions will be most appreciated!

Now, grab a beverage, and enjoy the rest of Wednesday at Shannon's place!

P.s I also seem to be having html problems. If anyone would be willing to take me under their wing, I'd be most grateful.


SarahHub said...

Oh, no ideas here. We have scratched up furniture out the wazoo. My husband began having allergy-induced asthma from our cat and we gave him away about a year ago. (We gave the cat away, not the husband!) That's the only thing that worked for us!

Jeni said...

Something that may work for both problems is a scary Wal-Mart bag. It sounds dumb, but if you take one plastic bag & put it inside another, and then shake the whole thing right AT the cat, it scares them. It's helped train my kitties to stay off the counters.

Janelle said...

They sell a no scratch spray at PetSmart you can use. It doesn't stink up your house, but the cat won't like it. You can also try putting double stick tape on your cushions (or making tape loops with packing tape). Cats don't like having sticky on their paws.

As far as scaring my cat, we throw big legos at him. With 2 kids they're usually handy somewhere on the floor.

Happy Mommy said...

You could always put large towels on your chairs and remove them when company comes. Or you could tip your chairs up so that the back of the chair is resting on your table and the cat can't lay on that!

Ewokgirl said...

A bicycle horn is a great cat-training tool. One of my cats never understood being squirted with water, so it never solved anything. But a loud, obnoxious honk from a horn? Scares him straight! When he was a kitten, he tried climbing our Christmas tree exactly 2 times. Each time got a honk from the horn, and he's never done it again (and that was 9 Christmases ago!).

It's even effective on our older, smarter, more stubborn cat. In fact, we rarely use it anymore, and if it's necessary to correct a behavior, all they need is to see us reach for the horn. They immediately stop what they're doing because they don't want to get honked!

No-Scratch spray was completely useless for my cats. I recommend having a scratching post placed near your chairs to give the cat a good alternative. We have a catnip-infused post that my boys went nuts over!

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

Well I don't have much to "toot" about after the horn comment - CLE EVER! btw.

The spray did not work on my cats either. And clapping gets tired. How well do you sing? Hit a high note or two and you may do two things...scare the cat (mine would be short a life or two if hit the high note) and you may relieve some stress at the same time when using your lungs!!!

Kirby3131 said...

The first question about the cat laying down in front of you and biting at your toes/ankles -- The cat needs more activities. They are looking to play - get one of those feathers on a stick, or a catnip toy or something and play with the cat a few times each day, until they are a bit worn out. This is what we did when our cat started this annoying habit.

My cats don't scratch anything, not quite sure why, but they don't. I hope you find an answer to that question.

Have a great day!

Courtney said...

Ha! Every new piece of furniture we get is quickly taken over by our older cat. The new chair in the living room, the bench under the dining room window, and now the dog "throw" we got to go over the couch. At least he doesn't pee on the stuff, I guess.

Kara S. said...

I agree with Kirby3131 about the laying down part. Make sure he has cat toys to play with - Walmart has a great pack of various balls and stuffed things for about $3. Keep a toy in your pocket and when the cat starts to flop down, throw the toy to distract him. Also spend a few minutes every evening playing with him. He'll probably self entertain with the toys once he learns what they are. Another solution would be to get him a playmate. =) Some people balk at the idea of another animal, but cats are weird and tend to be better behaved when they have a playmate.

As far as the furniture...if only there was a way! Our cats are trained to the spray bottle so all we have to do is pick it up and they're running away. If you try the squirt bottle, put towels on the chairs for a few weeks to prevent them from getting wet.
Whenever the cat is on the chair, get as close as you can to the cat and spray a fine mist directly in his face if possible. Keep doing this til the cat gets down (sometimes they look like drowned rats by the time they get down but after a few times, they learn). Don't talk to the cat etc. while you're spraying either. Also shake the spray bottle as you're spraying so he learns the shaking sound too. Eventually all you'll have to do is shake the bottle or just pick it up when he's bad.

Anonymous said...

On the first behavior, I'd have a small water sprayer to squirt him with when he does that. He's learn that negative things happen when he exhibits that behavior but it wouldn't do anything but make him wet.

For the second, I'd get some oil of wintergreen and dropper it onto the chair or onto some type of sachet you have tied to the chairs. Cats are supposed to not like the smell and stay away. My mom used this to keep them out of her houseplants when I was a kid. As a bonus, you get a wintergreen smelling dining room. If you use sachets, you could remove them before a dinner so the wintergreen smell doesn't over power the smells of your cooking!

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