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What's the best way to deter our cat from scratching at our bedroom door?



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 16th 03, 07:56 PM
jjmoreta
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
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


  #2  
Old September 16th 03, 08:26 PM
Rona Yuthasastrakosol
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"jjmoreta" wrote in message
...
snip
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



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


  #3  
Old September 16th 03, 08:26 PM
Rona Yuthasastrakosol
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"jjmoreta" wrote in message
...
snip
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



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


  #4  
Old September 16th 03, 08:26 PM
Rona Yuthasastrakosol
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"jjmoreta" wrote in message
...
snip
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



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


  #5  
Old September 16th 03, 08:38 PM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

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


  #6  
Old September 16th 03, 08:38 PM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

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


  #7  
Old September 16th 03, 08:38 PM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

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


  #8  
Old September 16th 03, 09:10 PM
TonyB
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
...
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.


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

  #9  
Old September 16th 03, 09:10 PM
TonyB
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
...
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.


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

  #10  
Old September 16th 03, 09:10 PM
TonyB
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
...
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.


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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