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Kitty - Down, Off, Stop.

My cat Marvin loves his treats, and little can keep him from them. His quest for treats started when Marvin was a kitten. Initially I kept his treats in a kitchen cupboard near the floor. He’d paw at the cupboard door making an irritating banging noise, but I’d tell him to stop and he would leave it be. I realized something would have to change when I came home from work one night, sat down on the couch, turned on the news, and felt a bag of treats dropped on my feet followed by a meow. To secure the treats I put a coat hanger through the door handles. This worked for a few months, but yet again I came home from work this time to find a bag of treats filled with puncture holes, and treat dust scattered though out the living room. The treats were then moved to the top of the refrigerator. Again this worked for a time, but then the climb to the top really wasn’t that big a challenge. While he doesn’t walk on the counters when I’m in site clearly when alone there is no real barrier between him and his treats. Finally the treats were moved to a high cupboard with no apparent cat access, so far the treats are safe, but time will tell.

Keeping cats off of counters or other forbidden areas can be a challenge. Cats especially like to climb and perch, making special pieces of furniture and other high spots nearly irresistible. There can be added bonuses to jumping up, for Marvin a treat reward. Accidental enticements can be food on the counter, a window or good cat view, a favorite plant, tassels or chords on drapes than can be seen as an enticing toy in the eyes of a cat. There are some things that can be done to help prevent this. First, it helps if a cat has other areas that he is allowed to climb and perch. This helps satisfy the natural urges of the cat, and will help make the forbidden areas less enticing. A water bottle can be good training aid. Also a tin can with change in it can be thrown near a cat to make a noise that will scare him away. Double stick tape in strategic spots can help too, and is also helpful in preventing unwanted scratching, as most cats dislike the sticky feeling on their feet. Aluminum foil is similarly unappealing for some cats as well. There are also a variety of cat repellents that can be purchased if these methods are not effective. One difficulty in training cats, such as Marvin, is that they have little concern about obeying rules. While unsuccessful in preventing treat seeking behaviors, a water bottle and double stick tape were an excellent solution to Marvin’s furniture and drape scratching habit. Being creative in making effective deterrents can help greatly in maintaining appropriate kitty behavior.



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