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.