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Old 11-05-2011, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
24,934 posts, read 39,245,137 times
Reputation: 12226

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I love my 4ish year-old tuxedo kitty (Bindi) dearly, but lately she's been driving me bonkers with her behavior... it mostly started when we moved, about 8 months ago, from a 2br townhouse into a 1br apartment. I do let her go outside at night for an hour or two, since she used to be a street cat, and doesn't seem happy being inside 24/7. But even with her nightly roaming time, she just can't settle down and relax!! Usually she just wants me to feed her, but other times it's like she does this stuff out of boredom.

Her biggest obsession is plastic bags, so she'll literally find any bag that's left around the house - and proceed to paw at it, chew on it, and pull out anything that might be inside. I've learned to unpack any grocery bags immediately, so now she's starting to find things like dog treat bags, litter pan liners, etc. I finally put the dog treats on top of the refrigerator (I like having them easily accessible), but that didn't stop her from climbing up there and knocking them down! Even if she can't find a bag laying around, she manages to get into trouble with other items... just now she went into the laundry room, and knocked a pack of light bulbs off the shelf, shattering one bulb all over the floor. She also continuously harasses my poor 14yo cat, chasing and attacking her whenever the mood strikes.

If you're going to suggest playing with her, giving her more attention, etc, that's already being done. She has plenty of toys (which I'll use with her nightly), scratching posts, a balcony/roof to climb on, 2 other cats and a dog to play with, and tons of attention/love from me. I've now resorted to using a water bottle, and spray her when she's getting into trouble... that works for a few minutes, but then she moves on to something else. Any suggestions?? How do you handle a cat with this kind of behavior?? I love her, but there are times I want to throw her out the window!!!

(just kidding on that last part, of course... she's my baby, and I'd never hurt her. )
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
24,934 posts, read 39,245,137 times
Reputation: 12226
P.S. Also keep in mind that my space is very limited, in a 700sf apartment with little storage... so I do my best to keep things out of her reach, but it's pretty difficult in this situation.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:03 PM
 
4,603 posts, read 6,556,967 times
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It gets your attention so that makes the forbidden activity even MORE FUN!

My 2 yr old cat goes through phases. She's been in a plastic bag phase for awhile now. She's also talking back a lot--like complaining (about what I don't know). Sometimes she is just a brat and other times she wants additional attention over and above the usual.

I'm home with her a lot now since getting laid off a couple months ago, and she seems to think my job is waiting on her.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
24,934 posts, read 39,245,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lottamoxie View Post
It gets your attention so that makes the forbidden activity even MORE FUN!
True, but it only gets worse when I ignore her... she even does this stuff while I'm sleeping, so maybe she's just amusing herself? Or should I continue ignoring, and eventually she'll give up?

Quote:
My 2 yr old cat goes through phases. She's been in a plastic bag phase for awhile now. She's also talking back a lot--like complaining (about what I don't know). Sometimes she is just a brat and other times she wants additional attention over and above the usual.
Oh yeah, Bindi loves to "talk back" too! She's a real loudmouth sometimes, even making my Siamese (mix) seem like a quiet cat.

Quote:
I'm home with her a lot now since getting laid off a couple months ago, and she seems to think my job is waiting on her.
I just realized, it could have something to do with my change in employment status... I was unemployed for about 6 months last year, before getting a new job in February and moving in March. That is about when her behavior got worse, so it could be a combination of the move AND my being gone for work. Not sure how to remedy that, however, since I can't feed us & keep a roof over our heads without a job.
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:47 AM
 
5,325 posts, read 9,869,403 times
Reputation: 6851
Try a couple feliway plug in diffusers to help reduce stress and elicit a calm atmosphere. I love feliway plug in diffusers for feline stress.

There may be a scent in the new apartment that disturbs her. The feliway may help with that.

It will help her cope with your change in routine, being gone more every day, too.

Rescue Remedy may help too. But I'd go with the feliway first.

What do you feed her? Diet can impact behavior in a big way if she is eating something that disagrees with her. She can't tell you the food she is eating gives her a stomach ache, for example. Instead, if the food is bothering her in some way, she does these other behaviors.

Get her a check up too. Have blood work done and a urine sample analyzed. Perhaps there is some underlying health problem. Cats are the masters of hiding illness and pain. We have to be the detectives and notice any little change in behavior.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:07 AM
 
18,856 posts, read 27,066,835 times
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There are some things, that some cats are obsessed with. Mickey was CRAZY about this very speical painted folk art Santa, his beard was made of straw, and he held a bundle of straw in his hand. Mickey wanted to chew on the straw, and his goal was to completely destroy this Santa. I would move this Santa, put it on a shelf that was an eight foot straight jump from the floor to get it-- yep, Mickey jumped up there, and destroyed this Santa.

So, sometimes, just hiding stuff in an "inaccessible" place just fuels the obsession. Mickey would just STARE at that Santa. He plotted how to get up to that Santa. It did not matter how many toys he had.

And now, Mickey is gone. And I have a normal, boring cat, who does not destory anything. Enjoy your cat, even though she is special...nothing you can do, she will find something to get into, because that is who she is.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
24,934 posts, read 39,245,137 times
Reputation: 12226
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmom21 View Post
Try a couple feliway plug in diffusers to help reduce stress and elicit a calm atmosphere. I love feliway plug in diffusers for feline stress.

There may be a scent in the new apartment that disturbs her. The feliway may help with that.

It will help her cope with your change in routine, being gone more every day, too.

Rescue Remedy may help too. But I'd go with the feliway first.
I've thought about trying those things... would they be safe to use in a house with reptiles? I'm always VERY careful about air fresheners, cleaning products, etc, due to the snakes' sensitive respiratory systems.

Quote:
What do you feed her? Diet can impact behavior in a big way if she is eating something that disagrees with her. She can't tell you the food she is eating gives her a stomach ache, for example. Instead, if the food is bothering her in some way, she does these other behaviors.
No offense, but I will decline to answer that question, due to the continuous bickering here over what people feed their pets. Let's just say that I've raised plenty of healthy dogs & cats in my lifetime, and can tell when their bodies disagree with a certain diet.

Quote:
Get her a check up too. Have blood work done and a urine sample analyzed. Perhaps there is some underlying health problem. Cats are the masters of hiding illness and pain. We have to be the detectives and notice any little change in behavior.
She was just at the vet two weeks ago, for tapeworms and conjunctivitis... didn't have any blood work done, but the vet said everything looked/sounded great. I treated her for the tapeworms (already treated for fleas), and she's been getting eye ointment for the conjunctivitis - he said there was no URI involved, and it was just a random case of "eye herpes." I don't wanna know how she got that, LOL. She's due for some vaccinations soon, so I'll get her a full workup then if it seems necessary.

Last edited by gizmo980; 11-06-2011 at 08:05 AM..
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
24,934 posts, read 39,245,137 times
Reputation: 12226
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
There are some things, that some cats are obsessed with. Mickey was CRAZY about this very speical painted folk art Santa, his beard was made of straw, and he held a bundle of straw in his hand. Mickey wanted to chew on the straw, and his goal was to completely destroy this Santa. I would move this Santa, put it on a shelf that was an eight foot straight jump from the floor to get it-- yep, Mickey jumped up there, and destroyed this Santa.

So, sometimes, just hiding stuff in an "inaccessible" place just fuels the obsession. Mickey would just STARE at that Santa. He plotted how to get up to that Santa. It did not matter how many toys he had.
LOL... maybe he got coal in his stocking one year?

Quote:
And now, Mickey is gone. And I have a normal, boring cat, who does not destory anything. Enjoy your cat, even though she is special...nothing you can do, she will find something to get into, because that is who she is.
Yeah, I guess so! She is a special cat, since I literally rescued her from the streets - where she'd lived for the first 9-12 months of her life (according to what the locals told me). She adjusted quickly & happily to domestic life, and is usually a complete joy to have around... but man, sometimes she does get on my last nerve! Guess I'll just learn to live with it, and try the suggestions you guys have offered.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:48 AM
 
5,325 posts, read 9,869,403 times
Reputation: 6851
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
I've thought about trying those things... would they be safe to use in a house with reptiles? I'm always VERY careful about air fresheners, cleaning products, etc, due to the snakes' sensitive respiratory systems.



No offense, but I will decline to answer that question, due to the continuous bickering here over what people feed their pets. Let's just say that I've raised plenty of healthy dogs & cats in my lifetime, and can tell when their bodies disagree with a certain diet.



She was just at the vet two weeks ago, for tapeworms and conjunctivitis... didn't have any blood work done, but the vet said everything looked/sounded great. I treated her for the tapeworms (already treated for fleas), and she's been getting eye ointment for the conjunctivitis - he said there was no URI involved, and it was just a random case of "eye herpes." I don't wanna know how she got that, LOL. She's due for some vaccinations soon, so I'll get her a full workup then if it seems necessary.
I don't know about feliway and reptiles. Feliway is not the same as an "air freshener" there is no odor. But it's something you would have to look into. It would be worth looking into, in my opinion, as feliway plug in diffuser is an excellent product.

Cats are masters at hiding illness and pain, and often the only thing you have to go by is a behavior change. Since you stated that this behavior is new, it may be an indication that something is wrong in her world.

A check up for worms and an eye infection is not going to tell you if she has a urinary tract infection or some digestive issue.

Your defensiveness over my food question leads me to think you are feeding a food that many would consider sub par for good feline health <shrug>. Since you have read the threads on feeding, you know what cats need to be healthy.

A food ingredient sensitivity can cause a behavior change. All pet food manufacturers make changes in their foods when ever they feel like it. Many use ingredients from the lowest bidder, making the food even more inconsistent. So a food that she was "fine" on before, may not be okay for her now.

ANY health issue, be it food sensitivity, urinary tract problem, constipation, or something more or less serious can cause a behavior change.

Of course, it is possible that she is perfectly healthy, and that this is just who she is, and is going to be. But since you said this was new behavior, and asked for input, I gave you mine, based on my own knowledge and experience.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:54 AM
 
2,873 posts, read 3,962,644 times
Reputation: 4238
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
I love her, but there are times I want to throw her out the window!!!

(just kidding on that last part, of course... she's my baby, and I'd never hurt her. )
It sounds like your girl and my JJ may be related...I just posted a thread not long ago about potential window flights of glory if he didn't knock off his antics.

I don't really have much advice, as JJ is still a brat, but from one crazy cat owner to another, you have my fullest sympathy.
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