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cat that won't train


sharsachan

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I NEED CAT ADVICE.

seriously, i'm in desperate need of it.

 

i have this tuxedo cat i got, he is about 8 months old. i am so frustrated and done with him that i have seriously considered taking him to the shelter, even though i know he will likely be put to sleep.

 

this is why. for the last six months he has continued the following acts with no regard to punishment [i have used spray bottle first and when that had no effect, i have tried light swatting which also has no effect]:

 

-he chews up the nipples for my baby bottles, and before you tell me it's the milk/formula smell, please keep reading

-i bought a 6 pack of brand new nipples, never used. i took them out of the package and set them near the sink to wash them. ran a quick bathroom trip and came back to the kitchen to discover that he had already gotten on the counter and chewed up two of them.

-he chews up sippy cup nipples that have never been exposed to milk of formula

-and if i buy the sippy cups with the hard plastic [not silicone or latex] to suck from, he chews those up as well.

 

-he eats cardboard. he does not chew on a box and spit the pieces out. he swallows them.

 

-he eats EVERYTHING. he eats the 1 inch of garbage bag that hangs from the side of my garbage can. he ate the plastic bag my bread came in. THE ACTUALL BREAD BAG. didn't touch the bread. just the bag.

 

-he gets on my counters all the time, EVEN WHILE I'M SITTING TEN FEET AWAY AT MY DESK.

 

-because of the fact he eats everything, he constantly has diarhea and alwase makes a mess [i don't punish him for this because i know it's an accident, but still it's so frustrating]

 

this cat will eat plastic that has never touched food, he eats cardboard that has never touched food, he is impossible for me to train.

 

i have had cats since i was 4 and been training them myself for the last 8 years. There are currently 12 cats in my home [rescue/foster situation] and there is not a single other cat that does any of the crap he does. yes they occasionally get on the counter but it's maybe once a month. not 10 times a day.

 

i am literally at my wit's end with this cat. i don't know what else to do. i keep the bottle nipples locked in the nursery right now which is entirely inconvenient. i had the sippy cups up on the cupboard, above my counter, and when i woke up this morning, i found that he climbed up the counter, opened the cupboard and took out only the sippy cup lid and chewed the hell out of it.

 

 

he is a sweet cat, he is very loving, will lay with you forever and loves to be petted, he doesn't bite or scratch, and that's what makes it so much harder.

 

he just won't train. i've had him for 6 months and nothing has changed. i really don't know what else to do. i don't have time [or patience anymore] to be constantly cleaning up his messes and it gets expensive to constantly be buying new bottle nipples or sippy cups [they don't just sell the sippy tops alone, i have to buy a whole new cup every time]

 

no one else is going to want this cat because of how he behaves, and the fact that i can't seem to figure out how to train him. i don't want him to be a lifer here but i also can't lie to anyone who seems interested and i'll have to tell them what he does and then they won't want him anymore.

 

i really need some suggestions of what i can do... spray bottles and light swatting don't do a thing and i'm afraid to hit him any harder, he's just a little guy, 5 pounds or so and i really don't believe in hitting animals anyway.

 

i'm totally hitting a brick wall with this cat. i have never had a problem like this with any of the others cats that have come and gone.

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Have you been to the vet to see if he has some kind of nutritional defiency where he craves milk and calcium? The nipples/sippy cup smells like milk (which he learned whether they are new or not) and he may be craving the milk or some kind of mineral. He has learned to associate the plastic with milk, and may be chewing on it for that reason.

 

Ask the vet about this problem, and see if giving the cat little condensed milk or cream every day stops this behavior, or a vitamin for cats.

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It's weird because I've got a tuxedo cat as well and he tends to chew on headphones and things like that. When he was a baby he used to go as far as eating condoms and things [ ew ].

But it's been a year and he's so well behaved now. I wonder if it's a characteristic in most tuxedo cats? Maybe yours will outgrow it like mine did. Are you able to lock your cupboards? Because I've seen those child lock things you can get for cupboards and they're really easy to open if you're an adult.

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Wow, I have the same problem. I have a tux cat too. He's a big guy and sweet as can be. He likes to eat plastic bags too, since he was very little. I'm afraid he'll suffocate himself or choke one day but I haven't been able to break him of it! I have another tux cat too, a petite female, and she couldn't give a crud less about plastic bags. Hmm, maybe it is some sort of a vitamin deficiency.

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i suppose i'll have to see a new vet, as the one i go to simply told me that he was a kitten exploring his environment. there are two others in town though.

 

and all the cabinets and drawers in my house are already child locked, and have been for years as i've had cats for years.

 

the sippy cup he chewed this morning was not even on the counter. it was up in a cabinet already with a child lock. he somehow out smarted the lock and got the cup out.

 

i did see another kind of lock at the store. i'm going to pick some up on payday and hope they work.

 

i'm really hoping for some new suggestions on training him to not eat such things [if it turns out to be simply behavioral] he shouldn't be bored, there are plenty of cat toys and other cats that i often see him playing with.

 

ps: dizzymeg- i love eddie brickell, and have listened to her for years!!! love the sig

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I have a 6 month old Russian Blue that is food obsessed. I mean to the point of being OCD. His littermate is nothing like him, so it is just something with him. We've had him since he was 9 weeks old and as he's gotten older, he has gotten better. I think that as your cat gets older this behavior will lessen. Also, with Diego, our little demon, we are using positive reinforcement. It's frustrating as hell because we have to continually get him out of our plates or off the counters when trying to cook. But we have been consistant and now, he will sit and wait for us to give him a bite of something. If he gets impatient and tries to take something off our plate or smack the plate in the floor, we put him in the floor and we always tell him no, very sternly. It has taken months, but he is finally doing sooo much better. He does have his moments, especially when we have something like milk or cream cheese, he just cant seem to control himself. But again, we put him in the floor and make him wait, then he'll get a bite of what he wants.

 

When we first got him he constantly had diarrea and upset tummies from all the food he was stealing. We have a trash can with a lid and he will get in it to eat something. He eats through bread bags, plastic, cartons and boxes. We literally still cannot leave anything out on the counters. My bf's sister left a couple of hot dog buns out on the counter and he tore into them, eating plastic and bread until he was done. He has opened the cabinets before and chewed on all the bread products.

 

We just have to be careful what we expose him to.

 

I think you should keep your nipples and such out of his reach. And it's good practice to keep bags and such up anyway, as they can suffocate. I also think that you should start with the counters. When he gets up there, put him in the floor, say "no" and watch him for a few minutes. If he stays down, give him a kitty treat, just one, as this positive reinforcement will take many kitty treats..lol. With consistancy he will realize that he will get a goody for staying in the floor. BUT you have to be consistant and be sure to praise him and tell him he's good for staying down. It will be very hard at first, but they learn quickly and he should catch on soon.

 

Also, I'm wondering if he doesnt have a thyroid problem causing him to constantly want to eat something. If your vet isnt being helpful, definitely take him to another. I use 2 and 3 vets at a time, I also do cat rescue. I have found that one may be more aggressive in treatment than another, and I've also found that different vets have differeing opinions on certain treatments. Alot of my kitties are special needs, and thus require constant meds and treatments. So, definitely get him to someone else and explain exactly what you told us in your first post.

 

Good luck. I've got 2 kitties right now that have behavioral problems. Diego, my food OCD cat is one and I have another who is determined to the alpha of the house. This sounds ok, until you see what he does and how he acts. I wont go there! lol My point is that I know what you're going through. I feel your pain sister! lol Hang in there. With both of my problem kitties as they've gotten older, they've calmed down. So, hopefully his behavior will too. It may never go away, but it should get better. And if you can use positive reinforcement to change him some, you both will feel better. I hate getting after my kitties, so using goodies to reward good behavior works. Also, another thing that we do is time out. The only thing is that you shouldnt leave him for more than 5 minutes, as 5 minutes to a cat seems like 9 hours. We will shut Diego in the bathroom for 5 minutes. He hates being away from us, so when he does something bad, we pick him up, tell him no, and lock him up. Then we let him out and pet him, we dont make over him, we just pet him so that he doesnt feel abandoned. And then we go on.

 

I hope some of this helps!! It's amazing people like you that the world needs more of. Thank you for taking care of the little ones that need help. What you do is truly miraculous! (((HUGGS))) Cat

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a cat addicted to eating plastic.. that is strange indeed.

worst comes to worst you may just have to put him up for adoption.

i'd ask a vet if they have ever heard of a cat doing something like this...

but since he is eating deficient plastic i dont think its a nutrition problem.

strange case.

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