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View Full Version : Kitten/cat help please.



Ursula
04-01-2010, 06:57 PM
Does anyone know how I can stop my kitten/cat from eating wood? She eats whicker baskets, all the cork off the cork board, now she's started on my wardrobe :( Bites off big chunks and eats it.... :unsure: Spraying her with water doesn't work, she loves water, she has a shower with me every day and plays in the washing up bowl and sink. She basically eats most things, wallpaper, Christmas decorations, paper. And yes we do feed her :(

She'll be getting the op soon. So she hasn't been outside yet. We paly with her but she's just so norty.

josh.p.
04-01-2010, 07:09 PM
Get some bitter apple and spray it on the wood that she's chewing. Another option is negative re-inforcement, every time she chews on the wrong things, then throw a can of pebbles on the floor. Not at her, but so that it makes a noise. She'll eventually associate it with a bad noise and stop doing it. It's quite important when doing this with dogs that the dog doesn't see it actually leave your hands as they will then associate it with you which will ruin their trust. So I assume the same goes for cats.

Another thing would be to get her somewhere 'good' to scratch, like a cat post and offer positive re-inforcement when she plays with this, in the form of a titbit or something. :) The main key with animal behaviour is to be consistent and agree within your household on ONE action that is associated with good things and one associated with bad things, and also the rules that the cat has to follow. It's no good if you or your DH turns a blind eye but your DD doesn't allow her to do it, and vice versa. :yes:

Good luck :)

Ursula
04-01-2010, 07:26 PM
Ooh I will try all those things, she does have two scratching posts but it is the eating of stuff we can't stop. Where can I get bitter apple spray from please, have not heard of it so not seen it anywhere. We can do the pebble thing easily enough and will try that too. Thanks Josh X

josh.p.
04-01-2010, 07:29 PM
You can get it from chemists or you can also get pet-specific stuff like this;
BITTER APPLE Liquid 8OZ (PUMP) - CheapPetProducts.Net (http://www.cheappetproducts.net/BITTER_APPLE_Liquid_8OZ___PUMP_-UKP59846.html)

Another thing I forgot to ask is... how old is she? she may well be teething!

Johnie
04-01-2010, 10:27 PM
If she is a kitten, it does sound like teething.

josh.p.
04-01-2010, 10:35 PM
If she is teething and you do use the apple spray. Give her something that she can chew. :yes: It's important for her to be chewing.

Ursula
05-01-2010, 04:17 AM
She is 7 months old and her big teef are BIG!

Tink
05-01-2010, 12:02 PM
Won't eating all those things hurt her? :unsure: Not that that is stopping her clearly, but it can't be good for a little kitten to be eating hunks of wood! :eek:

Josh, I really love the way you are able to help with the many pet matters. I once had a wonderful book on training (dogs). I've managed to not only loose the book, but the author's name. The title was something like, "How to Train Your Dog," so that is NO help! :(

It used much positive reinforcement and the principles in it really did work beautifully. It was as you say, a matter of being consistent. :yes:

I like the idea of the loud pebbles in a can, but it really would require some care be taken so the pet doesn't break trust. Quite smart our pets, for the most part...

At any rate, all that to say, Helly I hope you are able to help your kitteh! :D

josh.p.
05-01-2010, 02:15 PM
Definitley sounds like teething. I'd still break her of the habit of chewing but be sure that she has something good too chew on. The pain will be immense for her otherwise :(

Thank you Tink :hug2: I often think that animal behavior is so often a case of thinking how that animal would think. It's easier to put into words than to do it in practice but for the most part positive and negative re-enforcement works :yes:

Ursula
05-01-2010, 03:26 PM
Thank you Josh, I do worry Tink about what is going into her belly :( For the most part I am able to get after her, but she is so quiet when she's doing stuff.

josh.p.
05-01-2010, 04:31 PM
So long as they are not huge spikes or splinters then you should be OK. If its small enough to go in her mouth, then it will be small enough to pass through the other end :yes: Their wild counterparts would eat that sort of thing too to sharpen their teeth :yes: The eating of odd things is called 'pica'- lots of tortoises do it (eating their own feces or dog feces! EUGH)

Tink
05-01-2010, 05:20 PM
Huh. I didn't know they used the same word for animals eating odd things as they did humans...

Thanks Josh!

Johnie
05-01-2010, 05:35 PM
From vet info:

If your cats chews on things like electric cords it could be dangerous. For specific problems like this aversive agents like bitter apple might work. For more generalized pica there are a lot of theories. Increased dietary fiber helps some cats. Other respond to access to greens (grass, green beans, sprouts, etc). In some instances medications for obsessive/compulsive behaviors such as clomipramine (Anafranil Rx) may be helpful. Some people feel that consistent punishment might work but this can change your relationship with your cat.

Dr Michael Richards, DVM

Kate
05-01-2010, 07:43 PM
I had a cat that used to chew electrical wires - she chewed through a horrendous amount of things, my stereo, my hairdryer, my straighteners, the tv wire, my clock radio wire - it was anything with that plasticy type coating on it - had to bin so many things! Her favourite thing was the fitted plugs you get, she would have a good old knaw on them when she could - was never able to stop her, just had to try and hide everything that had that kind of cover on it!
I phoned my vet - he suggested some kind of pet psychologist, but we couldnt afford to do something like that :(

Ursula
05-01-2010, 08:21 PM
Thanks for all the input, thankfully it's just wood and not wires she's attracted to.