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Question
Posted by: Twinken | 2004/10/12

Cat scratching bed/mattress

Hi
Every morning at about 6 AM my 6 month old kitten comes into the bedroom and scratches the side of the mattress ... kind of like a wake up call ..but its really annoying and she's destroying the bed slowly but surely. Now I've tried the squirty water bottle trick ,i.e. catch her in the act and give her a little squirt of water .. but I think she sees this as a game because she runs off only to come back and repeat the scratching deed a minute later. A problem is that while I'm now awake I normally get up and feed her ..maybe she sees this as a response/conditioning thing?
Any suggestions?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Twinken
You are quite right that your kitten is manipulating you to feed her and it may well get earlier and earlier. Why not close her out of your bedroom at night? As long as she has a comfortable place to sleep, water and a litter tray she will be fine. Once she is out of the habit in a few weeks time, you can allow her in your room again. You can also deter her from scratching a particular spot by covering the area with bubble wrap or other plastic, foil or sandpaper. If you spray her, don't look at her or say anything - pretend it's the bed that's spraying her - ignore her and don't feed her until at least an hour later.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: Buffs | 2004/10/13

i have 2 cats and i love them to bits they also scratch the bed (there fav thing is to go under the bed and stick thier claws into the underside of the matress and drag themselves along the floor upside down!) i just accepted it as normal cat behavior . my motto is: If your worried about expensive furntiture you should get a gold fish rather than a cat!

i actually dont like the squirting water idea as cats shouldnt be afriad of water. like i said in one of the posts above, my cats LOVE water they climb into the bath with you, they just dont like to be put there by you , they have to get in by themselves!

my cats also LOVE to eat and play with my pot plants! i come home every day to one pot plant lying upside down on the floor. i guess they are just playful. i read that cats are better in even numbers so maybe get a new kitten!

Reply to Buffs
Posted by: Twinken | 2004/10/13

Hi Buffs
Thanks for the reply .. I should have mentioned that she does have a cool scratching post and also loads of toys .. she's got the catnip .. mouse shaped ropey toys..rubber balls..etc etc .Proabably quite lonely now that I think about it because shes on her own on working days from 9 to 6 or so. I'm not to keen to put a cat door on the front door tho as I live in a complex and theres quite a few cars zipping up and down and also quite a number of dodgey cats. Reason I dont like her to go out is shes going for the spay op later this month ..also she needs to become more aware ... Ive taken her outside a number of times and she seems pretty clueless when it comes to interacting with other cats and generally with things outside , altho she does enjoy it a hell of a lot I'm sure.

Reply to Twinken
Posted by: Buffs | 2004/10/13

Exercise

Keep your cat mentally stimulated and offer it plenty of
opportunity for exercise, and it will have less opportunity
to be destructive in your home. If your cat is frustrated
or bored, it may chew your plants, scratch your furniture
or tear your draperies. Changing your cat's behavior is
not impossible, but frequent exercise is one of the best
solutions to behavior problems.

A scratching post is crucial to your cat's good health. It
not only relieves it of its innate desire to scratch, it
is a form of exercise. Cats can literally exhaust themselves
playing with toys. Good toys will encourage activities like
scratching, chasing and batting. Toys that make sudden move
ments will pique your cat's curiosity.


Reply to Buffs

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