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 Post subject: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:14 pm 
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I know, don't laugh...is it even possible?
One of our kitties is for the most part super adorable, and really good, and I lover her so much...but...lately she has taken up meowing incessantly by our apartment door. She desperately wants to escape out into the hallway. She has a couple of times, but doesn't go far, and if you make a noise, she'll run back into the apartment. I've tried spraying her with water and ignoring her but neither seems to work. Any ideas how I might be able to nip this behaviour in the bud?
My one thought is that she might be bored. She has tons of toys, a kitty friend with whom they play well and chase each other, and I also play with them lots. She's a bit of an anxious cat. She rarely sits still for me to pet her, she kind of shrinks away when you go to touch her. Her safe place is in the bathroom sink. There, I can pet her, smack her bum, trim her nails. She's an odd little duck.
I just stumbled on something called clicker training for cats and also wondered if anyone has heard about it or tried it?
Help!


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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Our rather anxious 7 year old cat also gets these periods where she takes to sitting by the front door, or the bedroom or home-office door, wherever she wants to go but can't, at least not at that particular moment and meow until we can't take it anymore. If she does this, we give here a couple of warning signs, shooing her away. If she won't stop, we'll lock her into another room (like the bathroom). She almost always takes the hint and becomes quiet. After maybe 15-30 minutes, we let her out again. She has usually calmed down by then. Also, it seems like she learns from this, and is much more quiet the rest of the day or even the rest of the week.

It's like a kitty time out!

Providing lots of toys, playtime etc. is obviously very important, but you seem to have that down.

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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:40 pm 
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Thanks Cornelle. We've tried the time outs too. I didn't really seem do make a difference. The last 2 days we've been trying to just ignore her. This may be working. She has been doing it less each time and eventually gives up. But you know how cats are!!!


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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:35 am 
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She needs that DJ cat scratch toy, clearly.
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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:04 pm 
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When we have new cats or cats interested in what's on the other side of outside doors, we start stamping our feet as we go in and out the door. Our cats are now trained to stay clear of the door as we enter and exit. This won't stop the meowing, but it will cut down on the chances of escape.

Do your cats have perches so they can look out windows? Even just moving a cat perch/chair from one window to another window can keep my cats occupied for weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:17 pm 
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I just wanna tell you that I completely understand. The other day, I opened our apartment door and one kitty ran upstairs and one kitty ran downstairs. I was really out of breath by the time I got both kitties back into the apartment. I think they believe there is a mystical wonderland outside the door.

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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:15 pm 
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Why don't you get one of those sensor-spray can things? I suggested them for people who want to keep their cats off the counter, but it will work equally well to keep cats away from doorways. This way, you won't have to worry so much whether you're going in or out. She may end up picking someplace else to meow, but at least it won't be a dangerous place where she can escape. They cost around $30 or so.

Cats are almost always bored. Playing with them for even five minutes a day on a regular basis cheers them up immensely.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:53 am 
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Thanks everyone. As much as they are an eyesore, I think we're going to get her a cat tower. She loves to climb and I'm often supervised in the kitchen as she sits atop the fridge.
We'll give the ignoring a bit more time and see how that goes, if not, we may have to try that spray sensor.
I wish I had a picture to show you but this morning, she lurched up onto the door handle and awkwardly hung there braced against a bag hanging on the door. She's an evil genius and I'm now calling her Dr. Girlfriend.


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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:04 am 
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I'm bumping this thread because I was just watching that show My Cat from Hell, where a cat behaviorist uses clicker training to teach a cat to stay away from a dog he doesn't get along with. Have other PPKers tried clicker training before? Some of my younger cats (~ 3 yrs old) are bullying my older cat (~ 15 yrs old) and I'm wondering if I could train them out of that behavior.

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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:41 pm 
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I successfully clicker trained my bird for a few things for awhile so I thought I could do it for my cat but she doesn't like treats!

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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:03 pm 
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Some trainers withhold food so the animal will be more responsive to food rewards. I don't like this practice in general, but maybe feeding a light meal instead of a full meal preceding a training session would be helpful.

Also, sometimes the reward is a favorite toy or simply a play session. I know that this works for dogs. It can be hard with cats to find out what motivates them as far as rewards. My cats seem to be motivated by nothing!


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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:29 pm 
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I find that our male kitty only wants to get out more once he's gotten out. He'll sit and yowl by the door for long periods of time a few days after he's escaped. So I'd start by never letting the kitty get out by using methods like mollyjade mentioned, like stamping your feet.

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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:22 pm 
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quagga wrote:
Some trainers withhold food so the animal will be more responsive to food rewards. I don't like this practice in general, but maybe feeding a light meal instead of a full meal preceding a training session would be helpful.

Also, sometimes the reward is a favorite toy or simply a play session. I know that this works for dogs. It can be hard with cats to find out what motivates them as far as rewards. My cats seem to be motivated by nothing!

That works really well for dogs and birds because they like training in the first place but when my cat's bowl is empty for more than an hour I get attacked. hah. My past kitties went crazy for a treat. This one is too pampered.

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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:57 pm 
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I started clicker training my cats a couple weeks ago! I started with the one younger cat (Beebee) who does like treats. She sits and "stands" (prairie dog style) on command when she's in an attentive mood. I don't do the food deprivation thing, but we do training before their evening meal, so she's hungry for treats. We only do it for about 10 minutes so there's not much of a delay.

Within the first week, the other three cats got interested, and now all four will come into my tiny kitchen for training time. The other two younger cats (Minnie Mouse and Bing) previously refused any treats I offered them, but now they eat them.. maybe just to compete with Beebee, I don't know, but they're already learning to sit. I don't know how much this will actually help our situation, but they seem to be having fun.

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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:55 pm 
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I'm trying to train my kitty to be quieter.

I already regiment her meal times, and have started using these meal times as training. I hold a few pieces of kibble in my hand, and if she yowls, I close my fist so she can't get the food. After she's eaten the kibble, I wait a few seconds, and if she's quiet, I quickly give her more kibble. If she yowls, I wait at least a minute before giving her more kibble. She seems to be getting the hint (I've only been doing this for a few days...) She's still vocal, but is much less vocal than she used to be.

Also, if your kitty is yowling at a door (and you're on the opposite side of the door), take a spray bottle and spray his/her feet from under the door. They will eventually get the hint...


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 Post subject: Re: kitty discipline
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:15 pm 
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Your cat is spayed, right? I was also just watching that show My cat from hell and he was working with a couple who had an un-spayed female cat. And not only was she causing them a ton of distress from being hormonal but the male cats in the neighborhood were coming around and spraying on their front door. Basically the males could smell her inside and they wanted at her! And she kept sitting near the door rubbing her scent on everything and spraying too. It was a mess! But they got her spayed and all of there troubles went away.

This doesn't sound like your issue but I thought it was worth mentioning and interesting!

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