Cat won't stop getting into everything!!

heybales36

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Hello,
I'm not usually one for sites like this but I'm desperate at this point.
I have about a year and a half old indoor kitty who is super sweet but just the naughtiest creature alive. On top of being a bottle-fed foster kitten of ours, he was also a pandemic cat, so he's affectionate as can be but is also extremely clingy and needy. He will not stop getting into human food and we have tried so much that it's getting frustrating. We do our best to keep everything out of his reach, but that's nearly impossible with small children in the house and he will eat EVERYTHING- I've even caught him eating asparagus. It's turned into a major issue because he's jumping up on the counter looking for food all day long and nothing we're doing seems to help.
We've tried everything from spray bottles to motion-sensored air blasters, and nothing will stop him. He's getting enough food in his diet and is even a little on the chubby side, has food puzzle toys and cat climbers/scratchers galore, and gets attention all day long, but it's just exasperating. We're open to trying more positive reinforcement techniques but just don't know where to start and he's so food-motivated that it seems like it won't even matter as long as there's anything left out that he can chomp on. He will try to grab food out of your hands, run away with entire bags of chips, etc. and it's insane.
Any words of advice are appreciated!! Thanks in advance!
 

ArtNJ

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I don't have any super helpful thoughts, other than as long as this situation persists, to not give the kids foods which would be toxic to the cat, such as chocolate. So browniers or chocolate covered pretzels would probably be a very bad idea. I think its more the cat will get diarhea if they eat a measurable amount than highly toxic if they have a tiny bite, but I could be wrong about that, and certainly you wouldnt want to push it. Not sure if there are other foods to watch out for. Certainly I'd put the cat entirely away before taking out any foods with exceptionally strong smells that most cats have trouble restisting like fresh meats/deli meats. And I guess I'd get religion about doing the dishes, since human food residues in quantities could become a serious issue. I believe I heard that pets can get sick from raw meat, so that warrants caution as well.
 

vince

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My sympathies. It will get better, but you will have to put things behind locked doors. It takes a lot of effort and you must not give in, or your work will be lost, but you can train them to leave you alone at dinnertime. The best I was able to do was to get them to stop swarming me when I eat, but they do stand by, cry, and beg.

They will respond by getting down off the counter when I see them up there and tell them to "get down", but they'll just get back on the counter as soon as I start doing something. It's a continuous thing when I'm working in the kitchen.

The vegetable eating isn't all that odd. I have one that eats spinach and another eats sauerkraut. Most cats like corn, too.
 

LTS3

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Along with chocolate, you need to take care with onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, coffee and alcohol.

Here's a list: People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

FYI, the ASPCA Poison Control hotline number charges a consultation fee. Best to call your vet for advice. After hours there's a voicemail message with info on who to call for emergencies. If there is no after hours message, this pet poison control hotline is free of charge: Kansas State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital 1-785-532-5679

How much food exactly are you feeding the cat? Do you free feed or do scheduled meals? Do you feed dry or canned? Hangry cats will seek out food to eat from your counters, tables, and trash can.

Do you know the cat's previous history? Former strays and cats from neglected homes are often food insecure and will eat everything they can. It takes time and patience to get such cats to learn that they will always have food available.

 

sunny578

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Oh my gosh, this is crazy! A whole bag of chips!!

I would just pretend you have a dog at this point and keep everything off the counters and in cupboards. Lock up the trash etc. When I had a food grabby dog and a younger child, I had to put the dog in another room when she was eating (I know it's hard bc kids seem to eat all day long) or make sure she was eating at the table and was supervised. You could also time the cat's meal times with dinner time so she she's busy while you are all sitting down and eating together.

Good luck!!
 
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