My cats are very destructive.. help!

ASG1800

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Hi everyone!
I have two male Persian cats,both one year old. I got them as 3 month old kittens, and I was hoping that they would be mellow, calm, and lap cats.

Well.. unfortunately, they are very feisty and destructive. One of them relentlessly chews on everything: cords, blinds (he has ruined several pairs), curtains, the antennae on my router, plastic bags, doors... They also do things such as knock over the kitchen garbage can and rummage through the bag, rip the garbage bag, and eat garbage. The other one scratches his claws on my couch and living room chair, and he has shredded my curtains AND shower curtain. They also jump onto the counters, inside the kitchen cabinets, and onto the kitchen table. In addition, one of my cats sits next to the TV and scratches the screen. I have seen several claw marks. He also pulls out the plug in the bathroom drain and plays with it, and tracks litter and poop into my shower on a daily basis. My other cat is food obsessed, and he follows me around every hour, loudly meowing.. he also runs into the kitchen after me whenever I go in there.

They have tons of toys (wand toys, mice, balls, etc.) AND, a 5 story cat tree with scratching posts, ledges, and places to hide/sleep. They also have two tunnels... I play with them everyday when I get home from work, and I give them a lot of attention, yet the behavior continues. I have a "scat mat" for the table and counters, which has helped...I also installed cabinet locks (like the ones for babies), which keeps them out. But, I am at my wits end with the destructive behaviors. I am a renter in an apartment. so I am responsible for any damage they create. Also, I can't afford to keep replacing broken blinds, curtains, furniture, and I do not want to eat where there is litter and cat poop smeared from them climbing all over the table/counters.

My questions would be, what else can I do? Is their behavior due to boredom/unhappiness? I wonder if they're not happy living with me. I have had cats all my life, and I have never seen some of these behaviors...
 

Luls77

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You don't mention how old they are now-- but it seems they may still be young-- even at a year old, they would be like destructive teens, and as siblings they may have gotten into the habit of crazy play. They would Not be able to sustain that level of energy forever! That said, sounds like you are doing everything right. I assume you rub catnip on their cat tree and toys-- and cat repellant on everything else you don't want them to touch. Are they motivated by treats? Having treats hidden around there cat tree and scratching stations so they find little rewards-- and maybe using a water sprayer when they are doing bad things? I know some may not agree with that but as a cat owner and lover/ it has worked for me over the years. The final thing I would recommend is cat pheromone diffusers around the house to help calm them. If they are just young'ns-- they will mature over time.
 

neely

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I'm sure they're happy living with you and you didn't do anything wrong. :alright: Persians tend to have very sweet and docile temperaments so be patient and give it time. We've had three Persians and all three were love bugs. :hearthrob: Our present Persian being the perfect lap cat but we adopted him when he was approx. 5-6 years old.

Here are several Articles with some helpful information about the behavior problems you mentioned:
Playing With Your Cat: 10 Things You Need To Know – TheCatSite Articles
How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching The Furniture – TheCatSite Articles
How To Stop Problem Chewing In Cats – TheCatSite Articles

Also, please note this Article which explains why TCS does not advise spraying your cat:
5 Reasons To Never Spray Water On Your Cat [Or otherwise punish them] – TheCatSite Articles
 

She's a witch

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What do they eat and how often? I’m wondering if at least some of the problems could be related to them not getting satisfied with the food. High protein, low carb wet food at least 3 times a day would be the best to make sure they are full, which hopefully would stop them from going through the garbage and jumping on the counter, hopefully even chewing?
Do they have soft poop if they track it around the house? that may also be cause by their food.
Good luck!
 

kitsune85

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how old are your cats now? for me. i noticed my male cat was so hyper active all the way till around almost 2 years old before he mellowed out.
 
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ASG1800

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You don't mention how old they are now-- but it seems they may still be young-- even at a year old, they would be like destructive teens, and as siblings they may have gotten into the habit of crazy play. They would Not be able to sustain that level of energy forever! That said, sounds like you are doing everything right. I assume you rub catnip on their cat tree and toys-- and cat repellant on everything else you don't want them to touch. Are they motivated by treats? Having treats hidden around there cat tree and scratching stations so they find little rewards-- and maybe using a water sprayer when they are doing bad things? I know some may not agree with that but as a cat owner and lover/ it has worked for me over the years. The final thing I would recommend is cat pheromone diffusers around the house to help calm them. If they are just young'ns-- they will mature over time.
They are both 1 year old now... What you said makes a lot of sense.. They don't seem to be motivated by treats, unfortunately. But, I was thinking of trying some of those "puzzle feeders" where you can hide treats or food inside and the cats have to try to get them out.. Yes, I regularly rub catnip onto the cat tree, and sprinkle some onto the floor for them. I haven't tried the pheromone diffusers, but that might be worth a try too! Thanks!
 
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ASG1800

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how old are your cats now? for me. i noticed my male cat was so hyper active all the way till around almost 2 years old before he mellowed out.
They're both 1 year old. I was hoping that when the "kitten phase" ended, they would calm down. But... as someone else said, they're teenagers now, which could potentially be worse in terms of behavior?
 
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ASG1800

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What do they eat and how often? I’m wondering if at least some of the problems could be related to them not getting satisfied with the food. High protein, low carb wet food at least 3 times a day would be the best to make sure they are full, which hopefully would stop them from going through the garbage and jumping on the counter, hopefully even chewing?
Do they have soft poop if they track it around the house? that may also be cause by their food.
Good luck!
I feed them "limited ingredient" food, because one of them has a very sensitive stomach and had chronic diarrhea for months until I changed his food. I feed them wet food twice per day (morning and night), and then dry food in small portions during the middle of the day. I basically feed them every 4-5 hours (small meals), which I read was the healthiest for cats.. But. this may not be working well for them. I suppose I could try more wet food? The vet said they're overweight, so I was trying to feed smaller portions, which could also be contributing to the problem. Do you think any of the rummaging behavior is from boredom? I'm worried about that...
 

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Have you had their teeth checked? If they are chewing a lot, it might be a dental issue. I know they are still pretty young, but I would look into it if I were you.

What kind of litter box do you have? What kind of litter? Do you trim their hair to keep the poop and litter from getting caught? As others have asked, is their poop soft? If so, talk to the vet. The food that you have them on should not be giving them runny or super soft poop. Can you find food that has fewer calories rather than giving them less?
 

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I'm no cat expert by any means as I too am a new cat owner... but do you feed your cats grain free food at all? I noticed intially my cats would be getting soft runny poop after they had the food that was given to me by the rescue place I got them from, however after a chat with a very good local pet food place I tried them on both grain free wet food and kibble and the softer poop did clear up... so it could be worth looking at what they are eating as other members have suggested too. Both my cats are one year old too, not persians though, and one of mine is a bit on the destructive side too at times, I have to realllly play with her till she is tired out and then I give her the food and after she tends to fall asleep! ( not always but most the time lol)
 

Luls77

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They are both 1 year old now... What you said makes a lot of sense.. They don't seem to be motivated by treats, unfortunately. But, I was thinking of trying some of those "puzzle feeders" where you can hide treats or food inside and the cats have to try to get them out.. Yes, I regularly rub catnip onto the cat tree, and sprinkle some onto the floor for them. I haven't tried the pheromone diffusers, but that might be worth a try too! Thanks!
Mine were crazy when they were young too, but both really mellowed with time. At one year, they are technically "adults", but humans are considered adults at 18 - are they really though? ;) Mine are almost 2 yrs old now, still get the 'zoomies' (running around like maniacs) now and then. I like what someone suggested above, playing with them until they get exhausted. I used to exhaust mine with a laser pointer. They would eventually stop even chasing it, as they would be too pooped. Good luck! I bet they are gorgeous.
 
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ASG1800

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Have you had their teeth checked? If they are chewing a lot, it might be a dental issue. I know they are still pretty young, but I would look into it if I were you.

What kind of litter box do you have? What kind of litter? Do you trim their hair to keep the poop and litter from getting caught? As others have asked, is their poop soft? If so, talk to the vet. The food that you have them on should not be giving them runny or super soft poop. Can you find food that has fewer calories rather than giving them less?
Yes, they have both had vet check-ups, and nothing was wrong physically. The vet said they're "a bit overweight", but otherwise healthy. I have several litter boxes, just the simple plastic open kind. Litter box issues (luckily) haven't been a concern... And yes, they both have trimmed "privacy areas" so that nothing gets stuck there.
 
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