one big issue & one question

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wolcar

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
My cats are basically great and very well-behaved and well-mannered.  *knock on wood* I've never had any major behavioral issues with them - Maybe EXCEPT one.  My cats like to get up really early.  It's just one of them and he goes to great lengths to wake me up very early with the standard biting hair, licking eye lids, sitting on head, etc. He is relentless while the other cat just sits at the bottom of the bed (although, I think he isn't completely innocent). I have no problem getting up and scooting them out of the room; however, Gus will bite the frame of the door. he's bitten out chunks of the door frame. Any suggestions on that? I've sprayed it with a sour apple spray that someone suggested but it didn't seem to work. I don't think he's waking me up for food. I think he wants lovin', which he gets plenty of. lol

I think my question may have been answered in another post.  My Ulysses will bury his toys in the litter box. Is this a similar thing to the cat that will bury it's empty dish? Is he just protecting the toy by burrying it there?  Thank you!
 

johnson-bennett

TCS Member
Young Cat
When your cat wakes you up in the morning and you give him any kind of attention at all, whether that's feeding him, shooing him out of the room, yelling at him or petting him, it reinforces the behavior. Attention, regardless of whether it's good or bad, is still attention.

First, you have to set the cat up to succeed by giving him things to do to satisfy his need for attention. Play with him right before you go to bed and then offer him a portion of his meal or a treat. Do this playtime as the last thing before bedtime. At the end of the game, wind the action down so the cat is left relaxed and satisfied. You should also set out some toys at night that are just specifically for his latenight fun. Puzzle feeders and other special toys that are only brought out at night would work.

The cat's behavior of biting the door frame is based on frustration. It's a displacement behavior to help him deal with the frustration and anxiety he feels from not getting what he wants. That's why you have to set up things for him so that he'll have activity in the wee hours of the morning so you can sleep. Even if it's affection that he wants as he bites your hair and bonds with you, if you have provided enough stimulation and activity for him during the night, he'll probably be more inclined to not focus in on you in the early morning.

Make the door frame an unpleasant place to bite. I know you said you tried bitter apple but I would try placing strips of Sticky Paws over the area within his reach. This is a double-faced tape that will probably be unpleasant for him if he attempts to put his mouth on it. Sticky Paws is a product made specifically for pet training.

Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC

www.catbehaviorassociates.com
 
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wolcar

wolcar

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Well...in the beginning, of course I gave him the attention. lol What he was doing was so freakin' cute and Gus had never been up to that point a very lovey dovey cat, so when he was doing this stuff at 2am it was my time to get close to him. I know I created the monster. lol  Since then I try my best to simply ignore him but it's amazing how relentless he can be. I will look into these puzzle toys and toys specifically for night time.  I will also try feeding him later after a play session and see if that works.  My boys adapt pretty well so hopefully this will work.  Thank you.
 
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