Friday, November 14, 2014

Kitty Training

That's what I said.
It's more like "kitty re-direction," but that is training right?
So, why on Earth would we be training Kira?
Well, ever since Rufio crossed the rainbow bridge Kira has developed a little nasty habit. It's funny because we had adopted Kira because Rufio had been displaying similar behaviors and for the same reason. So, we got him a friend.
Kira has started clawing up the carpet in front of our bedroom door. Not only is that bad, but it's even worse because we're renting. She only does it at night when we go to bed. Actually, she does it at night even if I'm the only one who's gone to bed. Mr. K could be out in the office on is computer which is right across from our bedroom and she will start scratching. I thought it was strange because when we are awake during the day she doesn't need to be in the same room as you.  In fact, she's often off doing her own thing, but as soon as that bedroom door closes she gets right upset.
Rufio had become destructive at night too. He chewed through headphone and computer cords and a few of my bras. He would claw at the bedroom door, but since there wasn't any carpet in our old place he couldn't claw any. When we brought Kira home, his destructive behavior stopped.
We've tried leaving the door ajar so that she can go in and out, but it's way too disruptive. If she would just come in and sleep it would be fine, but she doesn't. She gets in the window and plays with the blinds. She jumps on the bed and head butts you until you either pet her or let her under the covers. Once under the covers she lies down for a minute, but then is right back out. She circles your head purring and chirping happily away. She whacks you in the face with her tail and if she's particularly pleased with herself and you're ignoring her, she whacks you in the face with her paw. I usually sleep tucked in like a mummy so I've never experienced her biting me, but Mr. K sleeps with his hands out of the blankets. If he's asleep and not petting her she will chomp his hand. And, if it's not her waking you up, it's the dogs. With the door open they think they should get up at every little noise. If I go to bed early and Mr. K is still awake, then they're charging off to see what he's doing. So, our door ajar plan has been a bust.
In talking to my mom last night on the phone she asked me what we were going to do. I said I didn't know. Maybe put something over the spot? But what? It's in the doorway.
She's not a bad kitty. She just needs to be shown what is acceptable behavior. She doesn't scratch anything else she shouldn't. In fact, one of the reasons we decided to take her home from the humane society was because after she had greeted us she went directly to the scratching post in the kitty adoption room and started scratching. She seemed to know what it was for.
Since bringing her home she has three different pieces of scratching furniture. One is a regular scratching post that is just above the knee. The other is a tower that is taller than me and the third which was donated to her by her Grandma K is a little heart shaped perched with a scratcher. She loves it. She uses all of them...except when the bedroom door is closed and me an the dogs are locked away. I'm not even sure it's me she's mad about being unavailable to serve her royal kittiness. I think she's mad her BFF Otis is sleeping and ignoring her.
It was Mr. K who came up with the genius idea of how to stop her destroying the carpet. As soon as he said what he was thinking it was like,
"why didn't I think of that?"
I am so used to thinking in terms of re-directing unwanted dog behavior that it didn't even occur to me to do it with a cat.
The solution to our problem?
Mr. K brought the knee high scratching post upstairs and put it over the spot where she's been digging.
Genius don't you think?
He only put it there this morning so we'll see what happens tonight, but my thinking is that the spot is not only covered up but it is covered up with something she is allowed to take her frustrations out on. I think it will work.
Have a cat who is doing things he/she shouldn't be? Don't re-home him/her.
Call in the Kitty Whisperer Mr. K!

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