The argument of cats vs dogs is always a lively debate between the two populations. No secret to my friends and family, I’m a cat person through and through. Why are cats awesome? Well, they don’t bark, jump on you, track mud through the house (my cats are indoor cats) and generally smell better, no one ever said “that smells like a wet cat,” amongst other things. One of my favorite rebuttals is “you can’t train a cat!”
To that I would had to admit defeat. They seem to be trained when they hear the refrigerator open or the crack of the cat food can opening but other than that I struggled with some ongoing behavioral issues. Tinkerbell, my first and fabulous kitty (and you’ll notice, my sole problem child) had a bag of tricks that I couldn’t break her of. Some of her favorite antics: scratching the couch and walking on the counters despite knowing only she found this acceptable.
After YEARS of cohabiting with my furry darlings, I have pain painstakingly tried a number of behavior modification tactics.
Tried (and failed) cat training strategies:
- Repetition. Where I say “no” (without yelling because that apparently hurts a cat’s ego and makes them act out more) and to stop the unwanted behavior. Result: A LOT of effort on my part, not a lot of results.
- Water bottle. After sweet, sweet Tinkerbell was well on her way to destroying couch #1, I tried spraying her with water. Result: This worked exactly three times, after that she sat there and let me spray her with water. There was also the constant worry that I may accidentally spray her face or eyes.
- Deterrent sprays. There are products out there that use scents to deter cats from scratching your furniture. I sprayed this on my couch. Result: Money wasted.
- Tin foil. This was used to keep adorable Tinkerbell from walking on the counter. I would line the edge of the counter with foil. Result: She would jump over the tin foiled area. So unless I was willing to live in a tin foil kitchen, this was not helping anything.
- Loud Noises. I read that making loud noises will act as a deterrent. Result: You can’t believe everything you read.
Then one day, while I was at work, on the phone with a coworker whose spouse is an animal behaviorist, she tells me that there is a gadget that is motion activated and will give out a puff of air when the cat jumps on the counter. This supposedly scares the cat. I think, is it really that simple? My cats do not like when I clean my keyboard or my husband lets air out of his bicycle tire. Will a regular can of air work?
Successful cat training strategy:
Can of air. Whenever my kitties are acting out, I pick up a can of air and shoot air into… well, the air. Result: They immediately stop, drop and disperse. This has been a life changer in our house. I can use this tactic regardless of behavior, scratching, counter walking, in fighting and not worry about shooting water at their eyes, all my furniture smelling weird or covering all exposed surfaces in foil. I don’t have to yell or be disruptive or rush over to stop them, I just calmly pick up a can of air (which I have a half dozen strategically placed throughout the house) and press the nozzle. It has become so effective that most of the time I just pick up the can and they stop, proving that you can, after all, train a cat.
Let’s talk cat fur management, often a losing battle! Luckily, I found it in the form of the Roomba!
At first, I hesitated to buy a “gadget” that vacuums my house at the touch of a button. Luckily, we have wonderful neighbors that not only lend us a cup of sugar when we need it but let us take home and test drive their Roomba, who they’ve named “Sonny”, for a week. It may be true that we kept “him” for longer but that is unconfirmed.
Continue reading What To Say When The Furballs Are Getting Bigger; Cat Fur Management
When we recently moved into our new home and we knew that we wanted to put the litter boxes in the basement. Not that we don’t love our furry girls, we just don’t love seeing the boxes, plus they get a little added privacy while doing their business (and who doesn’t want their privacy). The new house has a door at the top of the basement stairs and obviously, our kitties (usually) can’t open doors for themselves, despite their best efforts (if they could, then I’d be writing a different story!). I scoured the web for a solution finding a plethora of exterior pet doors. Finally, I found the cat door by Cathole. Reviews on a few websites only sang praises for this product, so I immediately added it to my online cart and within a few days, it was at my door.
Continue reading Cat In The Hole; A Cat Door For Everyone!
One night at dinner one of my favorite cousins, knowing that I am a cat person (but really, who doesn’t know), suggested I add The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie to my reading list. Fortunately, I was just about to leave for vacation and was looking for a page turner for the plane so I immediately downloaded the book.
Continue reading The Dalai Lama’s Cat; A Cat Book Review
During the summer months, keeping cool isn’t only a priority for us but also for our furry loved ones. Since I currently don’t have AC, (gasp!) I do get a little worried for my girls when the temperature starts to creep up. So, a few things that I found helpful for keeping my cats cool and comfortable:
Continue reading What To Do When It’s Hotter Than Hot; Keeping Your Cats Cool
One ordinary day, during an ordinary shopping trip to the local wholesale club, I found something interesting; refrigerated cat food! It caught my attention because, well, anything cat related catches my attention, but will I deem it good enough for my girls? They’re on a grain free diet, for no reason other than it seems to be the healthiest choice, so my first reaction is always to read the ingredient list. Holy tamole! Not only is it grain free but everything on the list is ‘real’ food and the ingredient list is broken down by ingredients and vitamins &minerals and claims to be lightly cooked and not processed to preserve the integrity of the nutrients. Let’s give this a try!
Continue reading When Cat Food Is Fresher Than Fresh; Refrigerated Cat Food
This cat book review is near and dear to me. As I’m a big fan of the creator and his illustrative work. How To Know If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You has an alarming title but is a delightful read for the feline obsessed! This is brought to you by the creator of the hilariously awesome website; The Oatmeal. Matthew Inman takes his insights and factoids about cats and makes them entertaining. He captures the true essence of quirkiness that is typical feline behavior. He undoubtedly has an affinity for cats, hence the book and the numerous blog posts that center around feline antics that are sure to you giggle! He may be as obsessed with his cat as the rest of us are!
Continue reading How To Know If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You; A Cat Book Review
As it normally goes, I was eyeing up the next feline-oriented purchase, trying to decide if it will be a major success or snubbed like the pile of orphaned toys it the cat toybox. I don’t remember where I first saw the Hepper Pod but instantly thought it was awesome. Any piece of cat furniture that’s aesthetic and functional is a win-win, so here’s our Hepper Pod review!
Continue reading When The Couch Isn’t Good Enough; The Hepper Pod
As a society, we are moving in a greener direction. As pet owners, we are pampering our pets, feeding them high quality food but are we thinking about their carbon paw print? Pets Gone Green, by Eve Adamson, gives a great overview of what you can do to be a greener pet parent. She addresses everything from reasons to buy organic toys, to pet ‘themed’ composting. The author is admittedly a dog person but includes the feline perspective when she can and most of her points are applicable to any pet.
Continue reading Pets Gone Green; A Cat Book Review
As we know, with the warming temperatures, kitten season is around the corner! Few things are more fun and rewarding than going to a shelter, knowing you are taking home a cute, little, energetic kitten or maybe a more mature, laid back (ie lower maintenance) cat. This to ten must-have for new cat parents list goes beyond the basics food, water and vet visits. These ten recommendations have been critically reviewed by Tinkerbell and Tidbit (aka the girls), who are different as a sleepy laid back night and a jittery, caffeine filled morning.
Continue reading Top Ten Must-Haves For New Cat Parents