Windows, Screens and Cats ~ The Creative Cat

Windows Screen Protector From Cat

Windows Screen Shades / April 20, 2022

Does your cat wake you earlier than you want to in the morning? Does he accidentally snag his claws in your clothes? Is he timid? This section covers these and other common complaints that cat owners have.

A cat that runs across your bed, scratches at your blankets, and purrs in your face before you want to get up in the morning is annoying. The problem gets worse when the owner waits before giving in to the cat. The cat learns to be obnoxious longer the next morning until the owner gives in again. Pretty soon, the owner is getting up at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. The trick is to not give him what he wants when he asks you for something while you’re sleeping.

Here are some other things you can do:

  • Provide an indoor litter box so he won’t pester you to let him outside when he wakes up too early.
  • If he’s allowed outside, let him out at a regular time every day. Don’t let him out at any other time of the day. Don’t let a cat outside right after you get out of bed. He will learn that bugging you while you’re still in bed will not get him what he wants.
  • Serve him his meals at regular times each day. Do not feed him as soon as you get out of bed. Take your shower and get your tea ready before giving him his morning meal. He’ll get used to it.
  • If the cat likes to cuddle up to your head or neck but you’d rather have him by your feet, gently move him down the bed and pet him. If he moves back up, keep moving him down until he gets tired. Some cats don’t like perfume or cologne; spray some on your neck before going to bed.
  • Scare him when he hassles you while you’re in bed. When he runs across you, lift your knee in front of him and yell “No.” Gently shove him off the bed. If a cat is really bugging you, sometimes hold and hug him to make it difficult for him to leave. Cats don’t like to be held down. This violates our general rule about never holding the cat against his will but in this instance, may curb the behavior faster.
  • Protect the carpet outside of your bedroom door by covering it with something sturdy, such as a carpet runner. Cut the carpet runner to match the width of the doorway. As soon as your cat turns obnoxious, shut him out of the room. The cat won’t be happy about being locked out. He will do his best to wear you down. He’ll scratch at the carpet runner near the door to be let in. Don’t give in! If you let him in, he’ll be more persistent the next day. If you really have to open your door to make him stop, do not talk to him. Just pick him up and lock him in a room that has a litter box and water, and go back to bed.
  • Put a scratching post right outside your bedroom door so he’ll have a way to vent frustration at not being let in.
  • Put toys in other rooms so he can play while you sleep.
  • Put a cat bed by a window, and a bird feeder just outside for him to watch. This helps keep him occupied in the twilight hours, when he’s most likely to be active.
  • Playing with your cat for several minutes, once or twice a day, helps tire him for the night.

Some cats are sloppy about keeping their claws retracted and will accidentally snag your clothes and furniture and scratch your skin. Teaching a cat to have “velvet paws” means to train the cat to not extend the claws. It also means teaching the owner how to handle the cat so he’s never forced to use his claws. You can start velvet paw training as early as three weeks old. As little as eight weeks old a kitten can learn to be claw conscious even though he’s not old enough to scratch the post yet. Adult cats learn more quickly than kittens that you don’t like being scratched.

Here is the essence of velvet paw training: Never let him hurt you. When he does scratch you or snag something, say “Ouch!” and trim one or two of his claws. The key to success is to react immediately. Sharply say “Ouch!” the instant it happens, even if he snags the clothes you’re wearing. Then look at his nails and say, “You need your nails trimmed.” Trim one or two claws while talking to him in a gentle tone. Then pull out a lure toy to make him forget about his nail trim, or pet him and tell him he’s a good boy. If trying to trim a nail causes fear or panic in your cat, then wait until he is asleep.