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My elderly cat is taking the piss..

(95 Posts)
MaryTheBookeeper Mon 29-Jun-20 19:44:33

My boy is nearly 15 years old. He's older now than any other cat I've owned. He now seems to be using his senior years to royally take the piss. All his life he has never, ever jumped on the kitchen worktop or dining table. Now he does many times a day. In fact, thinking about it, I realise this has only started through lockdown. I'm not even sure how he manages it since he's slightly arthritic. I keep the worktops clean & bare so there's nothing up there for him to seek. His food is Hill's Science Diet & he won't touch anything else, not even real chicken & fish. I don't admonish him, just lift him down & say 'no'. Do you have any ideas how I can cure him of this behaviour? I can't lock him out as his catflap is in this room.

LadyGracie Mon 29-Jun-20 19:49:08

Try laying some baking foil on the work tops, most cats hate it.

MaryTheBookeeper Mon 29-Jun-20 19:53:42

I've got 12m of wide worktop. That's a lot of tin foil to lay out..

lemongrove Mon 29-Jun-20 21:37:28

My cats used to be up on the work surfaces any chance they got, so yours is pretty unusual to never do it until now.
Keep the kitchen door closed.

Oopsadaisy3 Mon 29-Jun-20 21:38:55

I think it’s brilliant that he can do it at his age, the food is obviously doing him the world of good.
Have you tried spraying the worktops with a bacterial spray ? maybe you will find one that has a smell he dislikes.

lemongrove Mon 29-Jun-20 21:39:50

I meant to say, close the kitchen door most of the time, he doesn’t need to go in and out of the catflap all day long.Wait until he meows to go out.

Evie64 Mon 29-Jun-20 21:57:43

When our lovely old Rosie (18 before she died) started doing this, I'm afraid I wasn't polite and said No. I yelled at the top of my voice "GET DOWN". She soon learnt poor thing. blush

Starblaze Mon 29-Jun-20 22:09:06

Lol I bet he was always up on the worktops, he just got too old to remember not to do it when you are looking!

B9exchange Mon 29-Jun-20 22:17:28

Since lockdown started ours have been unbearable. They always got up on the work surfaces, but now are marching across the top of the fridge, leaping up digging their claws into the concertina blinds in the kitchen, pinging the guide wires with their teeth, climbing into the gas coal fire (and then walking across my clean washing) and have now started removing the grid over the air block. No idea what to do with them!!

Charleygirl5 Mon 29-Jun-20 22:17:52

Please be careful with spraying the worktop surface- you do not want him licking his paws to get rid of it.

GrannyLaine Mon 29-Jun-20 23:07:54

I agree with Lemongrove it would be unusual for a cat NOT to jump on the work surfaces, all of mine have made it their life's work.
If cats are at all stressed they will often seek out high places to be. Perhaps there is something about lockdown that is causing him anxiety? He is also at an age where their health begins to deteriorate and behaviour can change. Our quiet girl who is 16 has developed a very loud voice and now demands breakfast at 5am. She is SO loud that its actually easier to get up and feed her than listen to her. B9exchange I love the sound of your cats!

Hetty58 Tue 30-Jun-20 00:00:51

None of my cats have ever been allowed on the worktops. It's so unhygienic! Think of a noise he dislikes (e.g. vacuum cleaner, aerosol) and make it when you catch him. He's not that old - he may be with you for another five years or so.

SueDonim Tue 30-Jun-20 00:02:28

One of our two cats parades around on the worktop when it suits him. He mostly only uses two spots because he can then take a flying leap up onto my or dh’s shoulder. As the cat weighs 16lb, you certainly know when he’s made landfall on your back! 🙀

I’ve never found a real deterrent to cats walking on worktops, you just have to be busy with the cleaning materials. Afaik, we’ve never caught anything from them in 40 years of having cats.

Maggie68 Tue 30-Jun-20 00:55:43

Try a child’s water pistol filled with cold water. Each tome you catch them spray their faces it’s not harmful but cats hate this as do puppies.

LadyGracie Tue 30-Jun-20 09:34:40

Almost 40ft of worktop that’s an enormous kitchen you’ve got. Maybe not foil then.

Sparklefizz Tue 30-Jun-20 09:42:07

All my life I have trained my cats not to go on the kitchen worktops or kitchen table. I have found a "rattle tin" is the best way.

Wash out an empty tin and lid, put in some gravel or small stones, and seal up with tape.

Rattle this tin loudly every time the cat does something you don't like.

Cats hate the sound and soon get the message. One rather spirited cat I had used to push the boundaries - she liked to play with the cables behind the TV set - but after a couple of shakes of the rattle tin, I only had to say her name and point at the tin, and she knew what would happen and back off.

The only downside for the pet owner is that you need the rattle tin to hand when the pet misbehaves, but they get the message after a few very loud rattles.

Hellomonty Tue 30-Jun-20 09:53:24

I think @starblaze probably has it!

“ Lol I bet he was always up on the worktops, he just got too old to remember not to do it when you are looking!”

Grandmafrench Tue 30-Jun-20 09:58:47

He’s possibly becoming slightly eccentric and following some new and more interesting impulses.

You can never, ever be sure as a cat owner that your cat might not have jumped up or walked on a work surface or a tabletop. Perhaps if you’re able to keep a kitchen door closed permanently when you’re not in it and you live alone - otherwise there are always going to be odd moments.

So, why not just continue to put all food away and out of reach when you’re not in the kitchen (your cat may only actually eat one type of food but they’re always curious ! ) But spray your surfaces every time before you start to use them or prepare food. That way you don’t have any doubts as to cleanliness and your cat’s new moves won’t drive you mad. (They’re cats...they always win).

Tweedle24 Tue 30-Jun-20 10:12:03

I think, like many of us, he feels that he should keep up an exercise regime during lockdown.

B9exchange Tue 30-Jun-20 10:41:43

We have tried the water pistol, works on one of them, the other gives you a dirty look, washes off the water, and goes back to twanging the wire, or whatever he was doing to wind you up. Could try the foil on the top of the fridge. Just been making sourdough loaves yesterday, left the kitchen for 30 seconds and came back to a deep paw print in the tea towel covered dough!

Sparklefizz Tue 30-Jun-20 11:34:33

Love the pawprint B9 grin

PinkCakes Tue 30-Jun-20 13:26:04

My boy (also elderly, not sure of age, but 15 plus)has developed a very loud and persistent meow. He demands to be spoken to, picked up, fed, etc., and keep up the noise until we have to give in to whatever it id he wants.

He used to go on the worktops, years ago, but he's not bothered any more. He's starting sleeping in some different place, though - in front of the freezer, washing machine and bin.

Smileless2012 Tue 30-Jun-20 13:30:21

If you keep anything to the back of your worktops, bring some of them forward. My cat won't jump up to another level if there's something obstructing his vision.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Tue 30-Jun-20 13:32:40

Sometimes as cats get older their behaviour changes and they can develop a bit of dementia. And that's a lovely big kitchen you've got.

My sister scalds her worktops with boiling water each morning and uses a chopping board which she cleans in the same way.

SueDonim Tue 30-Jun-20 15:18:18

grin at the paw print in the sour dough!

We’ve used a water pistol. The effect doesn’t last for long. The cat learnt to simply shut its eyes when it saw us advancing.

One of my cats has just jumped on the sofa for a nap. My Kindle was there and he simply swiped it off onto the floor! Blooming cheek! 😹