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How not to train a cat...

1. xymonau19 January 2011, 9:31 GMT +01:00

My son's cat has developed a bad habit of eating plastic bags. Naturally, this is going to kill her if it continues. He sprinkled pepper on one to try to teach her not to touch them. She sneezed, then proceeded to lick the pepper off. He will try chillie next, but it seems the cat likes some condiments with her snacks. Any suggestions?

2. gesinek19 January 2011, 9:46 GMT +01:00

Are you sure that she swallows the plastic? One of our cats loves package of every kind including plasic. But he is only crushing it in little piece whatever it is plastic or paper or what. Burt he doesn't eat it. And I think if a cat founds pleasure doing or eating something you don't wan't him to eat, you only have the chance to hide it. Alll the things they deal with in petstore for getting cats away from things they are not allowed to play with (or eat it) are nonsens in my opinion.

Good luck, it's really a challenge

3. xymonau19 January 2011, 9:56 GMT +01:00

Yes, Gesine. Apparrently she vomited up several pieces of a plastic bag once, and they have tried to hide them ever since. Unfortunately, she is an indoors cat, and I think that's unnatural. They develop odd behaviours when they can't get out and about. When I first inherited my little blind cat, he used to chew his nails! He'd sit there and I'd hear him crunching away at his claws. It was awful. He'd chew them until they bled. After being allowed outside regularly, that stopped.(His previous owner, who didn't know he was blind, lived in a room, and the cat never got out.)

4. Ayla8719 January 2011, 16:05 GMT +01:00

Hi Dez, I've googled this subject and found that there are lots of cats who like to eat plastic bags (ours is not interested, luckily, but we won't let any bags lay around just to be sure anyhow). On a forum of cat lovers a tip by a vet was given: the plastic may be swallowed because the cat doesn't have regular access to cat grass. In most cases it helps to give them gat crass regularly. We grow it ourselfs from oat grains (very cheaply bought as horse fodder). That's less expensive. Maybe your son should give it a try.

5. gesinek19 January 2011, 21:11 GMT +01:00

I think Michael is right. Once we get a inhouse cat from friends who are not longer able to provide the cat. We let her out and all the crazy behaviors were gone. Some cats are not made for live inside ónly. On the other site there are cats. who totally refuse to get on pad out of the house (my mother in law had one). Our cats have a little cat door in the house door for they are completelly freelance and come home only to eat and to babble.

6. jazza19 January 2011, 22:30 GMT +01:00

Most cats love to eat grass. And then they vomit. Our cats eat grass from the garden all the time. Sometimes I think I own three cows.

Dez, maybe the cat is bored and needs more attention?
We seems to have a lot of cat lovers on RGBStock

7. xymonau20 January 2011, 12:02 GMT +01:00

I know she's bored, although they have another cat as well. But she's so full of life, and even though they do play with her, etc, it's not a natural life for a cat. I wish people wouldn't keep animals unless they can live naturally.

I have caged birds who can't get out any more, and they worry me a lot. Unfortunately, the place where I live is brand new, and I know they would damage something if I let them out. It's awkward getting a larger cage (because I can't get one through the doorways and outside the mosquitoes would devour them), but that may be the only solution. (Their current cages are larger than most I've seen supposedly for cockatiels.) In all the rain we're still having, I can't do anything. In the meantime, they are going stir crazy. I do get them wild grasses to eat, and give them a lot of variety in foods. I talk to them and scratch one through the bars, until he bites me! The other one just bites all the time. I will move when my lease runs out, if I can find somewhere suitable, and then I hope to give them a fly.

We do have a lot of cat and other animal lovers here. That's great.

8. micromoth20 January 2011, 13:44 GMT +01:00

Hi Dez,
A friend of mine swears by mustard as a way to dissuade cats from eating something. They loathe it, he says. Because mustard is often so powdery, he adds water and a dash of eco washing-up liquid to help it all mix together. So if you see a cat foaming at the mouth...

9. xymonau20 January 2011, 22:26 GMT +01:00

That sounds good, Kevin. I'll tell my son. The detergent would add a little flavour of its own, too. If my son doesn't use it, perhaps I can chuck it in the soup?

10. gesinek21 January 2011, 0:39 GMT +01:00

it will be great in the soup, but ... we have three cats and none of them is able to fit those rules.
Streifi (one of our cats) and his compagnions loves everything spicy...... and hot........and forbidden

11. crisderaud21 January 2011, 17:33 GMT +01:00

Spray a little window cleaner with ammonia. They don't like the ammonia and can detect it even after it dries.

Cat purring http://www.iserenity.com/purring/

12. xymonau22 January 2011, 10:35 GMT +01:00

That is also a good idea. I'll suggest that, too. The purring just doesn't feel the same as a real cat to me. I am seldom disturbed by natural sounds, like roosters crowing or rain and wind (unless it's strong enough to scare me!), but I can't sleep with music, traffic or lights around, or even peoples' voices. I may add electronic cat sounds to the list! LOL

Gesine, we once had a cat who was eating the tomatoes from our garden as they ripened. We were blaming my father's chickens. One day my mother caught him on the kitchen table eating the green tomatoes from a bowl! Not spicy, but forbidden. We were surprised, and had a good laugh.

13. gesinek22 January 2011, 11:54 GMT +01:00

I just started laughing when I read that and imaging that picture :-)

14. crisderaud22 January 2011, 15:31 GMT +01:00

Microwave a small yellow potato just enough to soften it. Leave it by their food bowl and you will find that most cats love them. They will carry it around the house and get a little messy but it's good nutrition for them.

15. xymonau23 January 2011, 0:03 GMT +01:00

I'll tell my son, but he might not want to do that because of their carpets. However, I do believe most animals can live healthfully on a mostly vegetarian diet, as long as you make sure they get the vital vitamins that can't come from plant sources. Dogs in the Pacific islands used to live on coconuts and occasional fish. Cats must have Taurine and that is only from meat or supplements.

16. micromoth23 January 2011, 7:51 GMT +01:00

I've heard that during World War II, when meat was in very short supply, London Zoo fed their lions on vegetables. It was reputedly, erm, a roaring success.
Incidentally, according to Wikipedia, some passerine birds seek out spiders to feed their young as they are rich in taurine. Maybe this explains why both cats and dogs like to catch spiders.

17. jazza23 January 2011, 21:38 GMT +01:00

The Dutch Zoo Blijdorp (Rotterdam) did some tests with vegetarian lionfood too!

18. happyture23 January 2011, 22:48 GMT +01:00

Cats do not like oranges or citrus fruits and a old way of keeping cats off your sofa was to fill a plastic bag with peel of these fruits and leave it open on your sofa,,,,SO,,, maybe,, if your son fills a plastic bag with such things and leaves it open in view of his cat the cat will soon associate the dreaded orange & lemon peel with plastic bags and hopefully lose the appetite for plastic bags,,, Worth a try... :O)

19. xymonau24 January 2011, 10:59 GMT +01:00

That's a good thought, Mike. I know cats hate citrus. I'll mention that as well. Thank you.

Jay, that's really funny! If it was a serious attempt to get them to eat veges, it was a bit misguided. They weren't having a bar of that rabbit food.

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