Our resident cat expert, Wendy Nan Rees, offers advice on a homemade solution to keep cats out of areas of your home where you don't want them to roam.
When I get backed into a corner, my best ideas often come to me. Here I was, at my good friend Liza's home. She was crying, and her cat was sitting outside, begging to come back inside. Liza's cat Lucy lost her sister Rosy back in August, and Lucy is having some problems adjusting; she is old and misses her sister very much.
Lucy now wants to be inside more, but is destroying some things when she is in the house. I believe she needs more attention because she has lost not only her sister, but her friend and playmate. Both the cats would come inside, but they never used to scratch up the furniture or eat the house plants. Lucy is now going into the living room where none of the cats or dogs have been allowed before. Liza has a gate that keeps the dogs out, but Lucy just climbs up and over the gate to ruin the room.
Lucy has always been an indoor/outdoor cat, spending most of her days outside, and only coming in at night to sleep and eat. But now, Liza has been making her stay outside because she is ruining the furniture in her grief. All poor Lucy wants to do is be inside. So Lucy needs to be re-trained about how to behave indoors. She needs to remember that although a table leg is made of wood, it is not a tree and therefore is off limits from her claws.
A Possible Solution
I remembered that once, I had half heard some idea to keep cats away and off couches and furniture, or even away from a plant or an area in your home where you do not want them to go. That was so long ago, and I could only remember one part of it. So, I told Liza I was going to the local hardware store, and I would be back in bit to fix the problem.
I bought all my ingredients, and proceeded back to Liza's home. I wanted to test my idea, and I hoped I would be able to fix the problem. Liza had bought a Scat Mat, which is a mat you place on the furniture to keep cats off, but Lucy was destroying more than just the top of the couch.
Homemade Cat Repellent
To my delight, one week later my homemade "Keep Kitty Off and Away" is working. Here is what you need to buy and do.
List of Supplies
- Double sided tape, sticky on both sides and three-inches wide
- One plastic floor saver mat: This is the kind of mat you put under an office chair, and is clear on top with plastic points on the bottom.
- Good sharp scissors to cut through the plastic floor mat
- Training treats
First, you'll need to find all the places you do not want your cat to go. Make a map or floor plan of where you are going to make your boundaries. Remember, this is not forever, but long enough to train your cat. It may take one month, it may take three months; every cat is different.
Once you have your plan, you want to cut your tape, and place it on the floor where you do not want the cat to go. Then, cut the plastic mat to the same width as the tape you just cut, and put it on top of the tape, make sure to place it upside down with the plastic tips pointing up.
So, if your cat tries to go onto the furniture or near a house plant, they are going to get poked with plastic tips and get sticky tape on their feet. This will not feel good to your cat, but it will not harm him or her. It will be uncomfortable to step on, and will most definitely tell the cat to not go there again. If you should see the cat avoiding the restricted areas, then tell him or her "Good Kitty", along with a treat to reinforce the new behavior.
This solution is not too costly. It only cost me about $25.00. The sticky tape is inexpensive, and you can often find plastic mats on sale. Liza is happy, I am happy and her kitty is once again in the house and happy. It's a win/win situation for everyone."Remember the animals in your life are not just your pets they're your friends" WNR
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