Before we adopted Graham and Chip, we filled the house with cat stuff and were totally excited to have feline buddies under the roof again.
Now that a few months have passed, I’m Googling phrases like “my cats attack me all night long” and “I won’t declaw but something has to be done.” When I got up this morning I had blood dripping from the left side of my face and dried blood inside my left ear. (This happens nearly every day. Chip likes to wake me up by slapping me in the face, which is something I would never tolerate from anyone else, yet I tolerate it from my cat son.) My ankles are no longer ankles. They are cat attack scabs.
The cats were kept in cages during their stay at the college and before that they were in a cat hoarding situation. In other words, it hasn’t been easy for them.
I love the cats. I love the cats. I love the cats. (I do love the cats.)
I really need to figure something out. (I won’t have them declawed.)
18 thoughts on “I sort of love that we’re living in a Gilmore Girls episode, but this isn’t the one I would choose.”
Can you trim or file their claws so that they don’t draw blood?
I’m one of those people who loves pictures of cats (so pretty, so cute, so furry) but I don’t really like cats in real life. Also, I am allergic (which might explain why I don’t like them, because I feel defensive about them rubbing on me, or sitting on my lap, or touching me – and inevitably they seem to sense that I am the one who must be convinced.) If it were a dog you could put them in a kennel in your room so they are near you, but not free to roam – but I don’t know if you can do that with cats? Can they be confined to a single room at night or something? I’m pretty sure I have nothing helpful here – but I feel badly for you – yikes!
Our cat spends her nights in the (finished, perfectly habitable) basement. Do you have somewhere to put them that would put a door between them and your flesh?
Check out Soft Paws or similar nail caps. They really work well. You usually only need them on the front paws, and will need to be replaced every 4-6 weeks.
I push on the paw so the nails come out then clip the hooks.
I’m seconding Soft Paws. We had the vet put them on the first time while we watched and have done it ourselves since.
We trim our cats’ nails too. It’s still possible for them to scratch, but the claws are a lot less sharp, so less drawing of blood, I find. The vet showed us how to do it the first time, and we’ve done it in our own since. Could you close them out of the bedroom at night? I had a cat once who wanted to sleep nose-to-nose with me all night long, and I just couldn’t take that. So I started closing her out of the bedroom at night. She whined and scratch at the door for a couple of nights, but then stopped.
You need to start by closing your bedroom door so you can sleep unmolested. If the litterbox is in your room just move it .
We did something just like this for our guys and it is the best ever: https://www.flickr.com/photos/waviolette/3284169604/ litter is ‘outside’ so we don’t smell it but still inside and easy to care for.
It will probably take a while but I bet they will come around to being nice affectionate companions eventually. Good luck!
Buy a Kitty Condo Kennel. Feed them in it and keep their Kitty Litter there also. Every night when it is time for you to feed them before bedtime they will RUN to their Condo and meow and demand you put them up for the night. Nothing bad happens to the cats, they just don’t get to hurt you in the night because they are sleeping peacefully in their Condo till you let them out in the morning…
Just clip the ends of the nails with a set of toenail clippers. It’s really easy and painless for the cat (just like clipping your own nails) – if you just clip the ends you won’t go too far into the nail. Do it once a month – problem solved.
Step one – Cat tower with sisal scratching post and lots of platforms for them to jump to & climb on. Maybe some active toys (like the balls in the tubes that they can bat around, or the ‘mouse tail’ under the mat that unpredictably changes directions?) to help wear them out.
Step two – Close the kitties out of your room at night. Our cats are limited to the basement at night (very nice, finished, heated, their food and poo boxes were there too).
Step three – train them to accept you trimming their nails. This might be a major PITA (and you literally may need stitches) but if they will tolerate it DO IT!
Step four – soft paws? Eh sure. I don’t know that *I* could get those things on my cats claws and they have all been more or less tolerant of paw/claw handling.
I would suggest some negative reinforcement – a spray bottle of water on the nightstand or under your pillow. If they attack you, you spritz them. The nail caps are also a good idea, I would combo the two!
In my experience, cats don’t respond at all well to negative reinforcement. What has worked well for my cats is having two heavy-duty sisal scratching posts (such as the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post) placed near areas where they like to scratch. When they were kittens, we sprayed catnip essence on the posts and mimed scratching them ourselves; the kittens quickly mimicked us and learned that the posts were excellent places to scratch, scent-mark, and stretch.
We’ve had good luck in making the boy-kitty less aggressive toward his sister (and less likely to wake up in the middle of the night, bored and meowing) by playing with a wand toy (such as Da Bird or Neko Flies) every evening. About 15 minutes of vigorous playtime will tire them out; we follow with treats or a bit of wet food. This matches their “hunt-kill-eat-groom-sleep” pattern, and it’s also a nice bonding time with them. You may also have to shut them out of your bedroom, though it can take a few nights of crying before they realize that your room is off-limits overnight.
Good luck with your handsome gentlemen! And thanks for not considering declawing.
I second: Soft Paws (I don’t really need to use them anymore, my cats have mellowed, but I used to); keeping their nails trimmed, if/when they don’t have Soft Paws on (I would say once a week rather than once a month); and not letting them in your room at night. That doesn’t help with the ankle attacks, but it’s a start. All three of these will take some stick-to-it-ive-ness from you at the beginning.
Actually, I thought everyone cut cats’ nails…? Anyway, I can see if it hasn’t been done from a young age, they might be pretty resistant. Mine don’t really mind much now, but when they were young it was helpful to have two people involved. Good luck! :)
Bought this for our kitties. They spend most of their lives on it and do lots of scratching and play fighting on it. Good luck.
So much good advice. All I’ve got is this (starting at around :37) which indicates you’re not alone :-)
Joining the chorus regarding Soft Paws as well as a basement / kennel type situation for night times. We had a cat who liked to attack sleeping children and children who were too little to sleep with closed doors. The other one liked to race around and loudly attack furniture, doors, her sister, you name it. Ergo, cats went to finished basement with litterbox and food bowls at night. Everyone was much happier.
Get scratching posts and rub them with catnip first. (We are currently hosting our daughter’s bunny, a surprisingly affectionate and endearing pet. He also likes to pester us in our bed at night and must be shut in his cage with a dish of food and his litter box. He doesn’t seem to mind.)
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