24 Replies Latest reply on Jan 8, 2013 11:11 AM by coliejean

    Help keeping cat out of certain areas

      Hey guys, I am in need of some suggestions/advice. There are some areas of my house that are off limits to my pets. The dogs get it, but the cat doesn't give a flying flip. First I would like to completely rule out the whole "let the cat do as she pleases, she's not hurting anything" discussion. That's not an option. My kitchen, under the bed, and under the couch are all off-limit areas. This is because she likes to vomit in the most inconvenient areas to clean (my counter tops, the pantry, under the couch/bed). There is nothing wrong with her as I have taken her to the vet and he says it's perfectly normal. So far, the only thing I have been able to do is keep my bedroom door closed, which can be a problem because she slips her paw under the door and shakes it in the morning. I'm in the process of sizing a tall pet gate to keep her out of the kitchen as well as a couple ScatMats to keep her away from the gate (in case she gets any funny ideas and wants to jump over it). Until then, I want to put some sort of blockade around the perimeter of my couch and bed that is both effective, but doesn't look entirely hideous. Do they make gutter guard type barriers for beds/couches?



      Keeping her food bowl full at all times is not an option as that is what encourages her to vomit on everything she looks at.

      Spraying her with a water bottle doesn't work as she does not associate negative reinforcement with the act that she's doing. In fact, she's more prone to carry out the bad habit immediately after reprimand just for the heck of it.

      Sticky tape and aluminum foil does not bother her at all.

      Locking her in a room while I am unable to supervise her shenanigans only results in a damaged door. Putting her in a crate while I am unable to supervise her shenanigans results in busted and bloodied claws.

      I'm very reluctant to try repellent sprays so I will only be convinced by personal success stories.

        • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas

          i don't have any advice, but i have been studying the behavior study unit for awhile and this caught my attention. this would be considered aversion therapy! i hope i'm right. haha.

          • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas

            First, I'd try to reduce the vomiting. My cat also vomits frequently. I thought it was mostly because of hairballs, but the vet suggested that the cat probably has a very sensitive stomach. So I gradually switched her to a dry food for sensitive stomachs and I feed her 1/8 cup three times a day and her vomiting is much reduced. Also, if she's hiding under the bed to vomit it's because she feels very vulnerable. Perhaps she needs a different place to hide. I have another cat which is terrified of thunder and would hide under the bed. We purchased a small cat tree for $29 on sale at Fleet Farm which had a round, carpeted tube. When it thunders I put a blanket over the far end, and now the cat runs straight into her tube when she's frightened.


            I've found that the only way to keep a cat out of an area is to make it impossible for it to get into that area. So for under the bed I would recommend lining up plastic drawers with lids. They would keep the cat out and give you lots of extra storage space too.


            For the couch maybe a decorative cloth barrier that runs around the bottom (around the legs). You could sew on a Velcro closure to make it easy to remove and wash.

            1 person found this helpful
              • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas

                She's currently eating dry Blue Basics, and I give her a pinch of food multiple times a day since her issue is scarfing it down. Her belly can't handle being too full at one time, but somehow she always manages to vomit her last serving of undigested food at least 2 times a week. She seems pretty comfortable around the house. Her safe haven is my office, because that's where her bowls and litter box are. So whenever she thinks she's in trouble, she skitters up to my office. I think it's just a coincidence that she vomits in obnoxious places. Sometimes she falls asleep somewhere only to be woken up by the urge to vomit (and she'll be conveniently located on or under my bed.)


                I may consider the carpeted tube. She has things that I've bought her for her comfort and entertainment, but you know how they are -- if it's not meant for them, they wanna use it instead. I will certainly try the blanket-velcro idea. Thanks for that!

              • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas



                This might not be the solution for everybody but it worked for me.


                I went to Lowe's/Home Depot and bought a battery operated, motion activated night light (about $6). It runs on three AA batteries so it is safe to work with.


                And then I got a Piezoelectric Buzzer from an online electronics store ($2).


                I took the night light apart, disconnected the wires from the light (the LED), and attached the wires to the buzzer.


                So now I have a motion activated buzzer and the cats hate it.  When they get close to it it buzzes and they turn back.  I keep them out of my basement with it, put it on counter tops, etc.  The cats think I have a lot of them but I just have the one and move it around.  After a while, they don't trespass where they remember it being.


                Since it operates unattended, they don't associate it with you.



                1 person found this helpful
                • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas

                  Well my mom has two cats and let me tell you they are a mess!! she uses a squirt bottle and just lightly squirts them every time they go somewhere or do something they are not supposed to do however you said that is not working..um i heard that is the best technique but you are not supposed to let them see you squirt them also my mom keeps small plastic boxes under the beds and things that look organized but also keep the cats out from under them..as well making other "ok" areas more attractive and fun for the cats im not sure what you could try(maybe getting them their own small couch or something to let them allowed under) haha i know this is a difficult situation! ... also we have a dog and we have to keep them separated so we have him in training right now... two things the trainer suggests are, not using the dogs name when reprimanding him.. saying "ah" or "no" they can associate better with that . Then for the dog using/ squirting lemon juice in or around mouth area lightly works as well... just an interesting dog fact for you but it sounds like your dog is under control... wish i could be of more help i think its one of those things you just gotta keep trying new things and find what works best! hope any of this was useful and  best of luck!!

                  • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas

                    have you tried a squirt bottle of water. my cats stay off my kitchen counters all i did was squirt them with water.

                      • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas

                        Two things with the water bottle:

                        1. She doesn't go in the kitchen if I'm watching her. I usually catch her leaving the kitchen, and at that point she runs for her life because she knows she's not supposed to be in the kitchen -- so I never even get the chance to squirt her.

                        2. If by some miracle I ever catch her in the act of doing something bad and I squirt her, she doesn't seem to associate getting sprayed with "don't do what you're doing" and immediately goes back to whatever naughty deed she was doing as soon as she's done pouting.


                        In other words, I wish she was a semi-normal cat that responded to traditional training techniques. The spray bottle just doesn't work for her.

                      • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas

                        oh thats to bad.well this will be a challenge then.dont they make an ultrasonic device.i will have to get back to you on that.

                        • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas

                          We also have a cat, that does as she pleases and doesn't seem to pay any mind to what you think or how we feel. I am baffled on her behavior. ( I have had cats in the past, and they have been NOTHING like her). Both my boyfriend and I are both disabled so her actions definitely prove to create a daily challenge for us.


                          we have restricted her from the bathroom, seeing that she likes to try and stick her head in the toilet.


                          We have her semi -restricted from the bedroom ( only at night ) due to the fact that she gets into everything and I mean EVERYTHING. When we keep her out of the bedroom she proceeds to meow at the door like she is dying and then she will paw at the door contineously until one of us gets up and lets her in, although that doesn't seem to fix the problem , she then will paw at  the bathroom door just as she would do the bedroom door.   I believe they KNOW she is restricted from the Bathroom and the Bedroom only at night and she acts like that because she wants to pay us back for not allowing her in there.


                          We just had to take down our Christmas tree today simply because she wouldn't leave it alone, we have had to put it up in our bedroom the last two years thinking that she would leave it alone, but that is completely pointless as she does not,and what is the point of putting one up if you can't have it in the living room.



                            • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas

                              Sweet Jesus, that sounds like my monster. I found out that Petsmart has a device that might help me and probably you too in this case. It's basically just a can of air attached to a motion detector. I read the reviews on it and it seems to have very good range and efficiency. Cat walks by it, triggers the sensor, and gets blasted with a can of air. The air and the noise it makes startles the cat. Haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking about going to Petsmart today to check it out.


                              ps. They say dogs don't do things out of spite and that it's just us humanizing our pets, but since I've owned this cat, I'm almost certain that cats are fully capable of being vindictive.

                            • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas

                              Hey everyone, found the solution to my kitchen problem. The "ssscat" works wonderfully. Cat walks over the kitchen threshold then PSSSSSSHHHHHHHH -- MREOOOWWW! It's even a little comical. Haven't worked on the couch yet, but I'll get to it eventually. As for her shaking the door, I've bought a scatmat that I'll place in front of the problem door if necessary. Otherwise, it will work with the ssscat by the kitchen threshold. Anybody else having similar problems as me will certainly benefit from the ssscat and the scatmat.

                              • Re: Help keeping cat out of certain areas

                                Great discussion! So many different ideas... nice to know how many options there are for a problem like this!