What to do About Chris


Last night we closed the cats out of our bedroom so that Chris wouldn’t bother us, but I’m not sure if he bothers us more in the bedroom or outside the bedroom. Shortly after we closed the door, Chris started scratching at the door and crying that desperate cry of his. We tried to ignore him but he just wouldn’t stop. After about five minutes of constant crying and scratching I couldn’t take it anymore and open the door and let him in. I don’t know how he does it but he always wins.

After his initial pesty behavior of scratching my face and biting my nose, I moved him to the side. Surprisingly, he behaved for a while. I was able to fall asleep but by around midnight Chris couldn’t behave any longer and started bothering me again. This time he didn’t bother just me, he had to bother Rose too, who insisted that I put him out.

That worked and we were able to fall asleep, but early this morning he was crying and scratching at the door again. I was concerned about what all the scratching was doing so when I turned on the light and looked at the door, I saw scratch marks along the side of what I believe is the original 120 year old door.

The problem is I do not know what to do about Chris now. I do not want him ruining this door but I also don’t want him ruining my sleep. I thought about putting a metal plate and the door where he is scratching but putting screw holes in the door can be almost as bad as the scratches.

Ideally, I would like to train him to not be so annoying but it is in his nature. You would think that he would eventually realize that when he digs his claws into my face I get upset, but he never seems to make the connection.

What do you think? Does anybody else have this problem?

34 thoughts on “What to do About Chris

  1. onespoiledcat

    No – Ted is not a botherer type – he will hop on the bed and lie at the foot of the bed and sleep. Is there another room in the house where Chris could sleep at night that you could protect the door of so he doesn’t scratch the heck out of it?

    Hugs, Pam

    Reply
  2. Timmy Tomcat

    For the first year Rumpy was a terror. He would run across my face at night if he wanted to have a little action. He used to wake me up with claws to the face, not kitty pats but open claw, scratch my face grabs. After lots of taps to the nose and top of his head he stopped that type of behavior and will now reach up to tap my face but with claws in. (I do the two finger tap on the nose or head, not hard, but enough to let them know that this is not acceptable. I think it is the closest thing to a Mother Cat training their kittens so thats is why I do this.) His thing now is making bread in my lap like he is feeding the 5000. I have a small mat I keep on the couch just for this. He really does it to self-sooth after he has his asthma attacks so I let him go most of the time.

    Reply
  3. lois

    Much to my husband’s chagrin, our cats sleep with us–especially in the winter. Or as winter as it gets here in Florida. When they are hungry, Piper is the one who walks on top of me and whines until I get up. Poor Chris–he really does love to be near people, doesn’t he? That door is gonna get ruined if you keep it closed. If you ‘make’ him snuggle with you, would he lie down and sleep?

    Reply
  4. claire93

    I have a silly question: when you let Chris in to sleep with you, did you close the bedroom door and shut him in with you?
    I ask because one of our cats simply can’t stand closed doors. Whatever side she’s on, she scratches for door to be opened so she can be on the other side. Result, we never shut doors in this house (bathroom & loo only when we need to use them).

    Reply
    1. Charles Huss Post author

      If the cats are in the bedroom with us, which doesn’t happen often when we are sleeping because of Chris, we have to leave the doors open because the litter boxes are on the other side.

      Reply
    1. Charles Huss Post author

      I have been thinking about that. Unfortunately I wasn’t thinking about it when I was at the store today. I think 3M has a tape that can be removed without damaging the surface. I will have to look into what I can do with that.

      Reply
  5. Caren

    I think the above answer is good…….(scratcher surface)……..or…spray the door with that orange stuff that cats are supposed to not like?

    Reply
    1. Charles Huss Post author

      I need to figure out something then then I can put on the door without damaging the door. The orange oil might work but I worry if it does work it might discourage the cats from coming in our room when we want them here.

      Reply
  6. The Island Cats

    I had a cat that could be bothersome at night but if I tried keeping him out of the bedroom, he would scratch at the door which was just as bad. I finally just let him come into the room at night and put up with him. He wasn’t as annoying as Chris sounds, but there were lots of times I didn’t get much sleep. He finally outgrew the behavior. I don’t have an answer for you…it will be difficult to stop this behavior in Chris since he’s been doing it for so long. ~The mom

    Reply
    1. Charles Huss Post author

      Chris did other annoying things when he was young. He would bite our toes through the sheets or he would pick up the blinds in the window. He outgrew that but I think what he does now is even worse.

      Reply
  7. databbiesotrouttowne

    this probably sounds stupid but do you have a cot; or something similar, that you could set next to the bed that chris could use; not that he would stay ON it but….this way he would at least be in the same room as you, and maybe if his favorite blanket or the like was on the “cot” he would chillax on it ????

    Reply
    1. Charles Huss Post author

      That is actually not a stupid idea. I will have to think about that. It won’t stop him from being annoying but if it was something comfortable that he liked maybe he would use that and bother us a little less.

      Reply
  8. Brian

    Some good suggestions here. When Chris is pestering you and you respond he’s getting the attention he wants. He needs some form of distraction in your room. Simon used to paw at our Dad at night, or he did, not as much any more. Dad brings him in the bedroom at bed time and pets the heck out of him and then after that he usually leaves. It doesn’t always work but it works most of the time. It took about 3 months.

    Reply
  9. The Hinoeuma

    I’m drawing a blank on this. I’ve never had a cat bother me while sleeping. Except for the 12 years I was with the Marine (he was not going to have a cat in the bed), my cats always slept with me (except Pooh…he just wasn’t a bed cat) and, the worst thing they did was snore. I wish I could offer some help.

    Reply
  10. 15andmeowing

    My doors are only from 1947 but my hubby put carpeting on the doors and doorways, it needs to get replaced often though. He used very small nails that don’t leave much damage.

    Reply
  11. franhunne4u

    My tom took up singing in the middle of the night, that’s when I got a spray bottle for water next to my bed and that had the effect. For that moment he stopped singingTo discourage him totally I had to ignore him. A few loud nights, and after no reaction he stopped.

    When it came to whapping me out of nowhere while I petted him and he purred, I did what mom cats do (he was only 11 months old then) and disciplined him. 2 fingers, hard enough he felt it, but not hard enough to move him, just an energetic tap. He jumped away, but immediately returned to ask if we were still friends. He learned quickly. Never returned to this unless I petted his belly. I accepted that. Fair enough. No more belly rubs than two. He was ok with two.

    Reply
  12. kittiesblue

    1. Invest in some Minwax or other brand permanent marker stain pens and some Old English furniture finish. (Our house is only 109 years old, but this has been my go to for cat boo-boos since we moved in when it was only 73 years old.) 2. Will Chris stay in a crate in your bedroom without throwing a fit? That way he is with you, but cannot bother you. 3. I will suggest once again that you play with Chris before bed until he is exhausted…wand toy, red dot…something to get him running and panting.
    I have always had a cat that slept on my head. First it was Thelma, then Lily Olivia and now Misty May. Misty May is the only one who has ever been a pest wanting to sleep on my face, but I just keep removing her to the floor until she gets the hint. Kitties Blue take up too much of the bed, but out of 20 cats none have ever been a big problem. Good luck.

    Reply
    1. Charles Huss Post author

      Thanks. We have the Old English in our other home. 🙂 I don’t want to crate Chris. He is too old to get used to that. I think I do need to play with him more at night.

      Reply
  13. cat9984

    Kommando has been getting worse about this type of thing. She wants to sleep with me so she stomps around getting comfortable, but leaves after a while. If I move later, she comes back and goes through the whole settling in process again. It was the worst when it was hot because she couldn’t get comfortable. Hopefully, the cooler weather will improve things.

    Reply

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