Tag Archives: Spray bottle

Bad Cat Frankie

Frankie has been a real pain lately. If you read my post, We’ve Created a Monster, you know it started when Frankie escaped briefly on Thanksgiving and then got worse after I decided to put a harness on him and let him outside.

It seems that whenever we are in the living room, Frankie is there batting at the vertical blinds or digging his claws into the screen. I decided after that post to stop bringing him outside. I thought he would eventually forget about it and stop being such an annoying pest but things don’t always go as planned.

Our cat Frankie picking at the screens

When Rose and I come home together it is easier to double team the cats to keep them from running out. Chris has always been great at sneaking out the door but we have adjusted to his little tricks. Unfortunately, now that Frankie is aggressively trying to get out as well, keeping them both in has become much more difficult.

A little over a week ago I came home without Rose. It is very dark by the door since we don’t keep a light on all day so I knew I would have to be extra careful. I opened the door, which swings open from my right to my left, and put one of the bags in my hand down low and pushed Chris back, away from the door. Just then Frankie came around from the left. I moved the bag over to block Frankie but he slipped under the bag and under the door and was free.

I put everything down, closed the door and went after him. Frankie is not a cat like Chris, when he gets out he runs and keeps running away from the house (see Frankie’s Big Adventure). Since it was dark and did not have Rose’s help, I really worried I would lose him. We nearly lost him twice before during the daytime.

I pursued him past the condo building next door and he then disappeared between two buildings. I thought that was it, he would either come back on his own or he wouldn’t. I didn’t want to give up but didn’t know what to do so I decided to stand near the street and wait. My hope was that he would venture back toward me.

I waited about five minutes and suddenly I saw a flash of gold. It was Frankie. I moved toward him but he hid under a car. I tried to coax him out and it worked at first. He come out close enough to smell my hand but when I moved to grab him he was gone.

I then tried to think like a sheep dog and basically “herded” Frankie toward home. When I got close, I saw my neighbor and asked for his help. Together, the two of us forced Frankie to our front yard where he gave up and rolled on his back in surrender.

Spray bottle and FrankieSince then, he has been more annoying then ever. We decided to buy a spray bottle in an attempt to keep him from ruining the screens further and as a method of coming and going at will. We tried that before on Chris with little success (see Chris versus the spray bottle) but so far it has worked on Frankie. Now when we leave we point the bottle at him and then leave it outside the door for when we come home. I also spray him when he starts picking at the screen.

Does anybody else have a problem with keeping cats inside? i’d love to her about it.


Bad Cat Chris Versus Spray Bottle

Most cats hate to get wet so a handy spray bottle with water in it is a great tool for curbing bad behavior. At least that is what we thought when we bought one to keep Chris from getting on the counters.

Whenever he would jump on the kitchen counter, one of us would squirt him and he would immediately jump off.  We thought after getting wet a dozen times or so he would stop jumping on the counter. Unfortunately, that idea may work with other cats but Chris seems to be immune to many of the behavior correcting techniques  that you might read about.There were times when we had to squirt him three or four times within a five-minute period and still, he would come back for more. It was as if he had no long-term memory and would immediately forget what just happened. I know his memory happens to be fine though because many times he would jump off the counter when he saw one of us just pick up the bottle. I think the urge to be bad is just to overwhelming.

Bad Cat Chris and Chuck
Only photo I could find that shows both counter and stairs (upper right).

The problem got worse when we moved back to Florida because our kitchen counter was not only bigger but it was within jumping distance from the stairs. That meant that he could skip traveling all the way down the stairs and get off at the half way point. That worked in reverse too. He would jump on the counter and then to the stairs.

Then there was the new furniture we got shortly after moving in. Chris took a liking to Rose’s chair and started scratching it. I tried spraying it with a no-scratch spray but again, these “cures” were designed for normal cats. That left the old spray bottle as our only line of defense.

For some reason he would only scratch the chair while we were sitting in the living room. Perhaps he wanted to show us what a bad cat he could be. Sometimes he would scratch the back corner of the chair and other times he would lay on his back, dig his claws into the fabric, and pull himself around the perimeter.

Whenever he would scratch the chair we would squirt him which would end the scratching for about two minutes before it started again.

We even bought a mini spray bottle to keep in the bedroom so we could spray him when he would not let us sleep. That bottle didn’t last long.

I don’t know if it was a willful act of defiance but Chris would chew on the spray bottles. He chewed the small one so much that it was unusable a few weeks after we bought it. The larger one took more time but he kept working on it. After the small bottle stopped working we brought the big one to bed with us. I sometimes had it on the floor next to me and would grab it when Chris was being especially annoying.

When we were able to sleep, Chris was busy chewing on the nozzle. Once when I tried to use it he had turned it to the closed position. Another time he had completely unscrewed it and yet a third time he was able to unscrew the main filler cap without knocking the bottle over. I did that when I grabbed the bottle to spray him. The sprayer went with me and the water dumped onto the carpet.

Eventually he was able to chew the bottle beyond repair so we had to retire it. We never bought another one. It took awhile, but he won.

In other news, I got an email the other day from a british company named Parthenon Entertainment. They want to use a Video of Chris that I had posted on YouTube (http://youtu.be/iFnHCcrlrnI) in an upcoming documentary for National Geographic called “The Wild Side of Cats.” They are collecting more videos than they can use so he may not make it into the final cut, but if he does, that would be really great. Even if they don’t use the video, it is nice to know someone is interested.

I also want to mention that there is no change in Abbey’s condition. The vet said it is “irreversable liver damage” but I don’t have a high level of faith in today’s medical community, human or pet. Don’t get me wrong, I respect what they do but often if there is not a drug that can fix the problem, we are told the problem is unfixable.

Abbey last year

Abbey last year

Abbey now

Abbey now