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Question DetailsAsked on 5/6/2011

Any advice for the cat who eats everything?

We adopted a big black cat in 2002 when he was about 1 year old. He is a wonderful cat - very friendly, affectionate, playful. He has never met a human he does not like. Really laid back, even at the vet. We got him a little friend - Caffeine the siamese whom he loves. Only one problem - Quattro eats everything! He has eaten computer cabling, speaker/phone wires, a huge hole in an inflatable airbed, countless shoelaces, twisty ties (involved a $400 vet bill and 4 x-rays), foam earplugs, about 6 pieces of clothing and the latest is chewing holes in our bed linens. We keep him out of rooms and wrap all our wires in foil, but he just moves onto something else.

I've had cats all my life and never had this problem before. Any suggestions as to cause and remedy would be very welcome!

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4 Answers


My cat loved to do some very naughty things but one thing they HATE is being sprayed with water. You need to start the behavior modification at a time when you will be there for at least 2 days in a row. First, he needs a safe place, like a big cardboard box, you can get it from the appliance store or something, put in some fun stuff to scratch and chew that is safe,some yarn that is loose, etc. I have an old wicker little coffee/end table that my kitty Oreo just loves to scratch when she gets frustrated, you may be able to find a tightly woven basket,end table,box,etc., made from wicker, be sure it won't fall over when he scratches it. Put a carpet in the bottom of the box, be sure it is covered and cut a hole or two for entry and exit. You'll have to get a bunch of spray bottles. Every time he goes near something he shouldn't, spray him with the water and leave the water bottle there, that's why you need a lot of them. After you spray him, put him near his box with his things. He should learn that his space is safe and he won't get sprayed there. About 50% of cats like catnip so you can rub some catnip on a few of his okay playthings. I get some cute little beanie babies at the goodwill very cheap, Oreo thinks they are her babies or her prey, she loves to carry them around and meow over them. So once he gets sprayed everywhere the water spray bottle sitting there should remind him not to be bad. So if you don't work weekends then Friday night would be a good time to start and just keep on him constantly thru the weekend. Eventually you'll be able to remove all the bottles because he will have been conditioned. A can of pennies shaken near the 'no-no' objects can work too. If you can install a kitty door that he will use to the garage and he uses it you can maybe put the box in there too. Orea loves to scratch her nails on the tires and on a wooden pallet that stands upright, those are in the garage. She no longer sits on the good furnitureor goes on the table or the beds. It only took a few days. She was a stray when I took her in, so I think these are pretty good techniques. I also started giving her some baby food green vegs like the green beans added to her food, the vet said they need some greens, that's why they eat grass. Also a more organic diet may help, soemthimes additives make them nuts, just like people. I'd love to hear how your kitty does after the behavior modifications! Good luck!

Answered 9 years ago by miamimommy


My cats, three brothers, better know as "Boys", would think it was wonderful if I were to squirt them with water. When it rains they can be see strolling across the lawn as happy as can be. What they enjoy even more is coming back in the house to jump on my lap and dry off on me. I can just see them lifting their paws/arms and saying "squirt here, you did not get the "pits" wet yet." I still have not had my roof fixed from the last hurricane and every time it rains I have to haul out the buckets. One of the buckets is a storage box. One of the 'boys' actually jumps into the box and gets all of his feet wet. He will jump in no matter how deep the water is. I have been tempted to toss him a bar of soap so he can take a good bath.

Answered 9 years ago by SamanthaFL


Have you tried coating items with Bitter Apple? It worked on our ferrets. You can get a cream or a spray, and it's available at most pet stores...

I also owned a cat who thought getting squirted with water was the BEST thing of all time. It only increased the likelihood of misbehavior. A friend of mins suggested adding just a HINT of ammonia so the water is stinky and less fun. Be careful with this, though so you do not irritate the cat's eyes. Personally, we just swipe at our cat with a broom and it stops whatever unwanted behavior we observe. He's terrified of the broom for some reason.

Answered 9 years ago by eliz1bef


Yep, the water trick is hit or miss with cats (especially toms). I've had pretty good luck w/ the broom, but I think I'm going to try an air horn next.

Answered 9 years ago by fuzzybunnies

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