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Training the cats

Fish is the first cat I've had who's been unable (or perhaps "refused" is the word) to learn about Forbidden Surfaces. The kitchen counter, for instance, is a Forbidden Surface, as is the breakfast counter and the dining room table. Surfaces used for food preparation and eating, in other words. Cats are not to get on Forbidden Surfaces.

All Fish has ever been able to learn is that he is not to be on a Forbidden Surface if I am in the same room, unless the temptation (usually in the form of an intruder cat walking around the outside of the house just under the windows) is overwhelming. And Fish passed this interpretation of Forbidden Surfaces along to Fred when she arrived, which meant things like "bottle caps left in the drain rack will become cat toys, and may never been seen again".

I periodically considered means of dealing with this problem, but never came up with anything that worked. The old "leave sticky tape upside down on the counter" was ineffective, as Fish doesn't seem to care if he gets tape on his feet. However, I ran across a training tool the other day, and decided it was worth $30 to see if it might work. It's called SSSCat, and it's basically a aerosol can with a motion-detector head. If something trips the motion detector, the can sprays with a loud HISSSSSSS.

First night I had it, I thought I had a bum product--I couldn't manage to trigger the spray. But I left it on and went to bed to read for a while, and in about 10 minutes I hear HISSSSSS, and the scrabble of cat feet. I got up to see Fred slinking through the kitchen with her belly to the floor. It got her the second night too, but then there was a while when I saw no signs that it had triggered. Then Wednesday I came in from work to find a chair from the breakfast counter overturned on the floor, and the newspaper shoved up against the window. I suspect Fish decided to do some bird-watching on the breakfast counter, and got HISSSSSSed.

I'm giving it a few more days, then will move the can to the dining table...



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 4th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
Oh. My. I think I may need to put that link on my favorites list, just in case of dire need. What I wouldn't have given for that about twelve years ago...

Argh. Except that the link doesn't work. Searching Amazon does, however [g].
Sep. 4th, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC)
Sorry about that--I've fixed the link now.
Sep. 4th, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)
did you buy it direct? or somewhere else? cause I have a retriever that has -GOT- to learn about the Forbidden Places of Couch (windowseat), Catteries (both), and my bathroom.....
Sep. 4th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
I used Amazon, though the order was filled by a company called EntirelyPets.com. Good luck with the retriever training--I hear it takes a while for them to develop brains...
Sep. 4th, 2007 10:27 am (UTC)
BWHAHAHA! That mental picture had me laughing aloud, and I haven't even finished Coffee, Cup 2.

Gotta remember that stuff for the next cat I get (this one doesn't do high jumps).
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


Nancy Barber

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