My wife and kids convinced me a couple of years ago that we needed to have some cats. So we went and got kittens. Now we have full grown cats that have taken to chewing on clothing and other destructive behaviors. This didn't bother me when they chewed on my wife's clothes, they are her cats, and as such, she should control them, and buys her own clothes anyway. I lost my lid when they chewed up a pair of my socks, and explained to my family that I am not going to have animals in my house that chew up and destroy my things, and these cats are going to have to find new homes. Although to them I am sure that the explanation just sounded like yelling. Now they are chewing things of my kids. I am really done with this behavior.

My son being the brain that he is decided that he would try to reason it out with me, and asked if he did bad things would I get rid of him. My wife cried and said of course not. I on the other hand calmly explained that there are places where people who do wrong things have to go, it is called prison, and I am not above calling the police on my own children. I am pretty sure that he is afraid of me now, but I also think that I got my point across.

Everyone is absolutely mad at me now, but really I am done with replacing clothes, stuffed animals, blankets, door casing, carpet, and any other things that these cats can get ahold of and try to find a way to destroy.

I really hope that my family sees that everytime these cats chew up something that belongs to one of them and I see that they are hurt by it, I as the protector am just protecting them from the thing that hurt them. I know that getting rid of these cats will be hard on them but I have to take a stand somewhere.

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Comment by Don Davis on January 13, 2010 at 11:30am
So thank you for the perspective when I wrote this yesterday, my wife had just called crying becuase one cat had chewed her new sweater, and the other had just finished relieving itself in the corner of the living room. they are both indoor female cats, spayed and I am not sure what their problem is. one has always had some issues, and we have to keep lavendar collars on her to keep her calm. the other one spends more time playing with the dog than the other cat. I can't figure out what they are pissed about, but I really only have so much energy left. as far a furniture goes, we have leather, so they stay away from it, and a million scratching posts for them but they ignore those.

I will make up some lemon water and start spraying them with it and see how that goes. Thanks for the idea.
Comment by Jamie Q on January 12, 2010 at 4:23pm
Didn't mean to get all up in your face, Don. Just trying to offer another perspective.

Are your cats neutered? Both of the cats I've owned over the years were neutered early on, and they never had a problem with spraying. I've read that neutering a cat, even after it's started spraying, has a very high likelihood of stopping the spraying.

Also, I don't know about yours, but my cats were both de-clawed. Animal rights people will jump down your throat over it, but they really are just animals, and cats don't even notice that the claws are gone when it's over; they'll still "sharpen their claws" on the furniture and stuff, but it doesn't leave any marks.

A great tool for training cats is lemon water in a spray bottle. They hate citrus AND water sprayed in their faces. My wife used it to teach our cat not to chew on houseplants by spraying the plants; it repelled the cat long enough that she was able to stop and he wouldn't try anymore.

Good luck with the whole situation; hope some of this helps.
Comment by Don Davis on January 12, 2010 at 4:01pm
See I feel the same way about the pets. just below my kids. I mean they are incapable of taking care of themselve, so I have to do it. But it isn't just chewing. They are spraying, and I can't stand that, they are chewing everything now, they are clawing at the carpet. So yes I am ridding myself of a nuisance, but at the same time when they chew my sons stuffed animals, and I see him crying over it, I am protective.

I have a dog also, and she chewed when she was a puppy, and grew out of it, and will ocasionally chew something that is left dangling into her kennel. that is not her fault, that is her space and if it is left there she can do what she wants with it.

The cats are finding ways to get into drawers to get to socks and t-shirts and any other thing that they can pull out. chewing the corners off of blankets, spraying on the carpet right after the cat box is cleaned. Basically I think that they are pushing me to see how far I will let them go.

So really I don't know.
Comment by Jamie Q on January 12, 2010 at 3:37pm
Are you really "just protecting them from the thing that hurt them"? Or are you getting rid of a nuisance that has taken to chewing up your socks? Sounds more like you're annoyed by the stupid cats, and you're rationalizing ridding yourself of them by making them out to be dangerous forces threatening the safety of your family.

I obviously don't know the situation in your home, but when I was growing up, our pets were family, just barely a step below my little brother (maybe a step above; I can't remember). I can't imagine my dad getting rid of either of our two cats or one of our dogs simply because it chewed, especially if my mom was opposed to it. Punish the pet, yes. Do everything within our power to prevent the destruction, yes. But banishing the pet altogether? That seems like a line no father should cross with his family, once the pet has become an established part of the family.

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