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I have two male cats, both about 1.5 years old, supposed to be brothers, but I don't know if that is really true =)

They live with me in my 50m² flat. Sometimes I go out with them in the backyard, when the weather is nice. They have tons of toys and 4 scratching posts/cat trees, a big one, a larger one and two small ones and a lot of cupboards to climb and hide =)

I have the feeling that they are quite bored. Of course, they are often alone at home, but that's the reason I got two of them. They play with each other and sometimes play with their toys, which seem rather uninteresting to them. They come to me when they want to cuddle and go away when they have enough.

But one problem is, they are scratching a lot... a very lot, on the walls and on the doors (open doors.) Sometimes I have the feeling that they do it just to provoke me or get my attention. They get enough to eat (I suppose... 2x 100g wet food per day, steady supply of dry food, water and some treats) and they get a lot of attention from me... but it seems to be not enough. One of them is particularly eager to anger me. He scratches the wall or the door and looks directly into my direction, and as soon as I turn around or raise my voice or show any reaction to it, he runs away. So far throwing my key ring is a good way to convince them to leave the door alone... but even harsher punishment doesn't seem to work (nothing serious, just the average clap on the back, loud voice and so on.)

He definitely knows that he is doing something wrong and hides immediately when I tell him to stop, which makes it rather difficult to show him where he can scratch. When I sit down again, sometimes he immediately goes to the door and scratches again, but I don't want to make this a game for him. They also scratch when I'm not at home and they are alone.

I always try to entertain them when I get home, try to play with them, get new toys for them. They are interested for one or two minutes, but then it seems to get boring and they simply go away or sit in front of me with the look of "What do you want from me, you imbecile?" So, I don't know what to do to keep them entertained anymore.

Do you have some tips what to do to keep them entertained and convince them to stop scratching everything? They already have done some major damage to my walls and to my door frames. All help is appreciated.

  • ha ha you sound like a very nice cat owner and your cats sound like one of mine. He's a siamese male, currently 10 years old, but has presented attention seeking behaviours since he was a baby. Sometimes he just gently pushes things from the table or the night stand until they are at the border, when you look at him and say NO he just gives it the final push and throws them to the floor. He once did that with a glass on the kitchen cupboard and threw it on top of my husband's head. Just one question, are they neutered? – elibud Feb 2 '16 at 18:35
  • yes they are, did it quite early, a month after their last vaccination when the doctor said it is safe to do it. Gladly they don't push things from the table to get attention. They rather wreak havoc on everything when they start to play with each other and jump and run over everything and don't pay attention that there could be something in their way =) – Matthias Nicklisch Feb 3 '16 at 8:35
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You seem like you are doing all the right things. A couple extra things you could try:

MOVE THE CAT TREES: Make sure one or two of their cat trees are located in the area where you spend the most time. If you have already done this, sometimes just moving the cat tree a meter from where it was makes it suddenly more interesting to the feline mind.

DETERRENT TAPE: Pet stores have sheets of double-sided tape that is safe to put on furniture. I've never tried to put it on a door or wall, but I think it would work the same. Put it in the places they are scratching. It only takes one time to feel the tape, and they won't scratch there again. After a time of them scratching on the proper items (a couple weeks, a month), you can remove the tape. The problem with putting it on the wall is that it may take off some paint. I don't really know. However, depending on how desperate you are to stop the behavior, it may be worth it to you.

STOP TAKING THEM OUTSIDE: I know you aren't going to like this one, but occasionally taking them outside is likely making them bored inside. Inside cats can be perfectly happy inside (not to mention safer and healthier), especially with all the things you have for them to do. However, it works better when the kitties don't know there is an outside. To wean them from outside, you can occasionally bring some outside to the inside. For example, bring a small branch inside. They will recognize the smell and be interested in it. Do things like this, more in the beginning and then less and less.

I really hope this helps. I wish you and your kitties the best!

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  • Tanks for your answer. Never thought abaout it that way that they could be bored inside when outside is more interesting, but I think you are right. I thought it would be a nice change for them, but okay. I will lokk for this deterrent tape thing, thanks for the tip. But health shouldn't be a concern in this matter. They've got all the vaccinations they would get if they were outside all the time. – Matthias Nicklisch Feb 3 '16 at 8:37
  • I've never used this kind of tape, but with decals/stickers/tape (that would undoubtedly remove paint) I've put painters tape on the wall first, then the actual tape itself on the painters tape rather than the wall directly. Painters tape will not remove your paint but should be strong enough to hold the second layer. If you're careful, you can trim the excess painters tape away with a razor. – Broots Waymb Dec 28 '16 at 14:39
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There is double sided tape that can be bought at a pet store. It is specially designed so that it won't take the paint off a wall (double sided tape from a hardware store will). My two cats do the same thing as far as being annoying. When I sit down to concentrate on the computer, they start messing with my papers and scratching chairs. I haven't solved this entirely, but I know they want attention. So I stand up and pretend I'm mad and say, "I'm going to get you!" and advance. A chase could be 5 steps or 20. You probably have to repeat this several times. They will stop running when tired, and it really doesn't take that long. Then I gather them up and give them a big hug.

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1) Scratching posts, cardboard, or other approved surfaces for stretching claw muscles and asserting "this place is mine." Mine love nylon backpacks, a couple of boxes in my office that I'm willing to let them have, and the carpet on their cat tree.

2) Scratching, looking at you, and running away suggests they specifically want your attention. Don't respond except to say "no" and show them the appropriate place to scratch, or you risk encouraging them.

3) If the problem continues after these steps, see other answers for additional techniques for discouraging scratching specific surfaces.

Cats are going to scratch. Give them a socially acceptable place to do so, and teach them to use it.

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  • Thanks for the answer. I think they really have enough places to scrath "legally" They have one big cat tree with several scratching posts, one bigger scrathing post and two smaller ones, in different rooms, they also have a toy with a cardboard scratching surface and I also wrapped two corners in the flat with scratching mats... really should be enough. Unfortunately, they don't stop when I just say no, they look at me and continue, until I get up or throw something... – Matthias Nicklisch Jan 28 '16 at 23:37

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