I got my cat from a shelter at 9weeks old. he didn't like to be held or cuddled. he started climbing my curtains for which he got sprayed. then he liked me even less. since then he has chewed everything he can get his mouth around and has caused great damage in my house. I play with him every day, but after a while he seems to get bored. he has tons of toys but he loses interest in them. I feel that he does this for attention but yet he won't let me give him attention. I only use the spray now occasionally and he knows why but he does his damage when I'm not looking or when I'm gone. I considered a companion cat but am afraid he might beat it up.

  • 4
    "your" house. This is where you are mistaken. :)
    – JohnFx
    Oct 8 '19 at 1:09

It really boils down to three basic techniques to getting cats to do what you want them to: discipline, cat-proofing, and redirection.


Discipline tactics include things such as telling them a sharp "no", pointedly ignoring them when they want your attention, or the spray bottle when they do an undesired behavior. The problem is that cats aren't wired to want to please you, so while the discipline tactic will probably work in the immediate term, as you said, they know they can go right back to doing it when your back is turned. Therefore, discipline is generally only effective for behaviors the cat does ONLY when you're paying attention. For instance:

  • Jumping on the table or counters during meals or meal preparation in order to steal food
  • Playing too rough
  • Inappropriately trying to get your attention

There are also motion-detecting air spraying devices that can sometimes be used to discipline cats from entering a certain area. If the cat learns the device is always there and always startling and annoying, it may be effective at disciplining your cat even when you aren't there.

Cat Proofing

Make it so the cat cannot do the undesired behavior whenever possible through cat-proofing.

  • Put smaller objects that don't need to be out in places that are inaccessible to the cat.
  • Replace objects the cat likes destroying with ones the cat doesn't. For example, replace furniture with fabric with wood, metal, or plastic.
  • Cover surfaces you don't want the cat on or destroying with something the cat finds unpleasant.
    • citrus scented/flavored pet deterrents
    • double sided tape
    • aluminum foil (they tend to not like the crinkly sound)
    • soft, fluffy blankets
    • vinyl carpet protectors with the teeth turned up


The idea behind redirection is to observe what your cat is doing, and then give it an alternative it wants to do even more that satisfies the same need. In the case of destroying things, give it things it's allowed to destroy.

For scratching, observe what materials your cat is scratching and its position when scratching (does it like vertical or horizontal surfaces?) and try to find scratchers that match that as close as possible. For cats, location is also important when they choose a scratching spot, so place your scratchers so that they physically block the area they want to scratch.

For chewing, primarily I would try to keep any objects it wants to chew out of reach. There are also now chew toys made specifically for cats that you can try to redirect your cat to.

You could even give it cheap things it's allowed to destroy that aren't harmful to the cat, and it enjoys destroying. Cardboard boxes for example.

Dealing with Boredom

Tying into redirection, the root cause of these behaviors is likely that your cat is getting bored, and is alleviating its boredom by destroying things. Therefore, you may be able to reduce the destruction by redirecting its energy to more desirable activities.

See if you can find different types of toys your cat is interested in. Food puzzle toys can be particularly good at keeping a cat's attention when otherwise it would get bored of the toy. If your cat seems to like new toys and then gets bored of them when they are no longer new, rotate the toys by taking them away for a while, then bringing them back out when it's been long enough the cat has forgotten about it.

Another way to help your cat from getting bored is to encourage it to window-watch. Make sure your cat has easy ways to be able to look out windows. Place a cat tree by a particularly interesting window. You might also install a bird feeder to give your cat even more to watch.

Other activities you can try to keep it engaged are training it to go on a leash so it can go outside or clicker training.

But really nothing is better to most cats than interactive play. You should see if you can tire your cat out using a feather wand or laser pointer. Make up games for your cat, such as poking paper bags with the wand so it makes a rustling noise, or have the toys "hide" around corners or in nooks.


I like @Kai's answer, +1. Just some notes are worthy here, I guess.

The behavior can be directly to temperament. While the damage can be contain up to a point, some things might still happen.

As they say, a mouse will never be a lion. And a bungee-jumper will not really be happy just watching birds through a closed window.

More to the point: Maine Coons and Siberians are quite similar in many aspects. With one major difference: the Maine Coon will prefer the floor or the sofa, while the Siberian will prefer the top of the tallest furniture and the light appliances on the ceiling - or the top of the window curtains, for the added variety.

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