My girlfriend and I adopted our cat Beatrice (F, 2 yo, spayed) about 4 months ago. About 2 months ago (so 2 months after adoption), she started the annoying habit of getting up in front of the TV when we sit down to watch at the end of the evening.
As far as I can tell, it is attention seeking behavior. For the most part, she will sit there and stare at us, or pace back and forth. If left unchecked, she'll attempt to reach for the top of the TV, seemingly to try to get on top of it. Generally speaking, she doesn't seem intrigued by anything in particular on the screen. Occasionally something will catch her eye and she'll try to bat at that, but that seems like a separate behavior.
It most often happens later in the evening (8-10pm, prior to our 10pm bedtime). It most often happens when I am present (I am her designated favorite), but can happen when my girlfriend is solo with her as well. In other cases, she'll get up from my lap and go up to the TV. So it's not just general attention-seeking; she's after something more specific.
What We've Tried:
- Added a Scat Mat to the TV stand. However, she very quickly learned that she can pick her way between the spikes and still get to where she wants to go. Some of the pieces are easily knocked down, allowing her to comfortably sit unless we replace them. Incidentally, this let's us see that she never does this when we're not home.
- Have tried ignoring her. Easy to do with a sitcom rerun. Harder to do with something we're more intent on watching. Also, if she's reaching for the top of the TV, we have to intervene for fear that she's topple it on herself.
- Have tried immediately removing her, either just nudging her off, or carrying her across the room to her cat tree.
- In both cases, she'll immediately go back. I think she thinks it's a game.
- Have tried feeding her earlier/later playing with her more or less to see if that affects it. There doesn't seem to be any strong correlation.
- Tucked some citrus peels behind the TV. No reaction.
Now to the crux on my question:
How do I get my cat to leave the TV alone? Either through physical deterrents, behavioral modifications, or a combination thereof?