My cat is almost a year old, but I can't get him to stop eating cardboard, he is eating the foam from the underneath of my futon, and now he has destroyed the rubber mats on my kitchen floor in front of the stove and sink. Like we just moved into a new house and he's destroying the brand new rugs they put in, because the last Tennant had a cat that ruined their rugs. We almost didn't get this place because they didn't want a cat in here ruining rhe new rugs they just put in but I told them he wouldn't scratch and dig at them because he uses his scatch post and tower. I don't know how to get him to stop and I'm afraid the landlord might come in and notice what he has done already in the 1st month. He also has ruined the curtains in our new place that was also put in here brand new from the landlord. I've tried spray bottles. I hiss a bit At him which used to work but no longer does. Nothing works. and he Has peed on my daughter's bed and sprayed my brandnew boxspring to my bed. And he Always has a clean litter box. I clean it 3 times a week , he always has food and water, gets more attention than ANYONE else in the house. I don't know what to do.


1 Answer 1


Consult your vet.

There's always the concern that the cause of any behavior changes could be medical. In particular, peeing outside the box could be a sign of a serious, even potentially life-threatening, medical problem. Eating non-food items, known as pica, can also be caused by medical problems.

But, it's probably stress.

There are definitely non-medical reasons for all of these behaviors. In particular, one of the common causes of each of these behaviors that they also all have in common is stress. And of course your cat also has an obvious reason to be stressed: you have moved recently, and he is still getting used to a new space, and furthermore you know for a fact had a cat living in it before. Its smell probably still lingers, making your cat even more stressed.

Therefore, the most likely solution to your problem is you need to help your cat de-stress.

Clean as much as you can without stressing your cat out more with pet smell reducing cleaners to try to remove the previous cat's smell.

I'd target the most obvious places the previous cat may have been, like corners it probably rubbed on, windows it probably spent a lot of time in, etc. You may also want to get a blacklight to look for evidence of any spray. Sometimes you can think the spray is thoroughly cleaned, but actually it is not. It can be very difficult to remove completely because it's meant to be that way. That way their territorial marks aren't easily washed away by rain.

Help your cat spread his own smell as much as possible.

You can do this by spreading out objects he has used a lot, like blankets and cat furniture, throughout the home, so his smell is more spread around.

Rearrange your home to discourage or prevent unwanted behaviors.

Most importantly, you need to keep all cardboard and foam away from him. I can't emphasize enough, this is the one piece of advice I have that you should follow if nothing else. Eating things like cardboard and foam can cause obstructions, which is very serious, possibly even life-threatening, and potentially requires expensive surgery to correct. If this means you have to replace your futon, then so be it. Though hopefully you can find a way to block his access from it. They sell things meant to block pets from getting under furniture which may help with this problem.

Beyond that, try to think of ways to make it impossible or less enjoyable for him to do the behaviors you don't like. Block areas he wants to scratch. Replace the curtains with some sort of material he doesn't like, or replace them with another form of covering (blinds, for example). Get fluffy throw rugs to cover areas of the carpet he likes to scratch.

Then give him acceptable and more appealing alternatives.

Don't just take away things you don't want him doing. You need to give him alternatives, that hopefully he will find even better than things you don't want him doing. Get more scratchers, and place them so they are blocking the spots he likes scratching, for example.

Make sure he's entertained.

Another possible cause of destructive behavior is boredom. Furthermore, keeping his mind engaged may help take his mind off the stress and help him relax faster. Make sure to play with him plenty, especially since he is a very young cat. Also make sure he has access to your windows, so he can look outside, for a start. If the weather is good, and you have screens, open your windows, as cats love open windows even more.

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