Thursday 24 March 2011

Indoor Cat Repellant

No problem. This person has the right attitude. Photo by cseeman

I don't advocate indoor cat repellent or any cat repellent. And I don't think any of them are necessarily that successful. I also reject the idea of cat punishment as a method of training a cat.

That said, people search for the stuff, so what is indoor cat repellent?

It can only be one thing in practice and that is a substance that creates a smell that cats object to, which enables cat owners to keep their cat off counter tops and away from certain areas of the house.

There happens to a number of substances and objects that cats are meant to avoid. I have listed them here:

Smells That Cats Hate

My personal advice in respect of keeping cats away from certain areas (and I understand that this is personal) is to re-evaluate what is really important and why.

What areas are meant to be out of bounds to a cat indoors? I read, as mentioned, that counter tops in the kitchen should be out of bounds. Cats can usually jump up to these counters.

The main reason why kitchen counters are deemed out of bounds by some cat "owners" (cat caretakers) is because of the possibility of contaminating food and Prevention is the best medicine for your pet's health.spreading disease. The other reason is to stop cats potentially hurting themselves on cooker hobs (electric burners) and on sharp objects.

The latter is not really a problem as proper supervision will cover that potentiality. As to disease and hygiene etc. I don't see cats as unhygienic and as germs and disease spreaders! Humans and poor kitchen practices in food handling are far more likely to cause health problems than your cat.

Toxoplasmosis is endlessly talked about but it is drastically over-hyped. Contaminated raw food is more of a risk in this area. See also: Cat Feces and Pregnancy.

Other than tooxoplasmosis there are no other zoonotic diseases that are more likely to be transmitted in the kitchen from a counter top than there are in any where else in the house. And as you can't ban the cat from the entire house the practical and sensible solution is to rejig one's approach to cat caretaking and accept what miniscule risk there is and forget about indoor cat repellent.

If the objective is to keep cats from scratching furniture then the best way forward is to train your cat to scratch a good solid scratching post. This page may assist in that task: Will My Cat Use a Cat Scratching Post? Or if you want to think laterally and out of the box try this: Cat Scratching - New Approach.

The best way forward is to get together in ones head the right expectations and demands in respect of cat caretaking and go from there. It removes all the perceived cat problems at a stroke.

Please see: 15 Ways To Avoid Cat Behavior Problems for more on expectations and problem solving. This link opens a PDF file so it will look different.

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