February 2, 2023

My cat scratches at the windows!

Q All of my windows are missing the silicone strips that seal the units to the walls because my cat enjoys digging them out. She has plenty of toys and we often have a game together, which she enjoys. The units need to be re-sealed, but I worry she will do it again. Are there any silicone products that contain a deterrent?

Behaviourist Francesca Riccomini says: I would suggest that you try to reduce the motivation for the behaviour rather than just using deterrents. This sort of habit is generally motivated by boredom and frustration.

Unfortunately, toys and games with owners is often not enough. Toys get boring so you need to rotate their use and move them around. You need to provide a constantly stimulating playground with new items regularly introduced – this should be every day with a young, active and/or indoor-only cat.

Cardboard boxes, paper carriers (handles removed), newspaper tents etc, are often exciting and by changing their locations you can regenerate interest. A ping-pong ball in a bath or shower tray can be fun too.

Splitting wet food into tiny portions and placing the dishes in different locations encourages foraging, and dry food can be scattered or dispensed using a puzzle feeder. Provide a range of water bowls too, some up high. A pet drinking fountain is a good option too as many cats like drinking from moving water. As your cat enjoys games, why not consider doing some clicker or target training with her?

If you can put all of these suggestions into effect you should eliminate her motivation to strip the silicone.