I'm 75 years old and live in a bi-level house with two sets of stairs. My six year old cat loves to run down the stairs in front of me, often stopping on the stair I'm about to step on. This is quite frightening, especially at night or if I'm carrying something that blocks my view. I've tried leaving a can of pennies and a spray bottle of water at the top of the stairs, and both of these methods work great IF she sees me pick up the can or the spray bottle -- but of course, sometimes I have already started down the stairs when she comes running out of nowhere and I don't have the "deterent" with me, Then my only defense is to yell at her. But there have been several occasions lately when I've had my arms full of something and I haven't seen her until I almost trip over her or step on her.BotXXXXX XXXXXne is, I'm really afraid some day I won't see her in time and WILL trip over her, possibly falling and breaking a hip. What more can I do to break her of this habit?
Oh boy, this is scary for you. Is there a way to find the cat and lock her in a room before you go down the stairs. If you keep a bag of treats, you can set a few down for her, and while she is eating go down. Or we can train her to not go upstairs at all!
HI, Dr. Jenn. No, those are not feasible options. I have 2 cats and they have full access to the house. And altho I'[m 78 years old, I'm very avtive and may use the stairs a dozen times a day.
To help explain the situation further, the main living area is upstairs, and the laundry room, piano (which I play daily), and garage are downstairs. I also garden, meaning I'm in and out a lotl.
You can try getting a SCAT CAN. You can buy on line or at the pet store. It is a bottle of compressed air with a sensor on it. When the can is approached air is released scaring the animal from the area. I would get 1-2 and put them at the top of the stairs before you go down to keep them from going down while you are using the stairs.
Interesting! But wouldn't I 'trip' the mechanism myself, probably before she even gets there? How would that work?
I would put them down on both sides of the top stair, they look like a can of bug spray.
OK, I picture that -- but I still think I would trigger the release of air before Sheba gets there, because of course, she doesn't know I'm going to go down until I'm actually doing it. And then she runs from wherever she is and darts past me.
You will trigger it, which should scare her, and if she tries to pass it will trigger it again!
Wow. Sounds quite effective. One question, is it heavy enough to not be knocked over by my inquisitve kitties who love to push anything movable with their noses? And if knocked over, will it still work?
It can be knocked over. Perhaps you can get velcro, put on the bottom so it can be stuck to the carpet when needed. Never tried it knocked over, not sure.
Well, this is the best idea I've heard yet, and certainly worth a try. I appreciate your effort to answer my questions. I wish it didn't cost $18, since I live on Social Security, but on the other hand -- it sure beats a broken hip!
Hopefully it will do the trick-good luck! and be careful!
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Sorry, Dr. Jenn, I accidentally ended the chat. On further thought, I'm worrying about how this can work in my situation since I don't want to scare her away from the stairs permanently. She (and the other cat) wouldn't even be able to get to their litter box if they were upstairs when I left the house. Also, I (and they) would be activating this thing every time any of us used the stairs going up OR down. I guess I'm hoping you have another idea.
I would keep the cans up stairs and only put them on the ground before you go down.
Yes, but then neither of them would be able to use the stairs (to go either up or down), even to use their litter boxes, until I came back and removed the cans. And I might be gone all day.
Could you add a litter box upstairs so it is always there if needed?
Thank you, Dr. Jenn. I really don't think this is going to be workable since I use the stairs so much, and because of the other cat, but it is worth a try and you have tried hard to come up with a solution. So I'm going to accept your answer, but could you please open this up to the other experts to see if anyone else has an idea? I'd really appreciate itl.