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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21260
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I moved 3 wks ago. My cat is clawing at the furniture,

Customer Question

I moved 3 wks ago. My cat is clawing at the furniture, walls, etc, much more than she used to. Also, she is jumping on the furniture a lot more. What really bothers me about the jumping is that she has jumped on the stovetop (ceramic) twice! What if the top is hot??!! She could be burned and it scares me so. What should I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

Do you know if there was a cat in the house previously?

Any outside causing Patches distress?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't know about there being a cat here prior to our arrival. I do know this apartment was empty for 9 months. I got Patches from the SPCA. She had been there 2-3 mos. I don't know about her life before the shelter. I've had her 1 1/2 yrs.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you,

Now the reason for my questions is because Patches sounds to be quite actively exploring and marking her territory (using the scent glands at the base of her nails). This is something cats do naturally do, but if she seems more keen to do so here (as opposed to anywhere else you have lived or when she first came home with you) then scenting another cat would explain why she is doing so this vigorously here.

In this situation, we need to tread with care if she is jumping on the stove. To start, it would be best practice to block her access to the kitchen during this period of settling in. This could be done all the time or at least when the stove is hot. Otherwise, our approach here will depend on whether you want her on that counter. If you don't mind, then you can try re-routing her by offering a chair/stool to give her a safer point to access the counter. Otherwise, we'd want to work to retrain and deter her wanting to jump on the counter. This can be accomplished by using a Scat Mat (example), motion sensing deterrent (example), or even turning an office mat pointy side up (example) to make the counter uncomfortable to step on.

Finally, just to help her settle in general and reduce her need to mark the house, I would note that it'd be worth considering use of a feline de-stressing treatment. In these situations, we often we will use Feliway, (also known as Comfort Zone in the pet stores) which is a synthetic cat pheromone that helps to relieve stress. This can be used as a spray or a plug-in diffuser. There is also a diet on the market called Calm by Royal Canin. This contains a number of supplements that have been found to provide stress relief to cats. As well,there are nutritional supplements like Zylkene and Kalmaid to help settle her. And as they are not drugs per say, they can be used together as needed.

Overall, these behaviors are natural in kitties in this type of situation. Still, we'd want to consider a de-stressing treatment to reduce her drive to mark the house. But we also would want to use the above to help retrain her in regards ***** ***** counter and avoid any possible harm from trying to jump onto the stove.

All the best,

Dr. B.