Last night’s episode of My Cat From Hell (7 p.m. Central Time on Animal Planet) featured Roscoe, a young cat that was wreaking havoc on the lives and home of his humans.
When cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy arrived to talk with Roscoe’s people and observe Roscoe in action, he discovered very quickly what was happening. Roscoe was a young cat with an abundance of energy, but he didn’t have any toys nor did his people take time each day to play with him.
Left to his own devices, Roscoe created his own entertainment. Roscoe was about a year old, comparable to a 7 year old child, what would happen if a 7 year old was left at home all day with nothing to do and no toys to play with? Too scary to think about!
Roscoe also had a habit of jumping up on the kitchen counter when the man in the house was cooking. Even though they would remove Roscoe from the counter, he would promptly jump back up there again.
Based on Jackson Galaxy’s suggestions, the couple gained a greater understanding of cat psychology and took steps to make Roscoe’s life better. They bought some cat toys and then spent an average of 20-30 minutes each day playing with Roscoe. Setting aside daily play time helped the man of the house bond with Roscoe, and burned some of Roscoe’s energy so he slept better at night.
To solve the problem of Roscoe’s counter surfing when meals were being prepared, the couple bought a cat tree to give Roscoe an appropriate place to climb. In addition, Galaxy showed them how to clicker train Roscoe . Using a clicker and finding the “jackpot” treat that he loved, Roscoe was trained to sit on a stool by the kitchen while meals were being prepared. He was still able to be near his people and see what was happening, but wasn’t causing problems by being on the counter during the food prep.
Taking time for daily play with enhance the bond with your cat and will give them some exercise and mental stimulation. A win-win for cats and their people!