My cat's "cute" habit is starting to cost me a lot of money!

@Suzieqmom (2763)
United States
September 1, 2012 8:41am CST
One of my cats, Sookie, has a very cute habit--she catches "prey" and brings it to me, crying and meowing, and drops it at my feet, or leaves it on the stairs or on the floor near her food bowl. Now, since she is an indoor-only cat (and one of 4 cats in the house) she really can't find any live prey, so she used to bring me socks. I finally put an end to the sock-hunting by putting everyone's clean socks away as soon as they come out of the laundry. So, she switched to paper goods. And now she bring me napkins tissues, paper towels, old receipts, the kids' homework. . .any paper thing she can find that she can carry in her mouth! This is very cute, but it it becoming a bit expensive and inconvenient. We can no longer keep the paper towels or the toilet paper on their holders, because she pulls them all down. We have to hide the tissue boxes, because she pulls the tissues out one by one, until the box is empty. So now the kids can never find the tissues if they need one! We can't keep napkins in the napkin holder either, and she has even figured out how to open the cabinet find the large package of napkins, and pull them all out of the plastic holder. As I said, it is very cute to see her running over to me with a wad of napkins in her mouth, meowing and purring when she gives them to me, but this habit is really starting to cost us some money. I know she is doing it out of love, and I don't want to in any way punish her for it but is there any way to nicely discourage her? I've tried giving her catnip mice to carry around instead, but she prefers paper! Any help would be much appreciated!
7 responses
@jillhill (37384)
• United States
1 Sep 12
She really loves you!!! That is their way of showing you how much. I don't have cats but my sister did have one who also brought her gifts....however one day she brought home one of the neighbors homing pigeons....not good. My sister was also best friends with the lady next door......she never told her though. Even when they couldn't understand why it never showed up at home again. Don't know what to tell you....hopefully you'll find a resolution!
1 person likes this
@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
2 Sep 12
I know she really loves me, and it's so cute...but it really is getting a little out of hand. That's some story about your sister's cat and the pigeon--I'm not sure I would have told her either! It is natural for cats to hunt and bring home prey. . .who knows what i would get if I let her go outside!
• Philippines
1 Sep 12
hi there! My cats does brings prey like lizards and frogs whenever I'm around but the habit was cut when she was punished. I put my Phiphi on a cage for a day and talk her out about what she's doing, kinda weird but did work with my cat. I did the same too with my dog who always tore my father's socks and slippers. it was costly! Yes, it's unloving to do that but we as pet owners must discipline them. hope your cat would listen.:D You are blessed!
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@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
2 Sep 12
I have tried to talk to her, but I really don't want to punish her for something that isn't actually naughty. She does get "punished" when she attacks our older female cat--we have a water spray bottle that we will mist her with, and a container filled with coins that we shake. We use these to discourage scratching the furniture, scratching either other, etc. I am afraid if we do the same for behavior that is not actually aggressive, but is in fact loving, then she will get very confused.
@ElicBxn (60763)
• United States
2 Sep 12
Maybe you should've left her a couple of pairs of socks? Maybe you could reintroduce them? Now, I have had a cat, or actually a bunch, who thought toilet paper was the end of the world fun, and we had to keep them out of the bathroom unattended (can you say "shut door"? I knew you could.) I've heard about cats and tissue boxes, but the only one I ever knew actually just dug one side of the tissues out. I think you might be able to maybe putting paper towels under the sink, my mother used to have her roll holder on the inside of the door under the sink. You can consider getting child locks for the cabinets to keep her out. My cats don't allow us to leave paper out unless its above "tail" reach and while Gabby was using the paper towel roll to sharpen her nails for a while, she's stopped.
@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
2 Sep 12
Oh, our bathroom doors are already closed because another of our cats likes to drink the toilet water. . .and he has figured out how to lift the lid. Mind you, we have a running water fountain for our cats, with a filter, that we change regularly. . . And we can't put child locks on all of the cabinets, because then our children might not be able to open them (and I might not either). Besides, when our older cat Cleo is being pestered by one of the younger ones, she likes to hide in a cabinet. . . you can see who rules our house, can't you?
1 person likes this
@Jshean20 (14374)
• Canada
2 Sep 12
Maybe the cuteness of this and the warmness it brings to your heart is worth the extra money that it costs, she must looks so cute walking over to you with this hanging out of her mouth. Why not put scrap paper or old receipts in her own little basket, let her carry those to you instead?
@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
2 Sep 12
That's a good idea--if I leave out paper for her to take, maybe she won't feel the need to steal the tissues. of course, maybe she likes the challenge...but it is definitely worth a try!
• Philippines
1 Sep 12
Hi again, Suzieqmom! :) How about reading up on how to train your cat to swap the paper stuff for plush toys or some other object? Or training her to give up the habit altogether, like jemmarespinosa was able to do? :) Though, no offense, jemma, but I guess Suzie would need to find gentler means to train her cat, since it's a crime to be cruel to animals in the US. While our methods here in the Philippines could be viewed as merely "tough love," some of these could already be interpreted as "cruelty" or even "abuse" in the US. Some of the things we can do in the Philippines are actually punishable by law there. So anyway, Suzie! Good luck to you, and here's hoping you can train your sweet cat to bring you better, less costly objects!
@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
2 Sep 12
Hi Nenyalorien, Yes, I am going to research the subject and will also ask my vet if she has any suggestions. There must be a way to get her to "hunt" something else. One of my other cats has a favorite toy that he carries around with him, and he sometimes leaves it for me. That works out a little better. But of course, I didn't train him to do it--he just decided on his own that this was "his" toy!
@natliegleb (5186)
• India
1 Sep 12
wow that is really one of a kind and you must be so lucky to have a nice cat like this around and savor these moments and cuddle her well
@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
1 Sep 12
Actually she is not that nice a cat--she fights constantly with our other three cats. But she has "adopted" me and has decided I deserve all of these treats. . .she is very affectionate with me (and very cute).
@prashu228 (25814)
• India
1 Sep 12
so so cute of her, i am really impressed , lot of hugs to her, but indeed its a cute cute naughty thing, she wants to impress you all the time, oh no no don't ever punish her, try to give her boyfriend, so that she will be busy for sometime haha, but seriously what can be done?, as of now i can only imagine her cute cute things..
@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
1 Sep 12
We have two male cats as well. . .she fights with them! It is very cute.