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My Cat Loves Trash, I Don't

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Member Since
Purred: Sun Feb 3, '13 3:30pm PST 
I have a male cat that is about 6 months old. He mainly stays in my room b/c my mom doesn't want him getting into and tearing up furniture, etc. (They have a fairly new house and furniture.)

I have 3 waste baskets in my room. 1 general one for my room, 1 in the bathroom, and the other by my desk setup (I work from home, so have waste basket there to use rather than just throwing things on the floor to throw away later).

Ernie (my cat) gets into every single one of these waste baskets....ALL OF THE TIME! As you can tell, this is driving me nuts. He does have toys, but seems to have more fun playing with the trash. It doesn't matter what it is - used kleenex, cotton swab, candy wrappers, or my hair. He tips the can over sticks his head inside and drags everything out and leaves it all over my room. I tell him No, squirt him with water, & smack his bottom along with a stern No. Even if I catch him before he does it, say No and/or walk toward him he will run away like he knows he is in trouble, but will go right back to it immediately.

I have put the cans up on a bookshelf or chester drawers. That seems to be too high for him, but if I put the cans on the dresser or bathroom counter top he will get at those.

I would prefer to be able to have the waste baskets easily accessible, but I am sick of picking up after him several times a day.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what else to do or to try?

Member Since
Purred: Sun Feb 3, '13 3:39pm PST 
Oh, I forgot to mention that I use plastic grocery bags in the waste baskets. I know that cats love to play with these because of the noise they make. But they are a heck of alot cheaper than buying trash bags and I have a ton of them.


Butt-kicker of- all other cats
Purred: Sun Feb 3, '13 7:58pm PST 
I wonder if maybe he is just bored? If he spends too much time in one room, he may be going stir crazy, I'm guessing. I sympathize with you, I know how rough it is when you have to keep them contained because the rest of the house is not ok with a cat. If you can afford to invest in a nice cat tree, that would give him something to play with and I think it might make a big difference. I just ordered an Armarkat one from Amazon, it is HUGE and was $108 and free shipping. My cats LOVE it, and are always climbing it, clawing on it, instead of the furniture, and they spend so much time on it. I think it would be a great thing to invest in, especially if he is going to spend so much time in one room. My kitties just love theirs.