5 Ways I Prevent My Cats from Going Berserk


My cats have made me a ninja. Really, it’s true! Over the years, I’ve discovered that when I do certain things, my cats come out of the woodwork and go a little berserk. So I’ve had to learn to perform certain tasks as silently as possible — if I don’t want the cats all up in my business, that is. Normally I don’t mind a cat or three on top of me, but sometimes they hinder the process. Surprise! Cats are nosy!

I’ve become a master in quietly completing the following tasks:

1. Changing the litter box

When my cats see me walk into the room that houses the litter boxes, their interest is piqued. When I’m carrying a jug or box of litter, they know something’s up — then my fate is sealed. They gather around me as I take care of their “business,” and undoubtedly somebody tries to climb inside one of the boxes and relieve themselves while I’m mid-cleaning. It’s like there’s some sort of contest for who gets to bless the box first.

It’s just so much easier when I don’t have to fight the pack of Nosy Nellies. If I’m not in any hurry, I like to wait until everyone’s fast asleep and then I creep in to do my duty (ha ha). I guess I’m kind of like the sandman who visits after everyone’s snoozing.

2. Changing sheets

Changing sheets is such a pain. I don’t mind some chores, but for whatever reason, this one bugs me. It’s always such a stretch to pull the fitted sheet over the mattress. And then there are the cats. If they manage to catch wind of what I’m doing, they’re on top of that bed faster than you can say California King. Heaven help me if the sheets are fresh from a warm dryer.

I’m one step ahead of them if I can at least manage to pop the fitted sheet onto the mattress. Otherwise, it’s a fight to keep them off the bed — or we have a lump of a cat stuck under the sheet. And do you think I want to remove the sheet and try to put that thing back on the mattress? Not in the slightest. After the fitted sheet’s in place, it’s just a given fact that I won’t be able to keep three cats off the bed.

If I’d like to make the bed in peace, I have to make sure all the cats are out of the bedroom and then close the door. It feels kind of naughty. And maybe “peace” isn’t really the proper word because there are usually pounding paws at the door.

3. Making popcorn

Confused about this one? Let me explain. I’m kind of a popcorn purist and only eat top-of-the-stove-popped corn. It tastes way better and has way less additives than the microwaved kind. I enjoy my stove-topped popcorn drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Occasionally I’ll dribble some hot sauce on it or shake a little grated parmesan cheese over it. Thank you for asking.

Because I pour the kernels into a metal pan, it’s noisy. And it sounds a little like cat food being poured into a bowl. My popcorn brings all the cats to the kitchen. They go nuts, thinking they’re getting some sort of special “bonus meal.” They wind around my legs and whine while I’m trying to shake my popcorn so it will heat and pop evenly and properly. Being a popcorn purist takes time and patience.

As you can imagine, I prefer to avoid this confusion and chaos. But how to pour popcorn and avoid the rattling pan? Solution: I place the popcorn in the bottom of the pan by the small handfuls. It takes longer and is more of a hassle, but it’s noticeably more quiet than the full-on kernel storm. And kitties are none the wiser.

4. Using a can opener

My cats eat canned food with pop-off lids, but I think they must possess some sort of cellular memory from previous generations, who ate from cans that needed an opener. I say this because they go berserk at the sound of the metal piercing the lid. Sorry, kitty — it’s refried beans.

Thankfully, I now have a can opener that makes less noise, but I still turn the little handle slowly so the sound isn’t as sharp. I remember once my cats were making a fuss over a can I was opening and I finally just said, “OK — you want some of this??” I spooned a few pineapple tidbits on the floor and they enthusiastically inserted their noses to inspect the goody. Their interest lasted all of two seconds. Although it’s rarely said around here, “Score one for the human.”

5. Visiting the facilities at night

If Cosmo happens to see or hear me padding across the floor to the bathroom in the middle of the night, he automatically thinks he must join me. I wrote at length about this last year, but let’s just say he’s a light sleeper. It takes a long time for him to settle into a sleeping position that’s not too close to me (I tend to overheat at night), yet close enough that he feels like we’re co-sleeping. So if he wakes up and wanders into the loo with me, we have to go through the whole getting-settled-in-bed business again.

To preserve my sleep, I’ve learned to clandestinely creep across the bedroom and use the bathroom in a way that doesn’t sound splashy. I call this move the “tiptoe tinkle.” I may not be an expert at putting a fitted sheet on a mattress, but I’m a gold medal tiptoe tinkler!

Do you have to get sneaky around your cats? Tell us about it in the comments!

About the Author: Angie Bailey is a goofy girl with freckles and giant smile who wants everyone to be her friend. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, and thinking about cats doing people things. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that may or may not offend people. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.Read more by Angie Bailey:

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