No More Curtain Climbing Kitty

If you’re cats are anything like mine, chances are they’ve tried to climb the curtains at least once. Constantly replacing your curtains costs money and you don’t want to buy a new pair only for your cat to destroy them again. There are ways to train a cat to stop climbing your curtains without actually harming them. If you want to know how to train your cat to stop climbing curtains, then read on.
I’m going to suggest using a principle called classical conditioning to make your cat associate climbing the curtains with something unpleasant, such as a loud bang or other noise.

Classical conditioning has been used for many years in all aspects of life, for example you are bombarded with it every day in advertising. Its main use is to make either a human or pet associate a pleasant or unpleasant situation with a behavior that you’d prefer to encourage or discourage. So by using classical conditioning we will make your cat associate the action of climbing the curtains with an unpleasant noise.

The most effective thing that I found train a cat to stop climbing the curtains is with a rolled up newspaper. Make sure that you have a newspaper handy in the area where they tend to climb curtains so that every time you see the attempting to climb the curtains, you will be able to bang the newspaper on a hard surface to make a loud noise. This should distract them from either climbing the curtains or if they’re half way up the curtains you should be to get their attention and demand and in a firm, low voice to get down. If you find your cat ignores your request to get down, then you can hit the paper on something hard (definitely not the cat!) again until they jump off the curtains. This is your first step in telling your cat that climbing the curtains is unacceptable behavior.

You must repeat this action every time your cat tries to climb or manages to climb the curtains, otherwise you’ll be sending your cat mixed signals and you will not be able to train your cat to stop doing this behavior.

Once this has been done successfully, you’ll be able to show your cat the paper without banging it when if you spot them considering climbing the curtains or are half way up the curtains, and they will actually stop and come down. I used to only have to say “I’ll get the paper” and my youngest cat would get off the curtains.

You may find that you have successfully managed to train you’re not to climb the curtains however your cat just like children will try to push your limits on occasion and you may find that they start to climb the curtains again. If this happens just bring out the newspaper again in the next time your cat considers climbing curtains bang it on a hard surface as this will quickly remind them that this behavior is not acceptable.


Cat Facts – Volume VIII – Cats & People

  • Contrary to popular belief, people are not allergic to cat fur, dander, saliva, or urine – they are allergic to “sebum,” a fatty substance secreted by the cat’s sebaceous glands. More interesting, someone who is allergic to one cat may not be allergic to another cat. Though there isn’t (yet) a way of predicting which cat is more likely to cause allergic reactions, it has been proven that male cats shed much greater amounts of allergen than females. A neutered male, however, sheds much less than a non-neutered male.
  • Cat bites are more likely to become infected than dog bites.
  • In just 7 years, one un-spayed female cat and one un-neutered male cat and their offspring can result in 420,000 kittens.
  • Some notable people who disliked cats: Napoleon Bonaparte, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Hitler.

Cat Facts – Volume VII – Cats & People

It has been scientifically proven that stroking a cat can lower one’s blood pressure.
In 1987, cats overtook dogs as the number one pet in America (about 50 million cats resided in 24 million homes in 1986). About 37% of American homes today have at least one cat.
If your cat snores or rolls over on his back to expose his belly, it means he trusts you.
Cats respond better to women than to men, probably due to the fact that women’s voices have a higher pitch.
In an average year, cat owners in the United States spend over $2 billion on cat food.
According to a Gallup poll, most American pet owners obtain their cats by adopting strays.
When your cats rubs up against you, she is actually marking you as “hers” with her scent. If your cat pushes his face against your head, it is a sign of acceptance and affection.


Cat Facts – Volume V – Diet, Health & Behavior

  • Cats respond most readily to names that end in an “ee” sound.
  • The female cat reaches sexual maturity within 6 to 10 months; most veterinarians suggest spaying the female at 5 months, before her first heat period. The male cat usually reaches sexual maturity between 9 and 12 months.
  • Female cats are “polyestrous,” which means they may have many heat periods over the course of a year. A heat period lasts about 4 to 7 days if the female is bred; if she is not, the heat period lasts longer and recurs at regular intervals.
  • A female cat will be pregnant for approximately 9 weeks – between 62 and 65 days from conception to delivery.
  • Female felines are “superfecund,” which means that each of the kittens in her litter can have a different father.
  • Many cats love having their forehead gently stroked.
  • If a cat is frightened, put your hand over its eyes and forehead, or let him bury his head in your armpit to help calm him.
  • A cat will tremble or shiver when it is in extreme pain.
  • Cats should not be fed tuna exclusively, as it lacks taurine, an essential nutrient required for good feline health.
  • Purring does not always indicate that a cat is happy and healthy – some cats will purr loudly when they are terrified or in pain.
  • Not every cat gets “high” from catnip. If the cat doesn’t have a specific gene, it won’t react (about 20% do not have the gene). Catnip is non-addictive.
  • Cats must have fat in their diet because they can’t produce it on their own.
  • While many cats enjoy milk, it will give some cats diarrhea.
  • A cat will spend nearly 30% of her life grooming herself.
  • When a domestic cat goes after mice, about 1 pounce in 3 results in a catch.
  • Mature cats with no health problems are in deep sleep 15 percent of their lives. They are in light sleep 50 percent of the time. That leaves just 35 percent awake time, or roughly 6-8 hours a day.
  • Cats come back to full alertness from the sleep state faster than any other creature.
  • A cat can jump 5 times as high as it is tall.
  • Cats can jump up to 7 times their tail length.

Cat Facts – Volume IV – Historical Trivia

  • The Pilgrims were the first to introduce cats to North America.
  • The first breeding pair of Siamese cats arrived in England in 1884.
  • The first formal cat show was held in England in 1871; in America, in 1895.
  • The Maine Coon cat is America’s only natural breed of domestic feline. It is 4 to 5 times larger than the Singapura, the smallest breed of cat.
  • There are approximately 100 breeds of cat.
  • The life expectancy of cats has nearly doubled since 1930 – from 8 to 16 years.
  • Cats have been domesticated for half as long as dogs have been.

Cat Facts – Volume III – Historical Trivia

  • Miacis, the primitive ancestor of cats, was a small, tree-living creature of the late Eocene period, some 45 to 50 million years ago.
  • Phoenician cargo ships are thought to have brought the first domesticated cats to Europe in about 900 BC.
  • The first true cats came into existence about 12 million years ago and were the Proailurus.
  • Experts traditionally thought that the Egyptians were the first to domesticate the cat, some 3,600 years ago. But recent genetic and archaeological discoveries indicate that cat domestication began in the Fertile Crescent, perhaps around 10,000 years ago, when agriculture was getting under way. (per Scientific American, 6/10/2009)
  • Ancient Egyptian family members shaved their eyebrows in mourning when the family cat died.
  • In Siam, the cat was so revered that one rode in a chariot at the head of a parade celebrating the new king.

Cat Facts – Volume II – Physiology

  • If a cat is frightened, the hair stands up fairly evenly all over the body; when the cat is threatened or is ready to attack, the hair stands up only in a narrow band along the spine and tail.
  • A cat has approximately 60 to 80 million olfactory cells (a human has between 5 and 20 million).
  • Cats have a special scent organ located in the roof of their mouth, called the Jacobson’s organ. It analyzes smells – and is the reason why you will sometimes see your cat “sneer” (called the flehmen response or flehming) when they encounter a strong odor.
  • Cats dislike citrus scent.
  • A cat has a total of 24 whiskers, 4 rows of whiskers on each side. The upper two rows can move independently of the bottom two rows.
  • Cats have 30 teeth (12 incisors, 10 premolars, 4 canines, and 4 molars), while dogs have 42. Kittens have baby teeth, which are replaced by permanent teeth around the age of 7 months.
  • A cat’s jaw has only up and down motion; it does not have any lateral, side to side motion, like dogs and humans.
  • A cat’s tongue has tiny barbs on it.
  • Cats lap liquid from the underside of their tongue, not from the top.
  • Cats purr at the same frequency as an idling diesel engine, about 26 cycles per second.
  • Domestic cats purr both when inhaling and when exhaling.
  • The cat’s front paw has 5 toes, but the back paws have 4. Some cats are born with as many as 7 front toes and extra back toes (polydactl).
  • Cats walk on their toes.
  • A domestic cat can sprint at about 31 miles per hour.
  • A kitten will typically weigh about 3 ounces at birth. The typical male housecat will weigh between 7 and 9 pounds, slightly less for female housecats.
  • Cats take between 20-40 breaths per minute.
  • Normal body temperature for a cat is 102 degrees F.
  • A cat’s normal pulse is 140-240 beats per minute, with an average of 195.
  • Cat’s urine glows under a black light.
  • Cats lose almost as much fluid in the saliva while grooming themselves as they do through urination.
  • A cat has two vocal chords, and can make over 100 sounds.

How many breeds of cats are there?

There are currently over 80 breeds of cats recognized by one cat registry or another.
The IPCBA (International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance) recognizes 73 feline breeds, while the more conservative CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association) gives the nod to only 41. Developing and registering a new breed of cats is a long, involved progress, and not every attempt is successful. For example, the CFA steadfastly refused to admit cats bred from “wild stock,” such as the Bengal, or the Savannah, although these breeds are both accepted by TICA and IPCBA.

A cat must have a traceable lineage going back several generations to be registered as a pedigreed cat. The term “purebred” is not used by breeders or the cat fancy in general, but is a popular term among the general public.

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