My cat is a former lab (as in laboratory) research subject. As such, he has no table manners whatsoever, having not grown up indoctrinated in a household environment.
He’s a great cat, very personable, loves people, doesn’t claw the furniture or spray or do any extremely objectionable things. However, there are a few things I wish I could explain to him.
[li]I would be more than happy to share (cat-healthy) bits of my dinner with you, if you would just sit there quietly and look hopeful. Instead, you howl at the top of your little cat lungs, paw at our legs, try and climb into our laps, and generally make yourself an unbearable nuisance, thereby earning you a squirt to the face with a watergun, instead of tasty morsels of chicken. Never have we reinforced this behavior, in fact completely the opposite.[/li]
[li]Eating your piss is gross. Where you picked up this behavior, I’m not sure, but it’s gross. We use an all-natural cat litter made of ground whole corn, which clumps beautifully, is flushable, doesn’t smell, isn’t dusty, and is non-harmful, unlike clay litters. However, Poe has developed a new hobby of peeing into the litter, then returning periodically for a snack. Sometimes, he just munches on the litter itself. It won’t hurt him, it’s just gross. We’ve consulted veterinarians, animal behavior experts, and the litter company itself. General consensus: it won’t hurt him, it’s just gross. We think he has some corn compulsion due to a diet change from Science Diet (high in ground whole yellow corn) to Felidae (not). We can’t really figure out how to stop it, so we’ve decided to live with the shame of having a piss-eating cat, choosing to deal with it by cleaning the litter box out several times a day, thus (hopefully) reducing the piss-eating, and limiting him to munching on the litter. It’s easy to do that 'cause the litter box is in the bathroom, and the litter is flushable. Unlike all-y’all, my cat’s breath does not smell like cat food.[/li]
[li]Hi, Opal! Yes, I’m aware many people are irritated at this. However, I just realized I don’t have a third thing to complain about, and in order to fulfill the requirements of having a list, I had to throw it in there. Hearty apologies.[/li][/list=1]
Really, he’s a good cat. There’s just those two little things I wish I could explain to him, since there don’t seem to be any training methods that work. If I could just tell him, “hey, shut up and I’ll share” we’d be fine. Instead I can’t give him treats, he acts obnoxious, and we’re both unhappy.
Plus, he eats his piss.
Okay, I’m done bitching now. Maybe this is more appropriate for the Pit, but I was sort of hoping someone would have suggestions on how to deal with these things.