The cats vandalise our home!


Baby the cat Hi everyone, here's the latest on Le Chats of Chez Huntley.

Poopy Pixie is so fussy she will not do her business in the litter tray unless it's completely fresh and clean. With three other fully functioning felines in the house that's kind of impossible, despite having three large (and friend-losingly smelly) trays!

She has decided the perfect place is right inside the front door! I can't begin to tell you how embarrassing this is when the postie calls with QVC parcels first thing and I've not yet had the chance to 'de-poo' the area! I'm still considering the 'litter kwitter' – google it, you'll giggle if nothing else!

Baby and Dinky - partners in crime Baby and Dinky have become firm friends and partners in crime. They cuddle together, clean each other, fight each other and they go on the rampage together too. In the space of a few days they gnawed their way through an iPod charger cable, a phone charger cable, a Wii accessory cable and my camcorder charger cable!

I'm so concerned they may end up frying themselves at this rate that I have taken to removing all wires from part of the house and shutting them there for the night. They seem to be responding to a firm 'no' but the trick is catching them at it. Any suggestions?

Dinky and the mauled wires Ironically, just as I sat down to write this Dinky managed to liberate a toilet roll. You can imagine the snowy like scene. Sigh.

The only one who is beautifully behaved is our podgy Popsie. She is so huge now I don't think she can be bothered to cause any chaos even if she wants to, the chubby cheeked sweetheart.

Are they wreaking havoc? Yes! Would I ever be without them? Not in a million years, they're just perfect. They may be vandals but they're my vandals. Vandals only a mother could love, eh?

Catherine x


  1. Maria June 16, 2009 at 6:15 pm -  Reply

    My ginger demon cat (Dougal) has chewed through most chargers I own and loves anything with a smaller power cable….on the plus side however, I am now becoming quite the expert with electrical tape! As far as how to stop them doing it I wish I knew! I tried leaving really strong air freshners near huge sources of cable tastyness (like behind the TV) but it didnt have much of an effect really. I too am always suprised he hasnt managed to fry himself yet! But like you I wouldnt be without him!

  2. Alan Harrison June 17, 2009 at 12:10 am -  Reply

    Dear cathy i don’t know where you have the energy to take care of all those cats and do a days work on top, however i have heard of someone who had to have five litter trays one for each cat, but there are sprays on the market also to deter chewing it is a citrus smelling spray that they just don’t like, you could try that you could also try pepper black or white it doesn’t matter, take care.

  3. Elizabeth June 17, 2009 at 4:20 am -  Reply

    Have you tried putting the litter tray by the door on the spot where the accidents happen? (The trays with the domed roof are better for this! And she may prefer the privacy and see it as her special tray.) Not an ideal long term solution but you could then move the tray a little bit each day until it is back where you want it to be and the cat is usuing it properly.
    You could try coating the cords with something sticky or nasty tasting. Double sided selotape could work or go for a paste made from a mixture of mustard powder or cayenne pepper/hot pepper sauce, or use anti nail-biting nail polish, or rub the cords with orange/lemon peel. Pet shops usually sell a pet repellent spray for furniture which could be sprayed onto a cloth and wiped onto the cords. Some people recommend putting a cardboard tube around the cord, you can purchase mailing tubes, or simply save the cardboard tubes from your wrapping paper & if it’s too ugly looking, use your card crafting skills to decorate the tubes! My cats love biting cardboard in all shapes & sizes so this wouldn’t work for all cats!
    I have 3 cats and would love to be able to train them in the manner of the ‘litter kwitter’ method!
    I had a bathroom full of confetti toilet paper the first night I got my 2 boy cats (you can imagine the fun they had!) I haven’t risked putting a roll on the holder since! It now lives on the windowsill.
    Good luck!

  4. Delyth June 17, 2009 at 9:01 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine,
    I had a cat like this too. The only solution was to provide here with her own litter box and to discourage the others from using it. It has worked well. I have a family of five cats!

  5. Sheryl June 17, 2009 at 9:06 am -  Reply

    You are a true and dedicated feline lover. I understand completely about toilet paper rolls, I’ve had to replace so many. Oh, are you using covered littered boxes? Some cats don’t like them they feel too enclosed and will do their business elsewhere. Could also be the kind of litter.
    Thanks for the photos and cat fun.

  6. Nadine Phoenix June 17, 2009 at 11:23 am -  Reply

    Sorry Catherine – I probably should have warned you that Maine Coon cats are terrible chewers, particularly when it comes to anything electrical and potentially hazardous! All the cables in our house have tiny teethmarks from our brown tabby Archie (sadly no longer with us as he suffered a massive stroke aged only 4 years).
    Sorry to hear about the pooping problem, we had exactly the same with our British Black, Wilf, and he too targeted the front door mat. We eventually discovered that our larger Coonlet,Chester, was intimidating poor Wilf whenever he went to the tray. It seems to be quite a common problem in multi-cat households even where extra litter trays are provided. The problem eventually seemed to sort out as Chester got older and mellowed a bit.
    It is great that Baby and Dinky are such good pals, it probably takes the pressure off Pixie and Popsie as older cats can sometimes find kittens hard work!
    Chester is still best buddies with our puppy!
    Love, Nade.

  7. Jan Laverick June 17, 2009 at 12:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine
    Your cats are fab – all four of them! I only have one cat who is a Siamese called Phoebe and she is quite a handful so I can only imagine how much mischief your lot get up to! Like you though I wouldn’t be without her and love her dearly. She is 18 years old this year and still going strong. She had to have all of her teeth taken out recently and I’m sure she has a bit of arthritis but she still manages to enjoy her life as a house cat and is a proper madam who rules the roost. I understand completely about your cats chewing things – Phoebe used to eat shoelaces and friends often left the house with their shoes flopping around their feet! She also swallowed the nose of a soft toy I gave her and had to have it surgically removed so be careful what you leave lying around Catherine! As for the litter tray thing Phoebe is very queasy and is sick most times after she has done a poo – presumably she doesn’t like the smell! – I have to spray some of my Molton Brown room spray for her and she’s fine after that!
    Anyway, hope your cats live long and happy lives and keep letting us know what they’re up to!
    With best wishes

  8. Emma jane Bailey June 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm -  Reply

    I too have a cat who is completely spoiled, church, my beautiful british blue will wake me up to feed her and let her out, even though we have a cat flap.She will only eat tuna chunks not chuna flakes and whiskas supermeat, and she still looks up at me bemused even though she has a three course buffet infront of her.I wouldn’t be without her though, i lost my mum last year very unexpectadly,just before her 54 th birthday,and still with the pain in my heart every day, she makes me laugh aswell as crazy, i caught her yesterday chewing on my gorgeous lola rose pink pouch, fortunatly my neclace inside had escaped her teeth marks.

  9. Dawn June 17, 2009 at 2:16 pm -  Reply

    middening (going by the front door!) is a recognised behavoural issue – smells coming in via peoples feet from the front door are making Pixie feel the need to mark her territory – this is taken from the messybeast website
    Middening cats deposit their faeces in a prominent spot (often on top of a tuft of grass or the middle of a path), often choosing the same place again and again to advertise their continued presence. Middens are usually located at disputed areas of territory where challenges are likely to occur. Sometimes this is indoors, the usual place being the bed. A cat which has been upset by an intruder or unusual event middens in the place which smells most strongly of its human family, reinforcing the family bond. Humans don’t see it the same way

  10. Emma June 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine,
    You think you have problems with poo.I have 5 cats and the oldest is 16 the youngest nearly 6. My oldest will not go in the tray if anyone is in the kitchen be it another one of the cats, me or my Jack Russell. So she does it on the worksurface instead. Its a total nightmare as you can image and I get through more anti bactieral cleaner than a hospital. One of my other cats is unbalanced and pees in power sockets so I have had to cover them all in the kitchen that are above the worksurfaces as she kept blowing the electricity.
    The joy of cats, ungrateful little monsters but at least we love them although I don’t know why.

  11. Louise Hollow June 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm -  Reply

    Loved reading this thread – I have two toms and my persian is probably the naughtiest cat I have ever had. He will not use his litter tray to poo in – we have tried everything – seperate trays, trays where he has most of his accidents – nothing works even worse he is now starting to leave little puddles on the floor – grrr I love him to bits tho but I could do without my little pressies every morning. Oh a good tip don’t use bleach containing agents to clean up cat wee – it like the urine contains ammonia so the cat will continue to spray there -try and use a non biological washing powder and water solution which dilutes the smell x stay furry Louise x

  12. Claire Gillespie June 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine
    Saw u today on the Elle jewellery show. You showed some dyed red jade which looked great, wondered if you could ask your buyers if u can get dyed orange jade. Would just love that ring today in dyed orange jade.
    Hope you might be able to help.
    Take care,
    Claire x

  13. Catherine Huntley June 18, 2009 at 12:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi everyone,
    I am having a super busy week so haven’t had time to write back to each of you yet but I do plan to. Keep the comments coming, some great ideas, some funny problems and also some very touching stories of your lovely furry friends who are now only here in spirit.
    I can’t begin to tell you how much pleasure it’s given me to hear from you. I love reading your comments so keep ’em coming.
    Love Catherine & all the poopy chewy chums at Chez Huntley!
    PS Claire, I’ve emailed the buyers with your comment so watch this space!

  14. Lucy and Suky June 18, 2009 at 7:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Auntie Catherine
    Mum says you are very good having four cats she says that us two are enough (or sometimes too much) for her. I (Lucy) woke her up at 1.30 this morning asking to go out then again at 5am wanting to come in as another cat was around. Mum says if we don’t mend our ways she might send us to live with you but we think that sounds quite nice!
    Love Lucy and Suky x x

  15. Catherine Huntley June 19, 2009 at 3:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Maria..and Demoncat Dougal!
    Thanks for sharing the fact you have a naughty vandalcat, too! Touch wood, mine have been well behaved since I have hidden all the obvious cables as best I can. Many’s the time I’ve had to leap up and rescue my Lulu Guinness bags from them thinking they are just shiny scratching posts!
    They’re all sleeping angelically right now..they bring me a lot of expense and cause havoc in the house but the pleasure & joy they bring outweighs it all.
    Love to you & yours,
    Catherine x

  16. Catherine Huntley June 19, 2009 at 3:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alan,
    I must admit I’m not sure where my energy comes from, I think I must be slightly hyperactive!
    Thanks for the tips..the cables are hiding from the cats just now and it seems to be working. Just so long as the cables don’t start whispering among themselves too loudly and give their position away!
    I now have a few tricks up my sleeves thanks to everyone replying on here so I will be keeping people updated on Poopy Pixiecat!
    Catherine x

  17. Catherine Huntley June 19, 2009 at 3:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Elizabeth…and your carboard loving cats!
    Wow, your solutions sound really great and I am going to give some of them a try if not all! I love the double sided tape idea..with my Babycat (Maine Coon-very long hair) I’m sure they’d be fur coated in no time which will make me chuckle but I doubt they’d want to chew on them hair covered or not, cats hate sticky tape!
    Love hearing everyone’s cat stories, so funny & sweet.
    Catherine xx

  18. Catherine Huntley June 19, 2009 at 4:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Delyth,
    Wow, a family of five cats? Well, I can understand how that could happen, hee hee. I have to stop myself nipping next door to Battersea Cats & Dogs Home or I’ll end up a mummy to five, too.
    Thanks for your top tip, too.
    Love Catherine x

  19. Catherine Huntley June 19, 2009 at 4:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Sheryl,
    Nice to hear from another cat lover. I used to have a covered tray but they didn’t seem to like those so now I have 3 very big open ones.
    Really think I will have to look into the litter kwitter but don’t have any time to train them! Hmmm…I’m sure a solution’s not far off. There’s been some great suggestions.
    Catherine x

  20. Catherine Huntley June 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Nade,
    Really good to hear from you So sorry to hear about your little Archie..too young to go but always in your heart, I’m sure.
    It’s reassuring in a funny way to hear from other cat owners who have had similar problems. They say a problem shared is a problem halved, after all.
    I do recall my mum complaining about Babycat chewing her phone wires when she still lived with her so I think you’re right about Maine Coons. She is so adorable, though.
    If it wasn’t for the poop I think I would try and get British Blue rescue cat. If I can get them all litter kwitter trained then maybe I’ll consider number 5!
    Love to you & yours,
    Catherine x

  21. Julie Anderson June 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm -  Reply

    Catherine, your cats are gorgeous, esp the one thats in both the pictures. Absolutely stunning.

  22. Emma Davies June 20, 2009 at 8:47 am -  Reply

    To try and stop ours chewing mains cable leads we put the plastic zip on cable tidy covers which are supposed to be for keeping all the cables tidy behind the T V etc this worked very well but they just moved on to chew something else :)Love EMMA

  23. Tania June 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, I am in the middle of ‘litter Quitter’ training my 3 Birmans. I have just got them used to balancing on the loo seat!
    I dont know if you have ever come across the cat litter called ‘Cats Best’. It is wonderful. After using many other litters over many years, this is by far the best. To clean up all you have to do is flush it down the loo! I have an un-neutered male cat (as I am hoping for some more babies to join my brood later this year) and even his pee does not seem to smell. I have converted a few people to this litter as I am a Veterinary Nurse and get to advise people. Everyone has come back to me with nothing but praise for it, so maybe its worth a try?
    Good luck with your little vandals. It is very true the saying ‘dogs have owners and cats have servants’

  24. Jo Woodward June 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine – nothing to do with cats! I loved the white watch you were wearing on Sunday 21 June for the Kathy Van Zeeland bag show. Please can you tell me where you got it – hope its available on QVC!

  25. Sharon Gasparutti June 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, We also have a cat Davidson ( abit of a he/she?) The reason why you might wonder about that is because the original owner of our little ‘minx’ was found in a cupboard somewhere in a house where they used to live with kitten, and they’d assumed that Davidson was a he, however with the next doors blessing and a quieter house (our house that is) when we came to live where we are now she decided to come into our dining room at the back of the house and snooze, and has been with us ever since. And yes, at one time 1,30am as she’d gone out,the minx wanted to come in again. The cheek of it but we all love her and wouldn’t harm her.

  26. Mrs Dawn Holmes June 28, 2009 at 5:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, We now only have 2 cats, having lost one at Easter to cancer. Our cats come caravanning on holiday with us several times a year. They travel well and get very excited when we are loading up the van – in the same way a dog would! We have never had to worry about them straying too far, just rattling a fork against a tin brings them running home for tea. One of them can’t always be bothered to go out for a pee, and occasionally uses the caravan shower tray in lieu of the litter tray. They enjoy their holidays as much as we do and we can’t envisage a break without them.
    Love the crafting shows you do and tape them every week. Many Thanks indeed. Dawn.

  27. Carolyn English June 29, 2009 at 10:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, I now have a family of twelve cats, yes twelve. I am the original mad cat lady so i fully appreciate the problem. I started with two, then four and well you know what its like. As a busy paramedic i think they keep me sane! Have you tried training them to use the cat loo.s that fix to our toilets. I am thinking of trying it as one of mines favourite place when the litter isn;t up to A1 standard is the bath. Carolyn, Norwich.x

  28. Catherine Huntley July 6, 2009 at 10:16 am -  Reply

    Hi everyone!
    I have enjoyed reading your comments so much and was trying to get back to everyone individually but can’t keep up! Apologies for that but don’t let it put you off writing more. I love reading about your cats. So funny and also so touching & sad on occasion. I’m so sorry to those of you who have lost beloved characters, they do become family members, don’t they?
    Carolyn…twelve cats? I can see me turning into you before long! Someone at work sent round an email about a pair of cats who needed rehoming or they’d have to be put down as they were at an overrun shelter. Yes, you guessed it, I emailed straight away but luckily someone else got in before me and they now have a new mummy!
    My cats are still being bonkers!! Look out for the next blog!
    Love Catherine x

  29. Catherine Huntley July 6, 2009 at 10:21 am -  Reply

    Hi Jo!
    Sorry forgot to get back to you about my white watch. I got ages ago from QVC. It’s a Klaus Kobec. It’s 681236 and it looks like it’s in stock! Lucky.
    I had a couple of links taken out of mine. It’s gorgeous. I have another favourite watch whick is like a silver semi bangle, that’s Klaus Kobec, too. I just love them.
    I hope you see this, let me know if you do and if you get your watch, too.
    Love Catherine x

  30. Frances July 14, 2009 at 7:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine
    I always like it when you present with Dawn as you are a true cat lover just like me. I think cats do get a raw deal sometimes; they need owners like us (servants!) We have been blessed with wonderful kitties – all rescued in some shape or form. We had four originals Gooey (a British black shorthair boy (lived till 18.5 yrs) Trixie a mischevious black and white shorthair girl (lived till 15 but died 3 weeks after Gooey); Florence a beautiful wise girl (tabby) lived till 20.5 yrs and Jasmine who is a rather pretty longhair black and white, rather fussy but as soft as silk – she is the last original baby left… but just when you think no more come along, along comes Chippy, born feral and rescued at 4 weeks old (now nearly 5) and what a lovely boy – he is, gentle as a little lamb and he is an angel sent from heaven. He is black and white with an enormous long tail; then he brings his mate home Toby(who lived next door to us and obviously did not want to be there, he was finally signed over to us two years ago although most of the time before that he was with us – he knew where he wanted to be and when his previous owners moved he went with them but kept coming back to us. And the rest they say is history. Oh, the kitties tales we could tell – maybe for another day… but regarding your message problem, the cat litter we use is from a well known petstore and is called “Multi Cat – Clean and Tidy – Natracat”. It does everything it says on the bag and as our Jasmine is rather fussy, even she uses it. Introduce it slowly and it should be well received by all. Anyway got to go now and do some crafting. Love to hear from you. Take care. Frances, Jasmine, Chippy & Toby xx

  31. jane e hands September 30, 2009 at 6:44 pm -  Reply

    hi catherine
    i have a 7 month old maine coon,bertie,and bertha when she has done something wrong. She looks very much like your kitten
    her partner in crime is a 6 month old silver tabby, daisy, who is only a third of her adoptive sisters size,but they are devoted to each other
    daisy is the brains behind the opeeration, using bertie’s brawn, and bertie is just so soft she does what ever is required
    nobody believes bertie is a kitten,they all say “but she looks fully grown” i am looking forward to their comments in the future, especially as maine coons take four years to completely grow
    perhaps we could swap notes as they are so near in age

  32. HB October 26, 2009 at 2:57 pm -  Reply

    Loving your lovely long blond hair really suits you, wish I could look as well as you! Plus you’re a lovely presenter, genuine and interesting 🙂

  33. Gayle Metcalfe May 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    Have only just read your blog! Love the cats they are beautiful! I have the exact same problem by my front door too!! Mainly when I go out so I get a “lovely” suprise when I get home NOT!
    Good job we all love our animals eh!

  34. Catherine Huntley May 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Gayle!
    Nice to hear from you…my cats are still just as naughty but less pooing nowadays. Just the occasional one if we haven’t been in to empty the litter trays for a few hours!
    I agree it is a good job we love them or they’d be sent packing!!
    Thanks for taking the time to look through my blog…it’s usually quite silly with no intellectual value to speak of but I hope you enjoy it as a light read now and again. From time to time something more serious may be highlighted such as the more recent blog regarding Chloe’s Count the Kicks Campaign. I hope you continue to read and comment.
    Love to the pusscat(s)!
    Love Catherine x

  35. heather visram August 1, 2013 at 12:14 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine my cats which i have four two siamese hoshiko 7 shumi 1 leanardo 3 red and cream short hair a touch of bengal and baby chocolat 4 half month chocolate oriental tortie.hoshiko loves chewing plastic bags a nightmare i give them a toilet roll they all play madly with it.i find all my felines love wood pellet cat litter they have all taken a shine to it.i put litter trays in different places in the house.leonardo chewed through a mobile phone cable he has teeth like reading your cat blogs.

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