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Ayanai and Drinking Straws

Arinelle

Savannah Super Cat
#1
So I have had Ayanai now for four wonderful months. She has been rather good at not developing any terrible habits that I haven't been able to deter. Her fondness for hair ties is solved by locking them in a box in the bathroom. Her delight in playing with objects from the trash is ended by taking it out regularly. But then we have drinking straws, you know...the ones you get from fast food places. She has mastered the art of stealing them and removing the lid...spilling the contents everywhere.

I try and keep them close to me where I can shoo her off. Twice I have failed. The first time I came home from work to find she had spilled one all over the bed that I had refilled with water the night before and forgotten on the nightstand. Thank goodness it was just water. But I didn't catch her in the act and there wasn't much I could do. Then she repeats the offense today. I left my sweet tea on the table (where she KNOWS she isn't allowed) and was playing the piano maybe 6 feet away. Suddenly hear the unmistakable sound of a plastic straw being batted around, turn around to see my tea flowing off the table onto the chair and pooling on the floor. Ayanai is having the time of her life playing near the flood with her prize.

I yell and jump up to try and catch her before she runs off...yeah that didn't work. She didn't go too far though, just stopped on the stairs to oogle wide eyed at the flowing liquid. I manage to grab her by the scruff of the neck and we march upstairs. I put her in Lyra's kennel and lock the door. I return downstairs to clean up the mess with a towel and mourn the loss of my beloved tea that I only had a few swallows of. I am serenaded by the acoustic resonations of a poor mistreated savannah who knows nothing of a life outside a cage.

After the mess has been cleaned up, I look at the time, yeah it's almost been 5 minutes. I go upstairs and let her out, she is quiet as a mouse and seems very demure as she slowly exits the cage. I am now being followed around and showered with affection. Has she learned her lesson? Probably not, however I have a valuable new method of discipline at my disposal should the need arise again.

Yes, it was the first time I had locked her in a cage as punishment.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#2
When Maliik was a kitten he used to steal the drinking straw from my morning protein shake so I bought him a box of his own straws. He quickly learned to sit patiently and wait for me to make my shake, then I'd give him a straw and off he'd go to play. Three years later and they are still his favorite toy.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#3
So I have had Ayanai now for four wonderful months. She has been rather good at not developing any terrible habits that I haven't been able to deter. Her fondness for hair ties is solved by locking them in a box in the bathroom. Her delight in playing with objects from the trash is ended by taking it out regularly. But then we have drinking straws, you know...the ones you get from fast food places. She has mastered the art of stealing them and removing the lid...spilling the contents everywhere.

I try and keep them close to me where I can shoo her off. Twice I have failed. The first time I came home from work to find she had spilled one all over the bed that I had refilled with water the night before and forgotten on the nightstand. Thank goodness it was just water. But I didn't catch her in the act and there wasn't much I could do. Then she repeats the offense today. I left my sweet tea on the table (where she KNOWS she isn't allowed) and was playing the piano maybe 6 feet away. Suddenly hear the unmistakable sound of a plastic straw being batted around, turn around to see my tea flowing off the table onto the chair and pooling on the floor. Ayanai is having the time of her life playing near the flood with her prize.

I yell and jump up to try and catch her before she runs off...yeah that didn't work. She didn't go too far though, just stopped on the stairs to oogle wide eyed at the flowing liquid. I manage to grab her by the scruff of the neck and we march upstairs. I put her in Lyra's kennel and lock the door. I return downstairs to clean up the mess with a towel and mourn the loss of my beloved tea that I only had a few swallows of. I am serenaded by the acoustic resonations of a poor mistreated savannah who knows nothing of a life outside a cage.

After the mess has been cleaned up, I look at the time, yeah it's almost been 5 minutes. I go upstairs and let her out, she is quiet as a mouse and seems very demure as she slowly exits the cage. I am now being followed around and showered with affection. Has she learned her lesson? Probably not, however I have a valuable new method of discipline at my disposal should the need arise again.

Yes, it was the first time I had locked her in a cage as punishment.
Honestly, locking her up as punishment is really not going to resolve the issue...you may think she learned something, but I guarantee she did not. She is a kitten and she is playing...doesn't sound like she is any worse for wear, but I do like like to punish animals...most of the time they don't get it.

Cinny loves eating and licking tape...I just have to be vigilant and keep all tape out of her reach...she also loves licking plastic bags...so I keep them away from her...Zuri loves chewing paper and spitting it out all over the place...she has taught me to pick up after myself ;) Sometimes I just give her a paper bag or box to chew up, so she doesn't chew my bills or checks...

This is just part of being a savannah owner...they do things like this and they are persistent.

I love Deborah's idea...get her her own straws ;)
 

Tort518

Savannah Super Cat
#4
Yuki has proven to be a paper shredder. If she gets a rolled up napkin she tears it into tiny strips. If she gets one of Yeti's fetch toys (crumpled up cardstock) she tries to shred, but ends up only unfolding it completely.

I have not allowed straws yet.
 
D

Dantes

Guest
#5
My soulmate cat DSH Simba loved straws, and my mom had gum disease and would always have them around, he'd bat them off the table and they'd end up everywhere. I was living with mom & dad for a few months, and when I unpacked from moving to my own place, I found a box that literally had hundreds of straws...the yellow and green only, guess he didn't like the blue or pink ones lol he packed his own box and didn't want to leave them behind!

My boys currently play with a bunch of bubble tea straws, they get chewed up and thrown about and roll all along the floor, lots of fun for $3:

 
L

Louie'sDad

Guest
#6
Honestly, locking her up as punishment is really not going to resolve the issue...you may think she learned something, but I guarantee she did not. She is a kitten and she is playing...doesn't sound like she is any worse for wear, but I do like like to punish animals...most of the time they don't get it.

Cinny loves eating and licking tape...I just have to be vigilant and keep all tape out of her reach...she also loves licking plastic bags...so I keep them away from her...Zuri loves chewing paper and spitting it out all over the place...she has taught me to pick up after myself ;) Sometimes I just give her a paper bag or box to chew up, so she doesn't chew my bills or checks...

This is just part of being a savannah owner...they do things like this and they are persistent.

I love Deborah's idea...get her her own straws ;)
If the punishment is not immediate, then it will send the wrong message. If the punishment is immediate, then it will probably be less of a learning experience than a "reset" or "time out". You have to solve the issue by watching more closely, or modifying your behavior in some other way. You'd be surprised, some "obsessions" that he is having now might eventually go away. But don't be surprised if other "obsessions" take their place.

In my case, I went through the usual "shenannigans" for 8 months or so. I read that cats respond to reward, not punishment, but did not find that reward had any effect, either. SV's, and increasingly from later generations to F1 are extremely stubborn and persistent. Learn to get along, live with it, and laugh as a result of some more harmless forms of bad behavior.

Some might disagree with the above, and anyone if free to respond in their own way, but I can tell you happily, that this approach has worked for me. My F1 is now 10.5 MO, and is gradually slowing down somewhat and doing less mischief. He's not unhappy, in fact he purrs as much as ever, as well as respond to my calls, etc. Now, he's always next to me and watches me more and tries to "help" me less, when I'm doing things around the house. Be patient, as it will likely bear fruit for you.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#8
I think Savannahs teach us how to modify our behavior... your lesson will be learning not to leave your drink unattended! LOL!

We cannot leave any glasses unattended here. I keep my water in a sports bottle so it can't be knocked over for example. When having a glass of wine I keep it close at hand. Things like that.

You will learn to understand the way they think. That drinking straw is simply an irresistable toy.

As many have already commented, punishing them when they've run off does nothing but damage your relationship with the kitten. Unlike a small child, whom you can explain what is the problem the kitten only knows that their human seems to have irrational rages and to just run whenever they get close because sometimes they will get locked up in a room for no reason they can perceive. Not a lesson you want your kitten to learn :-(