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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Pavlov's Cat?

I know its a weird thread name, but I have observed an odd stimulous-response cycle in my cat, and I was wondering if anyone had any insite.

My husband and I have a 3-4 year old cat named Daphne. She's just an ordinary cat, no special breed. A couple months ago, we moved into our new house and spent a while trying to find the perfect place for her scratching post. Her former owner said that Daphne liked rope scratchers, but didn't like people to watch her, and we also heard it was good to put the post by other tempting things. So we put the post behind some leather chairs in our living room. The idea was that we could be in the living room or ajoining rooms and have the path of our eyes blocked by the chairs.

This worked well, and within a week, Daphne responded by using the post. And she doesn't seem to be doing distructive scratching. However, we began to notice a pattern. You can see the post from a bathroom which adjoined the living room, and we noticed that Daphne would come out to scratch, when we were in the bathroom, even if we could see her. She started by scratching when my husband would brush his teeth or shave. She then progressed to scratching when we go in to use the toilet. This is the only time we can see her use the post, although we imagine that she uses it after her cat naps.

Has anyone hear of this before, cats scratching in response to the sound of running water? She is particular about her water. We have to freshen her bowl twice a day (and one bowl is by the post). Otherwise, she drinks out of the toilet. At first I thought she was scratching because she knew when the toilet flushed that there would be fresh water in it and that made her happy. She also has thought about jumping in the tub with me. I thought cats hated water. (Except for Havana browns who love it). No Havana brown in her.

Anyone have any ideas, or is Daphne just weird?

Patti

Back in NC again! (Army wife and proud!)
Chinnies: Maureen, Max, and Muad'Dib
Cats: Daphne (who says, I only play with mousie toys with a string tail and a bell.)
And introducing: Tasselhof and Kittira (Hubbie's childhood cats, who are 10 and 9 repectively)
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 12:18 PM
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Daphne might just like to know you are near. My cats like running water too though, and always like to help me while rinsing dishes in the sink. Maybe she likes the soothing sound?


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-27-2004, 10:52 PM
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my cat back home and my friend's cats really like running water. so maybe she is happy about that sound, like capn said, and she responds by scratching.

sounds really cute, though! do you have some pics of her??


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-28-2004, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice and suggestions! Maybe my husband is right and after chinchillas, I tend to think that all pets need to be as complicated. Maybe she just likes water.

We have some pictures being developed now, so maybe I can post some next week.

Patti

Back in NC again! (Army wife and proud!)
Chinnies: Maureen, Max, and Muad'Dib
Cats: Daphne (who says, I only play with mousie toys with a string tail and a bell.)
And introducing: Tasselhof and Kittira (Hubbie's childhood cats, who are 10 and 9 repectively)
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-30-2004, 11:32 PM
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Not so much classical conditioning but possibly ritual. My mom had a handsome black & white cat for many years. When she set a bowl of food down for him she would always rub his back from his head to his tail. One day the phone rang (it was me calling!) just as she was setting the bowl down and she didn't rub him. He stood there and waited for her to "finish the job" before he'd start eating. My cat displays this ritualistic behavior too with his hair brushing. Same place and same position each time. Perhaps Daphne had some kind of bathroom ritual that you have revived in your new home?


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