When Pet Parents Are Away, Cats Destroy: Five Funny Situations

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As any pet parent will tell you, cats don't like it when their humans leave the house. Whether cats destroy your belongings or their own, they're good at getting their point across!

Cats are very exact in their actions, so make no mistake, they'll let you know they’re unhappy that you're gone. You'll discover the signs of displeasure all over the house like ripped curtains or remnants of your favourite shoes.

Here are five cat shenanigans you may find upon your return home!

1. Shredded Toilet Paper

This classic move occurs at least once in every cat occupied home. Cats love to scratch, it's instinctive, says PetMD. They also loves to play and a toilet paper roll provides a two-for-one punch. In addition to shredding the paper, industrious cats also may unravel the paper and carry it from room to room. It's their way of rolling out the white carpet for you!

2. Mangled ToysBlack and white cat with a stuff mouse toy between its paws.

This carnage can include a catnip mouse ripped open with its stuffing strewn about the room, a destroyed bird toy with its eyes clawed out, small rubber balls adorned with teeth marks or a chewed stuffed hedgehog, their demise capped off with a swim in the water dish. Cats benefit from having engaging toys around while you're gone, but those playthings can and will become the outlets for their annoyance.

3. Stolen Snacks

True story: When one cat's parents weren't home, she jumped on top of the refrigerator, stole a bag of crisps, and dragged the bag under the bed for a late-night snack. Other cats may open kitchen cupboards helping themselves to whatever they find and because cats don't clean up after themselves you'll find chewed open food bags and crumbs everywhere. So, if you suspect that your cat might be a little thief in waiting it’s probably a good idea to secure your food by more than just leaving it up high off the ground. Cat's are climbers and putting food on top of the refrigerator is seen more as a challenge rather than a deterrent.

4. Damaged Furniture

Long-haired Calico stretching against a pink striped couch.

Your cat loves your comfortable couch as much as you do, but that won't stop them from clawing at it. After all, if a pet parent loves something, cats destroy it (or so it seems)! Your furry friend also knows that they'll get your immediate attention this way. Scratching the rug and furniture is simply your cat's way of saying, "If you had stayed home from work today, you'd still have nice things." This can be remedied with a little training and an alternative scratching post to let their frustration out on.

5. Knocked Over Stuff

orange tabby cat with paw in a drinking glass.

Another way your kitty will get your attention is to knock over anything and everything they can get their paws on, such as drinking glasses picture frames, laptops, and ceramics. It's a form of play for cats and with their keen ability to jump to high heights and their desire to watch stuff come crashing down, cats will find your most treasured items. They'll do this while you're at home too, so imagine what can happen while you're away. For this reason it’s good to secure anything valuable, not only will it help prevent things from getting broken, but it will also help keep your cat safe and unharmed.

Finally, it is crucial that you understand that cats do not understand punishment. Never scream or discipline your cat, as they will not be able to connect their actions with your punishment. This could cause the actions to become worse or even cause urinary problems brought on by stress.

You'll have to leave your home at some point, whether your cat likes it or not, so it's best to prepare yourself for the mayhem you may find when you return. Remember, it's your cat’s way of saying they love you! A little love and some training can help keep your house intact while you're away.

Image Source: Flickr, Flickr, Flickr

Contributor Bio

Christine O'Brien

Christine O'Brien


Christine O'Brien is a writer, mom, and long-time cat parent whose two Russian Blues rule the house. Her work also appears in Care.com, What to Expect, and Fit Pregnancy, where she writes about pets, pregnancy, and family life. Find and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @brovelliobrien