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Dear Your Own Vet,
I have a behavior question. How do I stop my animals (mostly the cats) stealing food off the table? I can’t leave anything for more than few seconds and they’re dragging it off. I’ve tried shouting – which didn’t help. I smacked them – they attacked me back. I put them outside, to ignore and isolate them and it didn’t help either. I have thrown things at them so that they get the idea that if they steal something bad will happen etc, but nothing has worked. What shall I do?
Secondly, in front of the food, you put blown up balloons tied with string and cover them with a cloth. If the cat jumps on the balloons, they will pop and give them a fright. You can do the same thing by setting a mouse trap (turn it upside down so no paws get caught) and cover with a cloth. When the trap is touched, it will spring and give the cat a fright. Or you put tins with a few stones inside in front of the food which will rattle and fall when the cat touches them and hopefully will give them a fright.