Although there is a cuteness factor to it, over time, your cat’s door-pawing can quickly become a nuisance, especially when it happens every morning while you’re still sleeping. Whether your finicky feline is just trying to cuddle with you, or whether he’s hungry and wants to be fed, the moment you open the bedroom door, you’re rewarding and reinforcing his behavior. He’ll continue his antics every day, because he knows that you’ll let him in the room. To put a stop to his door-banging so you can continue sleeping, incorporate a few easy steps to send him the message that his behavior is unacceptable.
Keep the Door Shut
Regardless of how much your pet companion meows, howls, scratches or bumps into the door, don’t ever give in. This lets him know that there’s no chance of the door ever opening. If you open the door even one time, he’s going to be more adamant and continue his behavior, because he knows there’s a possibility of the door being opened. Don’t even yell at him to be quiet, because any attention he’s getting tells him that his actions are effective. Ignoring your cat will eventually stop his door-banging, because he’ll notice that he’s not getting what he wants.
To keep your cat away from the bedroom door, arm yourself with a water-filled spray bottle. When your active kitty starts drumming on the door, quickly open it and spray a burst of water in his direction. Don’t let him see your face, because you don’t want him to associate you with the unpleasant occurrence. You want him to think that his door-banging is triggering it. Consistently use the water bottle each time he paws the door, and soon, he’ll stop the undesired behavior, just to avoid being sprayed with water.
If you don’t want to get up to spray water at your cat, unpleasant textures might be enough to keep him away from the door. A piece of cardboard covered with double sided sticky tape, or an upside down carpet runner that’s placed in front of the bedroom door, will feel uncomfortable on your cat’s paws. He won’t go near the door, just to avoid the unpleasant feeling.
Commercial cat repellents that have an offensive smell can keep your cat from going near the bedroom door. Soak some cotton balls with the repellent and place them on a piece of foil in front of the door. When your feline friend smells the repellent, he’ll think twice about going near the door. Cat’s also dislike the smell of citrus, so placing the peels of an orange or lemon in front of the door might also work.
Oregon Humane Society: Using Aversives to Modify Your Cat’s Behavior