We keep our kitten's nails trimmed regularly, and we model how to use the scratching post, but he seems bent on ignoring that it even exists. He also likes to try and sharpen his nails on the carpet. Aside from declawing, what methods have you found effective for training your cat(s) and saving your upholstery?
My daughter has been using "soft paws" on her two grown cats (softpaws dot com). They are very effective, but but they don't stay on for very long. You have to check them daily. The cats have "worn" these claw caps for years, and there's never been a problem with the glue.
I've had cats all my adult life, but have never found a way to discourage them from scratching what I don't want them to scratch.
I'd never heard of Soft Paws before -- thanks for the tip! Right now we're just relying on nail trimmers, a water spritzer, and diligence, but I get the feeling that that won't be enough for much longer.
Please stop the water spritzing. It teaches a cat to be afraid of water and accomplishes nothing. If you'd want to give your cat a bath, then you are in deep doo-doo. Water spritzing is not a deterrent, just an aggravation.
Well, the good news is, the spritzer has been used a grand total of maybe two times. And he seems more curious about it than afraid of it. But no, it's not our go-to method of discipline.
I have found that this is very much not the case. I only recently started spritzing, and prior to that, the one thing that made my cats fear water most was baths. Baths makes them fear baths; thick leather gloves are needed for me.
One of my cats used to willingly come in the shower/bath with me when he was a baby. Now it seems he just started hating water because it makes him cold, and takes like 3 hours to dry/groom.
Is it a large corrugated cardboard horizontal post? If the scratching post is the best thing to scratch, they'll scratch it. Otherwise, it's an uphill battle.
It's always an uphill battle. The cat is the cat. He does what he does. We can accept it or try to do something to change it. Mostly, we humans lose.
The cat choice the thing in the environment that is most desirable to it, and we control the environment. Thus with enough effort, we choose.
The evidence is that most cats choose horizontal posts that are large and corrugated cardboard is a preferred substrate. It doesn't matter what humans call a scratching post, the cats just wants a good place to scratch,
It's large, yes, and made of rope. We also have another that more closely resembles carpet. The problem is that our actual carpet is Berber, which he seems to love. He did scratch at the rope post for the first time tonight, though. Baby steps.
We have Berber carpet as well, and my two boy kitties love to dig into it.
How's it holding up? Because I suppose that if it can take the abuse, then I shouldn't make a huge deal out of trying to stop him, yeah?
One more thought...we invite cats into our houses because we love them. If we don't house that cat, then who knows what the consequences are? Cats in our houses are privileged animals. If not for us, they would be euthanized or feral. When a cat comes into my home, it's a gift, to the cat and to me. But my job is to make this cat / me relationship the best it can be.
If the cat needs to have its claws removed in order to live in my house, I'm fine with that. It will have its claws removed and live for ten years longer than if it didn't. Just food for thought.
Whatever...it's a big issue. That would be really cool if some furniture manufacturer came up with cat-proof items.
Some believe that you should never declaw a cat. I don't subscribe to that. If declawing a cat means that the cat will have many years of love, affection, and safety in my house, then he's going to lose his claws. Everything's a trade-off.
I just spent 2 hours putting new seat covers on the chairs the cat destroyed. It took it 36 hours to ruin all 6 re-covered chairs. It systematically went round putting holes in each. It followed that up by scent marking its bed and mine. Just in case I hadn't noticed the chair damage.
Its probably not the advice you want, but you should have rescued a dog (Yeah, I'm still annoyed about the chairs)
If you can give it some outside time you may find that it doesn't feel the need rip your house to pieces.
LOL Love your comment. Sometimes we are ruled by them, and then reach a saturation point. I don't think you've reached that point yet.
But also, you bring up such a good point...cats get bored, just like everyone else. Give them more things to do that they like, and "bad" behavior takes a back seat.
I think dogs are easier.
I'm very much a dog person, and I would have loved to adopt a puppy, but having a cat seemed much more suitable to our current living situation. And don't get me wrong, he is by far the sweetest, most affectionate, playful cat we've ever had. We get so much joy out of him, and we haven't really been having very many issues. We're just trying to stay ahead of the scratching game because we've seen previous cats totally destroy furniture (so sorry about your chairs, btw!).
It'd be great if we could let him outside, but we've lost too many cats that way to feel comfortable with it. We do try to provide him with as much play time and indoor stimulation as possible, though, and for the most part, he seems content.
I have 6 cats, and all of them are a pain in the a$$, but I love them just the same. I haven't been able to keep them from tearing up my couch, so I just refuse to get a new one. Thankfully they only claw at the corners on the back of the couch and nothing else. I would get them declawed, I just don't have the funds or the time right now (by time I mean we only have one car at the moment, getting them to the vet would be impossible).
Dogs are MUCH easier than cats. The reason I say that is because dogs LEARN. Cats can learn, they just don't care to, they aren't here to please us. Dogs like to make their owners happy, cats could care less. I'm really a dog person. The only reason I have the cats is because all of them were rescued.
But they're really cute.
Haha. Love that picture.
I agree that dogs are generally easier than cats, although I would say kittens are much easier than puppies. No potty training, no messes, and less of a compulsion on my part to feel like I have to be around 24/7.
I'm in the same boat with declawing, though. My husband and I just got married, and he's still in school, so we're having to juggle a bunch of new and existing expenses. Can't exactly afford declawing.
Luckily, we have the sweetest kitten in the world, so he's made it easy on us. We're just trying to nip the scratching thing in the bud early on.
It really honeslty depends on the cat. My mom has made the decision to declaw one of her cats, because it came down to the "do I get rid of the cat, or do I keep repairing furniture?" question.
For me, what has worked with my two cats is to use a combination of 'training' and scratching posts.
I have purchased (and have kept purchasing this same model, and replacing as needed) a scratching post that is designed to hang on a door knob. This comes with a little bell, and is basically a piece of cardboard wrapped in hemp rope that smells like catnip. The cats really go for this- and I have found that they prefer it laying on the ground, instead of on the door knob--who knows why?
Finding a scratching post that your cats like is just one step; you also need to find a way to discourage them from scratching the furniture and rugs. I purchased a spray bottle from the garden center, filled it with water, and set it to "stream." Every time the cats started scratching, they got their faces sprayed with water. Eventually, they didn't even bother, and probably found that the catnip-smelling scratcher was much preferable to the spray-in-the-face.
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