My cat's clawing my furniture

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Tim Young
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My cat's clawing my furniture

Postby Tim Young » Thu May 21, 2009 11:13 pm

I hate cats, but we got one because it was either that or a horse for my 4 year old daughter. She's actually turned out to be pretty cool and has significantly helped our roof rat problem - as in there is no problem now because she killed them all. Problem is, she loves to claw all my favorite mid century furniture when we let her in the house. She picks my favorite piece and waits until I'm watching, then slowly sinks her claws into it and rips them out while looking at me in the eye. Then I yell at her and chase her through the house and she darts under a bed and laughs at me. I complain about it to my wife incessantly and finally she told me I need to stop being helpless and figure out how to stop it. So I come to you. Anybody have any experience/suggestions?

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Postby Roger Thornhill » Fri May 22, 2009 5:14 am

Tim,

I have a few bastardly felines and our general approach has been (a) to make sure the ruggers have something they can scratch and (b) to keep their nails short (it's surprising how many people don't trim their cat's nails on a regular basis. Actually, it's not that surprising since they can get pretty angry at trim time).

If we find them scratching something they shouldn't, we pick them up and bring them over to the scratching post. We seem to have had some success though they do on occasion like to go over and check out my record sleeves (argh!).

- A
"And darkness, as darkness does, fell."

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Postby jakabedy » Fri May 22, 2009 7:31 am

I'll bet you're thinking that horse looks pretty good right now.

One solution would be for this to become an "outside cat." But I don't know how well that would go over with your little one. I agree with keeping the nails trimmed and having an enticing scratching post for him to use. I have also seen little plastic nail covers that can be slipped on. But I have no idea how well they work, and such a solution would work in opposition of the cat's day job as a fearsome rat fighter.

Some will advocate a water spray bottle -- spray Felix when he is about to scratch. Or a rattle can (soda can with beans in it, taped shut, makes a terrible racket when thrown nearby) to toss near the cat when he is about to scratch. Again, it depends on your comfort level with that, and with your ability to be near the cat 24/7 to catch him almost in the act.

Good luck.
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Postby kjansma » Fri May 22, 2009 10:26 am

The little nail covers are pretty funny. We tried them on our last cat. We got the neon pink to really embarrass her. They go on with some sort of super glue stuff and eventually come off as the nails grow. She spent too much time outside here in Southern California and eventually the coyotes got her. With our latest cat (which we, too, got at the behest of a four year old little girl) we used to do the nail trimming. I don't know if it stops the scratching or just makes the nails less lethal when they do scratch because through some unexpected miracle we won the cat lottery and this one has no interest in scratching our furniture. He only sharpens his claws on the two FLOR tiles we use as a doormat inside the family room sliding doors.

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Postby jakabedy » Fri May 22, 2009 11:31 am

kjansma -

Funny about the FLOR tiles. When we took in our cat Basie, I bought a scratching post and some toys. He couldn't care less about them. What he loves to claw on is a little cheapo Home Depot Oriental rug I have in front of the range. I have to sweep around it every other day, because he claws up little fluffballs out of it. It was a leftover from the old bungalow and totally doesn't go with the house, but now it has to stay, as long as the Count is with us.
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Postby Slim and Gabby » Fri May 22, 2009 11:41 am

Tim, please don't do anything to your cat's claws; it's their first line of defense when they're outside, do you want your rats back; imagine not having fingers - really! I'd use the noise maker when you catch kitty being bad along with the squirt bottle. Your cat scratches because it's saying "this is mine you stinky human", kinda like cat-graffiti; one thing you can try is aluminum foil in the places you don't want your cat to sleep on at night. It's like finger on a chalkboard for some people: YIKES! A lot of cats scratch the places they sleep. Get a good quality scratching post and rub it with catnip.
This is Cosmo Topper, like from the old TV show:
Image
At 18 lbs., just plain huge, he's the cat you don't F-with if you're unlucky enough to be another cat! He's also daddy's boy, and at times when he's feeling generous, acknowledges Gabby!
If you want to humiliate your cat, feed it peanut butter, or put masking tape on its feet, and watch the fun; oops! (really harmless)
Okay, watch this one, it's Tex Avery:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR_K0Hyrln0

Slim
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Postby Roger Thornhill » Fri May 22, 2009 2:28 pm

"And darkness, as darkness does, fell."

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Postby rockland » Fri May 22, 2009 6:48 pm

I've never heard of the claw/tip thing. Sounds like a late night infomercial. : )

But foil does work.
I am without felines now. Just dogs. Wanted cats again but in the country with dog doors that give total
freedom to the exterior it would be trouble. We have a few dozen feral cats in the neighborhood, the 'sex kittens' we call them.
One lovely well behaved cat we had for years used to unroll the toilet paper once or twice a week.
The whole roll and then run with it. I'm sure it just got stuck on the paws and the unwound roll stuck
and followed. We wrapped the roll and a hanging bit with foil for a week. (we used another roll that we kept
behind and on the tank). Never happened again.
And also the soil around potted plants.
"The Fine Art of Foiling."
Image
I can't believe this site comes up...I googled 'alum foil house' and remembered it from years ago.
http://www.blacktable.com/elder040114.htm

For the dogs we put the 'bitter stuff' on wooden furniture legs we get a bit nervous about.
Bitter Apple i think it is called from the pet store.

If it is a few chair legs, etc. i think you could live with a bit of foil for a week?
Or on a chair arm?
Controversial, but the scat mat works well. Just a little static electricity when they attempt a
scratch attack. (my favorite method)
I've never used it but a friend has had success on her kitchen counter.
18 by 24(?) i think. Uses it on a chair also. The cat seems to just stay away from that chair altogether.
It looks like a large heat pad.

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Postby Tim Young » Fri May 22, 2009 9:59 pm

Thanks for all the advice everyone. Slim, I'm definitely not going to cut her nails. She's an outside cat - she has a kitty door to go into the enclosed patio at night, and she's only in the house during the day when my daughter wants to play with her. So she's mostly outside, which is where I want her patrolling the house for roof rats. I don't like the idea of declawing at all, but it seems cruel for an outdoor cat. So anyway that's out of the question. I like the foil idea. I've been googling this as well and I've seen foil recommended. The only downside is that I'd have to have foil on the furniture. But I guess the idea is that you keep it on for awhile and they lose interest in that piece and then you take it off? I've also seen double sided tape recommended, which seems less conspicuous, but it doesn't come in large pieces as far as I know, so it seems like it would take a heck of a lot of it. I wonder if single sided regular packing tape would work? I think I'll go with foil or double sided tape and see how that goes.

Today I found another rodent offering on the back doorstep, but when I got closer I realized it was a gopher. I don't particularly have anything against gophers, but I figure it's close enough to a rat. I'm an animal lover in general, but after rats tore up all my attic insulation, left urine and droppings everywhere, and ate through my phone line, I gotta say yeah I do hold a grudge.

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Postby rockland » Sat May 23, 2009 4:56 am

Tape. What a good idea!
Double-sided clear 2in does exist. Permacel comes to mind and other brands.
Gets expensive but would not leave residue on fabric.(quality). I can visualize it working on
upholstered arms of chairs. Even a few strips of the cheap stuff for wrapping packages would
do the trick. It comes in double sided.

Foil made into a matt, about the size of a cookie sheet with lots of scrunched peaks and valleys would
work for a chair and a couple more for the arms. Reusable and placed during the day to keep a house
cat off a chair.
(duct tape works great for removing pet hair off fabric)

My puppy-ish dog, (some never grow up), when he stretches out on the rug or anywhere, will start to
chew anything near where his giant head lands. I checked the Eames rocker base last night and found
a couple teeth dents so i re-applied the bitter apple. I'm sure it would be a stub if it never had it.
I've had the same tube for 5 years. Lasts forever. It feels like vaseline.

So thanks to you for bringing this up. It reminded me to check. Too late for one of our bedside tables.
One entire corner is gone.

:(

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Postby egads » Sat May 23, 2009 8:26 am

There is nothing cruel or ill advised about having a cats nails trimmed. We have to have our indoor/outdoor cat's done every few months. If we don't (or how we know it's time) is that her nails will become stuck when she scratches. We had to use a throw blanket over the arm of a sofa she started to attack. I wish I had known of the foil method. I like that it's temporary.
I too wish I could somehow direct her to the Ikea walk mats by the door instead of the expensive Oriental rugs. I just clap loud when I hear that scratching sound.

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Postby Tim Young » Sat May 23, 2009 10:10 am

I didn't mean to imply that you're cruel if you trim nails. Sorry. I do think declawing an outdoor cat is not the right thing to do. I'm not a cat expert, it just doesn't make sense to me. As for trimming, I just feel like since my cat's mostly outdoors, she needs all she can get to climb trees to escape coyotes, round up the roof rats, etc.

I'm going to look for the wide double sided tape. It seems like that might be the ideal solution.

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Postby Tim Young » Sat May 23, 2009 10:26 am

Here's what I decided to go with:

http://www.amazon.com/Scotch%C2%AE-Doub ... d_sbs_op_1

This was the widest double sided tape on Amazon (1 inch), other than carpet tape, which I don't think is clear and is more expensive. We'll see how it works.

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Postby Roger Thornhill » Sat May 23, 2009 10:48 am

To avoid this...

Image

...get these?

Image

Image

Just joking w/ you all. Hope your solution works Tim.
"And darkness, as darkness does, fell."

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Postby egads » Sat May 23, 2009 1:02 pm

Joking aside, I'd like a link to the wall mounted ones.

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Postby Roger Thornhill » Sat May 23, 2009 1:56 pm

Egads: http://www.squarecathabitat.com/

I rather like the bed:

Image

Image
"And darkness, as darkness does, fell."

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Postby Tim Young » Sat May 23, 2009 10:51 pm

seriously... i like the square scratching pads. they're called "itch". i might get one on top of doing the tape. just because they look cool. we did buy the cat a scratching post by the way, but it hasn't kept her away from my favorite chair.

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Postby Slim and Gabby » Mon May 25, 2009 1:52 pm

Pen-gu-ins is pracatically chickinz, and I hates to see chickinz cry so much, I has to put’em outta ther mizzery!

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Postby Tim Young » Mon May 25, 2009 6:55 pm

excellent advice slim. i have an orange chair (from thrift) that i basically gave up on because she chose it as her bed in the patio. maybe an old wool piece of something could spare that chair as well.

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Postby kjansma » Tue May 26, 2009 7:43 pm

Not to keep bragging about my cat, who only seems to scratch the FLOR tiles, but he also loves cat beds. It's either a lap or a semi-hidden cat bed. Maybe it's because I tell the little girls to leave him alone if he's in "bed" so he embraces them as a way to get a break from all the love.

I like those wall mounted scratchers, too! They actually look kind of like the FLOR House Pet tiles mounted on wood.

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Postby kjansma » Tue May 26, 2009 7:51 pm

Another sleeping spot...
Image

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Postby greenmod » Wed May 27, 2009 8:13 am

Spray bottle. We used that method for our cats and now we just have to make the spray bottle sound and they run.
Allison

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Postby Roger Thornhill » Wed May 27, 2009 8:17 am

Okay, these links aren't going to help with anyone's cat scratching problems, but they are pretty fun:

First it was this: http://katt-trappa.blogspot.com/
And then it became this: http://catladder.blogspot.com/
"And darkness, as darkness does, fell."

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Postby Tim Young » Thu May 28, 2009 8:25 am

Last edited by Tim Young on Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Slim and Gabby » Thu May 28, 2009 11:42 am

Um, try a throwaway cookie-sheet! You kin even put a rock er somethin' on it so it don't go nowheres, yeah!
Slim
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Postby Tim Young » Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:20 pm

Here's an update: Smokey hasn't touched the chair since my wife wrapped some saran wrap around the bottom of it. She's so smart. The double sided tape came in the mail, but I haven't even bothered with it since the saran wrap has worked so well.

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Postby Roger Thornhill » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:33 am

This won't help anyone's problems with scratched furniture, but it's fun nonetheless: http://www.mycatsheaven.com/rondo

Image
"And darkness, as darkness does, fell."

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Postby AJ Fisher » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:45 pm

a lot of the suggestions mentioned above describe how to deter cats from clawing. i have found that giving your cat an alternative to the furniture is the way to go; the clawing pads above are a good idea. i've also had luck by placing a rough, bark-covered piece of wood (even a log meant for the fireplace) wherever your cat likes to hang out. this might help in some instances.

-AJ


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