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Cats and Furntiure Clawing (1 Viewer)

CaseyL

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I recently got a 4 week old kitten, who has very sharp little claws. Right now, he doesn't scratch anything, but I'd like to keep it that way. I interested in methods that other people have found successful in keeping cats from scratching up furniture. Please note, I don't feel that declawing is right, so that's not an option for me.
 

Jay H

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Hey, I made my own scratching posts and my kitties love it:

http://lh5.google.com/cycleslug/Rx6P...JPG?imgmax=512

http://lh4.google.com/cycleslug/Rype...JPG?imgmax=512

I made it with spare carpet, a nice sized piece of 3/4" plywood and about 24" tall 4x4" post beam and a basic heavy duty utility staple gun and 12mm staples and I used a utility knife and a hammer to drive any loose staples in.

1) Cut the plywood, you want to use a wide base so the post doesn't tip over. My 5 month old kitties will literally run at the thing and jump and land on the post and it wont fall over and most commercially bought scratching pads do not come with a big enough base and are not tall enough.

2) Cut the carpet and roll it over the plywood, staple it underneath the base. If you want to be fancy (I would do this next time), try to put all the staples on the underside of the base and leave no carpet edges exposed, i.e. kind of gift wrap the base. Cats will tear up (chew) on the exposed edges of the carpet. Mine isn't, next version of the scratching post will be cleaner. learn from my mistake.

3)Take utility knife and cut out the carpet that you will put the post beam on so you'll get a stronger joint. Save this piece!!! Take 1 7/8" nails and drive about 5 of them into the underside of the base through the plywood and the post. Cut the underside too so you don't have to drive the nails through the carpet either for strength,

4)Now cut carpet to wrap the post itself and staple it again... Can't avoid having an exposed carpet edge here though, but you could cover the exposed side perhaps...


[edit] Here's a thought.. Join the carpet in the center of the post and then use a carpet runner to hide the joint.... Hey, I might try this in jay's scatchnig post version 2.0! Good idea..!

5) Before you put the top on or even before you staple the side if you wish, sprinkle catnip inside the carpet as a kitten attractive device....

6)Take the square piece you cut out of the base and staple this to the top of the post. (see, this is where you use the piece).

7) Take the hammer and drive in any loose or sticking out staple..... My cats love to chew on the edges of the carpet which leaves lots of carpet chunks on my carpet when I come home...

8) You now have a DIY scratching pad!

Even with the top piece in, you should still be able to sprinkle catnip every now and then since the carpet will stretch a bit. Might even not staple the top edge so you have a very slight gap for catnip adding. I've read that rubbing a carrot also acts as a kitten attractor..

The alternative is to find some thick sisal rope and wrap the post. Sisal is a stronger material, closer to wood than carpet which WILL get ripped to pieces when your kitten gets bigger and sharper claws... Sisal is stronger and should last longer. I clean up carpet pieces constantly, but then again, carpet was free for me and I have plenty to go through...

But I've read the Sisal stuff and you can find Sisal in hardware stores but mostly they seem to sell the thin twine, thicker is better.. I've found sources online....

My next post may be a sisal post but like you, I am a new kitten owner (and also a non-declawed kitty owner)..

Jay
 

Dennis Nicholls

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Sisal is the key. You can get 1/4" sisal rope at Home Despot et al. Sisal scratching posts are Fluffy Pumpkin approved! :)

Another key is having leather furniture. Cat's can't get their claws started in a smooth surface like leather so they leave it alone. An added bonus is that cat hair just comes off by passing a towel over it.
 

Jay H

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Thanks Dennis, I will check that out. I figure once my cats go through the carpet, I will either rewrap the whole thing with Sisal.... But I have a lot of spare carpet so I used that... Or perhaps make another scratching post as I can basically make them for free with all the spare wood I have... Maybe I'll make a cylindrical one as opposed to the square beam I have now... I've seen some of the store bought ones being cyclindrical in shape..

Jay
 

Ed Moxley

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Whenever he starts to scratch a piece of furniture, squirt him with a water pistol. Cats don't like them, and won't take too many squirts before he learns to leave the furniture alone. This won't hurt him, or scare him too bad........... :)
 

CaseyL

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All good advice. I've got several Sisal scratchers that I got from Petsmart. I also have a leather couch in both my theater and my living room, However I have seen leather destroyed by cats in the past. I also have a wing back chair that is particularly dear to me that I do not want destroyed. The water is also something I have had suggested to me, but I can't be there all day to keep them off. I may try to make my own sisal scratcher as suggested.

Another problem I have is them playing and chewing power cables. Any suggestions on this? I considered coating them with hot-sauce, but I'm not sure how effective it would be (if the shoes were reversed, It'd have the opposite affect). I just hung distracting toys in the areas of power cables, in hopes that they are more inclined to play with the distracting toy than the boring power cables. Hopefully this works.

Also just got a second kitten, about 22 weeks old, for a big brother to the little one. Hopefully they'll entertain each other.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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When the family cat was still young enough to scratch up furniture, we got the cardboard scratch boxes and leaned them against her "favorite" pieces of furniture. She learned to scratched the boxes instead of the furniture. Then we were able to hide the boxes behind the furniture and she still scratched the boxes instead.
 

David Hobbes

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get them declawed...don't believe the bad reviews given declawing.

Letting your cats outside is much worse than declawing them.
 

Rhoq

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I got my cat declawed a few months ago. I felt bad for doing it, but...

1. He was scratching things up to the point where he was being destructive
2. My other cat is declawed (I had her declawed at the same time she was fixed, 12 years ago) and felt and since the male cat is a bit agressive, not declawing him gave him an unfair advantage.
 

Jay H

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My two 6 months old male cats are not declawed and they fight each other and run around like tasmanian devils but they seem to know enough not to claw each other and I have been the subject of a few of their play fighting and have been ....ummmm... clawed but not clawed... I don't know how to describe it but the cats seem to know exactly when to extend the claw and when to simple paw the subject. I have been pawed when played with and I have been clawed too but watching them closely fight each other, I have not noticed them clawing each other, mostly playbiting and pawing them... YMMV and like I said I'm no expert.

Back to the OP, thread drift here...

While it is OK to use water guns to stop bad behavior, it should not really just be an end in itself, behaviorly it should be combined with correct behavior, i.e. the scratching post you are buying. If you see your kitty scratching your sofa, try to move the scratching post near the kitten and encourage the good behavoir and use the water gun to discourage the bad... I've read even taking your cat's paws and put them on the post to reinforce good behavior is important.

Jay
 

CaseyL

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Jay, that's defiantly some of what I'm looking for. Behavioral discipline. That's some good advice for the enhancement of the water sprayer. So far it's been going well, however my older one seems more prone to scratch than my younger one. I'm gonna try to assemble a scratcher as you suggested, only using sisal instead of carpet, and make sure it's by the wing chair, and maybe a second one for my bedroom. I may be able to enhance it a bit too, if I get creative.
 

Alf S

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Get used to them scratching things you don't want them to...it's the cat way..no matter how much you try to change their behavior.

Declawing is the ONLY way to live in peace and not worry every day if they will destroy a rug, sofa, curtain, bedspread, etc.

We adopted two declawed cats and one with claws...we had him declawed and it went smoothly...2 day stay at docs and he was ready and raring to go when he got home. :)
 

drobbins

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I have had cats my whole life including the 3 I have now. I have never declawed an outside cat, but did not think much when declawing the front claws of inside cats. One of my cats still "scratches" posts and furniture even though he doesn't have claws. Even though I have never seen any adverse effects of declawing, that link you posted will make me think about it, if we get another cat. It is very factual and appears to have less "hype" than other anti-clawing info I have seen. Thank you for the link. If we think about getting another cat, the choice will be either a cat with claws or no cat at all. My wife has a low pain tolerance.
 

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