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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Cat scratching at the carpet.

Anyone have a cat that is a carpet scratcher?

If so, any luck on finding the best scratching post/pad/etc. to redirect the attention so you don't end up with destroyed carpet?

My ''hard stray'' turned housecat, Jethro, won't pay any attention to the scratching posts & pads I have purchased, even with catnip rubbed on it (still trying in hopes of good luck, though).

So, since we are renting an apartment, and preferably don't want him to mess up the carpet...we need a solution!

I can't even trim his nails right now (he's not 100% confident yet, so it may be a possibility in the future, but not right now, which is why a good scratching area is pretty important for him.

My female, Martha, LOVES sisal scratching posts. Never had an issue with her, but Jethro isn't learning by watching her, apparently.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 09:05 PM
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Re: Cat scratching at the carpet.

Every cat has a different preference on scratching posts so it's gonna be trial and error 'till you find the right one for him. He may like one that is flat instead of slanted or vertical instead of horizontal...he might like one with rug instead of cardboard or sisal. You can make a really cheap one by attaching a piece of rug remnant from the store (free) with a staple gun to a piece of plywood. See if he likes it.
Also, if he has picked particular spots on the carpet, try putting some double stick tape there and see if that deters him.
Lastly, I'd take him to the vet or the groomers and get is nails trimmed. It's usually under $10 and well worth it until you can manage it yourself.
Good luck!

Victoria
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 10:59 PM
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Re: Cat scratching at the carpet.

Hey there! I have the exact same problem. Basil is new, he's a 3 y/o long haired tabby, and I've only had him for 5 days, and he's completely different to my old cat!! My old cat just slept, ate, and got stroked. This fella is completely barmy!!!

Basil will decide to scratch the carpet under the door as I'm trying to sleep, and it's a rented house, so it shan't be a happy landlord when he finds his carpet ripped up!

Some suggestions I'm going to try are spraying him on the bum with a water sprayer and saying NO, if this doesn't curb it, I am going to try double sided sticky tape where he scratches (cats hate sticky paws!) and also getting a big thick rug or old carpet to put there instead (then that way at least he isn't ruining the carpet.

A more pricey option is SoftClaws (basically you glue rubber nail caps onto the moggies nails... however I will give the cheap options a try first! ) The users appear to have pretty good success though.

I have bought him a rope scratching post which I place where he claws the carpet, and he does use it, but it seems he likes the flat surface too (grrrr). I thought maybe he wanted to get out, but I have just let him out of my room (I can't sleep when he's clawing away) and he's returned to sleep on my bed, so for now I'm just going to leave the door open.

Best of luck!!!! I will let you know how we get on. Blast rented houses!!!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cat scratching at the carpet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mewson
Some suggestions I'm going to try are spraying him on the bum with a water sprayer and saying NO, if this doesn't curb it, I am going to try double sided sticky tape where he scratches (cats hate sticky paws!) and also getting a big thick rug or old carpet to put there instead (then that way at least he isn't ruining the carpet.

A more pricey option is SoftClaws (basically you glue rubber nail caps onto the moggies nails... however I will give the cheap options a try first! ) The users appear to have pretty good success though.
I'd have to see him do it in order to spray him, but he always does it out of my view. Clapping my hands once and calling his name gets him to stop, but that's only a temporary fix since I know in a while he'll turn around and do it again. He doesn't know what the fuss is all about. LOL

I may try the sticky tape, since it's in the corners of the carpet instead of in general walking areas. I have seen those sold at pet stores but never thought about them since they're advertised for furniture protection and that isn't my issue. Go figure I don't think of other uses for it than what's on the advertisement. Where's my brain?

SoftClaws is a great product...if you can actually touch your cats' paws. LOL My female, Martha, has to go to the vet to get her nails trimmed, and Jethro...no one can trim his nails so far. If you try, he ''turns feral'' and you're gonna bleed. I'm sure trimming his nails would help decrease his desire to scratch, but since that isn't an option quite yet then getting something appropriate for him to scratch is the option of choice.

A giant rug at the front door is going to be added, because I know he did use the one at our old place (and of course, the movers failed to pack it....lucky me!)

I'll have to look into those, too.

Thanks and glad to know I'm not the only one with the 'issue'. Jethro's been indoors for about 8 months now, but he has a huge trust issue so I just now was able to take him in for vaccinations with confidence the vet would be able to give it to him without a fight (as long as he remained in the carrier). One day at a time!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 11:16 PM
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Re: Cat scratching at the carpet.

I think the most important thing you can do is find a post he likes. You know he likes carpet so you can save yourself a bunch of money by getting a piece of wood (wide enough for him to strand on with all four feet plus some room to widen his back legs to scratch) and buying some carpet that is similar to the carpet he scratches in texture and fiber length. Nail carpet to wood and voila! he should like it. Next step is prevention and redirection. If he wakes up and jumps off the couch or walks into the room get up and be ready to stop any attempts at scratching, entice him to his post. If he doesn't mind being carried plop him on his post so he can feel it under his feet. When he feels the urge to scratch he should be promptly brought to the post. if he likes to be pet in a certain spot do that once he finishes using the post. If not then just let him be to use the post. Ideally if you are home or asleep you should lock him into a room without the carpet he likes to scratch so he does not get to rehearse the negative behavior (which is rewarding) and learn to do it when you are not there. I never suggest spraying a cat (I am against purposefully causing a cat to have a fear reaction), especially a cat who doesn't even fully trust you yet. Sticky tape doesn't cause the same sort of reaction that spraying does, the cat does more of a "what the heck did I step in" shake of the paws. it doesn't appear to release the same sort of chemicals being sprayed does so I am not opposed to using tape for most cats, depending on their reaction.

It does sound like he likes horizontal posts (although I personally would suggest having at least one horizontal and one vertical), if you want to buy some posts instead of making them try the cardboard ones that are flat. Other than those I don't know of horizontal posts on the market. I had to make Willie his post out of fabric similar to our couch, it worked like a charm because it felt as good as the couch but his scratching never got stopped short.

If your cat does not like a post then I really would not expect him to stop scratching, cats NEED to scratch and will go to great lengths to do so.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cat scratching at the carpet.

Of course I do not expect him to stop scratching. I just want to redirect his scratching to something appropriate versus the carpet.

I cannot pick him up (at least, not yet. That would set us back on the trust factor) and I cannot lock him in a room without carpeting while I'm gone because the only room that would be is our tiny bathroom. Way too small for him to stay for any length of time, other than when I need to catch him easily for a vet visit or something.

Walking up to him automatically makes him cower and ready to run, no matter what he's doing. He's such a skittish cat, it's insane. I don't know what his history is before I got him, but I wish I did!

My cats have several vertical scratching posts, and now have 2 horizontal ones, so now I just have to try other things to try to find what works for him.

I will have to try the carpet board in corners to give him something he's allowed to scratch, that isn't the carpet on our floors.

Where do you go to find carpet pieces, though? I have no clue!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 01:27 AM
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Re: Cat scratching at the carpet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PureMuttz
I will have to try the carpet board in corners to give him something he's allowed to scratch, that isn't the carpet on our floors.

Where do you go to find carpet pieces, though? I have no clue!
You might try to find the people who install carpeting, they often have scraps left over. You might even be lucky enough to find one who has the carpet taken out when renewing. Sometimes people get rid of carpet that's still quite good. You could try contacting your local refuse collection to find out where old carpet goes.

Poor Jethro, I hope he settles down sometime soon. Zenobi is not too bad, and I think her carpet scratching is a bit of frustration when she can't get me to understand what she wants, and wants now, not in half an hour. I don't care. The carpet is old like me, and the house is mine.

I'm not joking when I ask have you pretended to scratch the posts and things yourself while Jethro is watching. Then point at him, and then the post. If he's at all getting attached to you, he might just understand. I show Zenobi everything and tell her what I want. I'm not sure how much she understands, but as I'm sure you know, 'Cats are smart'.

JusJim
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cat scratching at the carpet.

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Originally Posted by jusjim
I'm not joking when I ask have you pretended to scratch the posts and things yourself while Jethro is watching. Then point at him, and then the post. If he's at all getting attached to you, he might just understand.
Jethro is very attached to me, but he hasn't learned from my (or Martha's) actions at the post.

I do try to teach by showing. It works great with the kittens I fostered (especially since I usually have long nails, so I can actually scratch the post. I really think it's just finding the right scratching material for him.

We'll figure it out eventually. LOL
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 12:35 PM
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Re: Cat scratching at the carpet.

Regarding the SoftClaws you're right - I'd never get the bloody things on him!!!

It's great that Jethro has you! Carpet clawing is a very common problem though, but I guess it's not so bad if your in a home you own. I'm slightly panicking now because we are actually moving very soon, and he's managed to claw up the carpet (like Jethro) corners pretty bad in two rooms...... the deposit return is looking very unlikely now...!!

I have put some old rugs at the spots, the only problem is, he does it from each side of the door, so I'm going to have to get MORE rugs! (Or like a previous post, just go to a carpet company and see if they have any scraps.) D'oh. Seems to be working though, as I can sleep easy if he's just ruining that one - it may be encouraging, but also like you, I can't catch him in the act! If I ever get up to stop him, he does, then I sit back down, and I hear the dreaded sound again. Only upstairs is carpeted, but it's where he is most happy, and when we leave the house for the day he manages to open the door from the dining room and sneak upstairs. I normally shut all the doors upstairs, but when I did this, he clawed, so now I just keep all the doors open. He's very good anyway, I thought he might mark his territory in the bedrooms, but luckily he just goes outside when we're back home.

I'm still uncertain to try spraying him, as we haven't had him long.

Some good suggestions you have, so I wish you the best of luck! I'm sure he'll gain confidence soon, it's great he has someone kind looking after him! Bloody cats, why do we love 'em??....
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cat scratching at the carpet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mewson
Bloody cats, why do we love 'em??....
I blame it on the fact that he'll get on the couch (or bed) and snuggle with me, purring like crazy, and I know he only does it with me.

It sure makes it hard to stay mad!
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