Yet ANOTHER kitty with clawing problems... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Yet ANOTHER kitty with clawing problems...

Hi. You guys get asked about this issue all the time. It's all over the forums, but I haven't seen a situation quite like my Toby's. He had been stray for a year when I took him in last summer. He was about 15 months old, and 8 of his claws had been torn out at the bloody stumps. All his claws grew back, but he won't use scratching trees. He won't scratch sisal or carpet. What does he scratch? My upholstered furniture, mattresses, and luggage.

I've tried attracting him to the sisal scratch trees I bought. Nothing's worked. Catnip doesn't affect him. Dangling a string or feather in front of the cat tree makes him just watch til he gets bored. Same thing if I scratch on the tree to show him how. What can I do?!? I've been living for a year now with my furniture covered with trash bags, duct tape and double-sided sticky tape and I am sick to death of living like Crazy Cat Lady!!!

Toby would have been long-gone if he were not an angel in grey fur. He's the most loving cat I've known, but something has got to give. I'm at the end of my rope, here.

(Maybe I should upholster my sofa and recliners in sisal rope...*snicker*)

Thanks so much for letting me rant a bit.
We really need help with this.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 03:55 PM
Tom Cat
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Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 415
Have you tried confining him to an area where the only things available to scratch on are things he's allowed to use? I don't have a lot of experience in this area but it seems to me it would be similar in some ways to acclimatizing a shy cat to a new home--a small space at first, until you see the behaviors you'd like to see, and then slowly and gradually allowing him into one area of the house at a time, and always supervised, until he's consistently using his scratch trees and kitty carpet?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 04:29 PM
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Location: St. Albert, AB, Canada
Posts: 3,199
One thing you might consider is that you just haven't found a texture he likes. Just like people cats have preferences.

I'd try making a post at home, using a texture that you already know he likes, upholstry/luggage fabrics.

Get a peice of wood, or a few boards, depending on the size you want. Cut them and nail them together in a sort of a-frame style, many cats want to scratch up/diagonally. Or you could just upholster the whole thing and lean it against a wall...

Anyways, get some cushion stuffing and cheap fabric from your local fabric store, then use a heavy duty stapler or nail gun to attach both to the board.

You can do it 'nicely' so it looks decent, and he has something he can scratch to his little heart's content. It wouldn't hurt to rub catnip on it either

To deter him from being interested in your other furniture try spraying vinegar on it. Cats hate that smell. Citrus, like lemon juice, works too.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 04:35 PM
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Location: Cat Tree, CA
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I agree with Library's suggestion But, you can also try calming collars that could calm him down for a period in time, because he might be scratching more things due to anxiety or because he wants your attention. There are also sprays that you can get that are odorless for humans, but smell atrocious to animals, therefore you could spray the areas where he's scratching that you would prefer for him not to scratch. You do have to reapply the spray, but i think that sounds much easier than bagging and taping your furniture. I really like the idea of making something out of the fabrics that he has a keen sense for, but the only thing that would make me nervous about that idea is that he may associate the post you make him with the rest of the furniture that's made out of the same material. He may think, oh it's okay to scratch her furniture because that's what my post is made out of. Who knows though, cat's are very interesting and smart creatures, all are individual. Just try different things and see what works best for you and your pet Everything is usually done in trial and error, and at least in a forum like this, you can get suggestions from people who have already experienced what you're going through
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 07:46 PM
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Location: Mason City, Iowa
Posts: 383
Try the cardboard style of pad only a few bucks at Wallyworld. Or wrap a board in a carpet scrap. Only one of my guys will even paw at sisal. Dig at the scratching pad in front of him but pretend he can't have it.
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