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Discussion Starter #1
I am at the end of my rope and my husband is livid. Redecorating with $100+/sq. yard fabric.

My 11 year old cat has already scratched the top of the new chairs 37" up. He has one scratch post which he uses in our presence but secretly scratches furniture when we're not around. He was trained on a scratch post as a kitten but has always secretly scratched the furniture. He is an indoor and outdoor neutered male cat, very sweet disposition. I clip his claws every other week, now every week.

The chairs are now covered with aluminum foil, husband is complaining about the looks of things, I am so depressed.

We've talked about finding him another home, making him an outdoor cat (would be impossible, he loves us). The options I've thought about so far, please tell me what you think:

Have 2 scratch posts custom made 37"+ tall so they'll be as tall as he seems to like to scratch, cover with sisal (heard sisal is better than sisal rope), put a platform on top with notches so that there are 8 corners to scratch, cover with burlap or other cat attractive weave, sprinkle catnip as often as I can on it. Place them right next to scratched furniture.

Put sticky tape on the furniture, I hope not forever.

Spray lemon air freshener on the furniture.

Try Soft Paws.

If these things fail, I'll have to get rid of the cat. There is no way to keep him out of the living room with the open floor plan we have.

Any suggestions? Has anything stopped your cats from scratching furniture?

Hollie
 

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The best advice I can give is to try the corrugated cardboard cat scratchers. My cats, my brother's cats, and my parents cats go bonkers over those things. (my parents have de-clawed cats and they love them anyway.)

Hopefully the softpaws will work out for you...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've tried the corrogated cardboard, do Soft Paws work?

My cat just didn't pay any attention to the corrugated cardboard scratchers. I guess he's a vertical scratcher, he doesn't scratch anything on the floor.

Do Soft Paws work? I've read they don't and some still say they do.

Since my cat has a scratch post in the proper location and still goes for the furniture in secret, I suspect this is about marking behavior rather than a good ol scratch. In that case I might as well go straight to the Soft Paws rather than spend mucho dollars on posts. I guess they can't use the posts when they have Soft Paws on anyway?

Any info on Soft Paws success or failure appreciated, also my theory on marking.

Hollie
 

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Have you tried mounting the corrogated cardboard scratchers on the wall, at the height that he likes to scratch at? He very well may be scratching the furniture due to the inappropriate height/fabric of his scratching post. If this doesn't work, I think Soft Paws would be your best bet.
 

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Have a look at the "Zero" threads. His humans put SoftPaws on him and they are quite happy with the results.

Please don't get rid of your cat. I'm so thankful that my long-term boyfriend loves our cats as much as I do.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, read the Soft Paws threads, Balloons - for a try

Sounds like the Soft Paws have a good chance of working and I was happy to hear the tips about application. My cat does go outside sometimes and hunts, should I force him to stay indoors with Soft Paws?

I read about attaching helium balloons to the furniture and eventually the cat won't be able to resist attacking them, then pop! and one person says it cured her cat from scratching.

Have any of you heard of this method or tried it? I wonder how big the balloons should be and how to attach them. It mentioned using a fan to keep the balloons "dancing".

Hollie
 

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I would run, not walk, to the pet store and put the Soft Paws on immediately. Then you can always check out the helium ballons idea in case of an emergency.

I'm surprised that you paid $100 per yard, knowing that your 11 year old cat was a furniture scratcher-before getting his problem solved. That's a shame. Of course, to give your pet away after all these years would be tragic for your pet. The odds are against his ever getting another home. I'm sure you must love him. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Jeanie, I'll do the Soft Paws

Thanks for the advice, I will immediately get the Soft Paws. I don't know why I will need the balloons with the Soft Paws on?

I guess I didn't get so agitated before the new furniture was in place. Actually all the furniture isn't yet in place, just the loosest weave fabric which is irresistible to everyone, including cats. My cat doesn't scratch real bad, only when I'm not looking, so I didn't think.

I tried to plan the fabrics to be cat resistant, I would have chosen others if I didn't have a cat. I also wanted slipcovers so I could put them on for company and the cat wouldn't be able to damage them, but the decorator had the pieces upholstered.

This one loose weave fabric is the one he has gone for and that I must protect. I'm also considering having the decorator make slipcovers for these pieces so I would just pull them off when we wanted to see the fabric.

Still not nice to have a beautiful home and have it wrecked, I tried to make it cat friendly but decorators don't always do what you want.

Does one always have to make the decision of having a cat or having a nice home?

Very sad, I do love the cat so much, he's been with me through such difficult times.

Holly
 

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hollie,

we got a denim slip cover for our couch and the cats don't touch it. i guess the fabric is woven so tight that the can't get their claws in there. so ya, i see why yer cat is going after the loosly woven fabric.

i just want to say that it'd be a shame to choose material objects over a living pet. when you are sad, your new furniture isn't going to comfort you and when you wake up in the morning, your new furniture isn't going to be happy to see you... please don't get rid of yer cat over something silly like furniture..
 

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The reason I mentioned the ballons was in case one of the Soft Paws would fall off. It would be a shame to have beautiful furniture and have to cover it. Of course, we love our animals so much---- :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes, it's too bad we have to make a choice -

Yes, it's too bad we have to make a choice - nice furniture or cat.

Well, I guess some of you have cured your cats of scratching furniture? There is hope?

Do you think there is a difference in solutions if his scratching is from marking behavior versus scratching behavior? Theory...a scratch post won't cure marking behavior...and wouldn't it be marking behavior if he does it secretly and in many locations?

Where is the best place to get tall scratch posts, I've only found short ones on the internet, I'd like to get about a 38 inch tall one, no place seems willing or able to custome build one.

Jeanie, do the claws get long under the Soft Paws?

Hollie
 

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I have a kitty condo that reaches the bottom of the window that I got at Kmart years ago. I also saw some cat furniture advertised here on the site.

Cats scratch because it feels good, it marks their territory, and it provides stretching exercise! All three.

Nails continue to grow. However, the instructions will tell you how often to take of the Soft Claws and trim the nails.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just saw some nice looking cat scratch posts

I found this site for posts that actually look pretty good, durable, made to be scratched...and they might not look that bad with my new designer furniture.

http://www.angelicalcat.com/c1_scratch_posts.shtml

One post is 50" tall and another is 36", my cat has been scratching up to 37" which is the top of the nice loose weave chair. The top mounted square isn't very big but cats can sit on it, not lay down.

I've read the post needs to be tall enough (current post less than 3') for the cat and he would be taller than anything else in the room on this 50" post.

Do you think a post or 2 like this would stop him from scratching the loose weave chair if placed next to it?

Hollie
 

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I would still get the Soft Claws, to make sure. Cats like to be on a high spot, so if it's in the budget, get one of the higher sissal scratching posts with a perch. These are very nice, but I think you could get the same thing as a better price locally. You can get a sturdy and attractive post at a local discount department store or petstore. If the quality is the same, the cat is not going to look at the label. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Jeanie, I ordered the Soft Paws...

I tried to put them on but I had cut my cat's claws so short that the Soft Paws wouldn't adhere. I am now waiting for the claws to grow out some so I can really try the Soft Paws.

While on the Soft Paws site, I read a number of testimonials from people whose cats still scratched furniture despite their great scratching posts. It appears scratch posts are not a failsafe deterrent from scratching furniture.

I have looked locally for scratch posts but haven't found any that would work, they are all fully carpeted, not sisal.

I hope I am able to keep up with putting the Soft Paws on frequently, as must be done. And I am breaking a rule, my cat does spend a lot of time outside hunting and neighbor cats have attacked my neutered male. Putting on the Soft Paws I should make him an indoor cat which is actually impossible since he loves his time outdoors.

What a difficult decision, I guess I should not have redecorated or else done it with cheap fabrics or slipcovers. I have so much furniture, covering it and uncovering if I used say sheets, twice a day is a major job. Also, I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and just don't have the energy to keep up with covering and uncovering.

The new sofa I am considering is woven rattan on the entire back and sides, the arms are partially covered by fabric and rattan. When I first felt it I though it was too hard for the cat to scratch but now I am wondering if he won't consider it a fabulous scratch post.

Has anyone had experience with a cat scratching woven rattan or wicker?

Thanks,

Holly
 

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I know it is hard to teach a cat anything, however my mom said you can train them to scratch where you want them to and not to scratch where you dont. She said everytime you notice them scratching move them to their designated scratching place, where ever that may be.
My cats always scratch wood, that is fortunate because there is a wooden support post in my laundry room perfect for scratching.
Hope it works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I put soft paws on and got new cat post...

My cat's claws grew out enough and I put soft paws on all but side front claws, they were too short.

It's been a week and they are all still on but one. There must be some application tricks I don't know yet. So far so good. He can't jump up high on the counter like he used to and I do worry about him going outdoors. To think about life without having to worry about furniture scratching is heaven.

I bought an expensive 5 foot sisal (not sisal rope) cat scratch post. He doesn't like it as well as his sisal rope post, this was before I put on the soft paws.

Now I may need to get rid of the expensive new post. Does anyone live near Sacramento California and want this post?

Any tips on soft paws applications appreciated.

Hollie
 
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