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Hello everybody!

I have just bought my first cat and I love him very much, but I have a little problem that I hope somebody can help me with. Because he likes to scratch my furnitures every time I'm at work, but when I get home he does nothing. So how can I teach him not to scratch the sofa when I’m not home?

Tiger is only 4 months old.

Gina
 

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My wife and I are having a similar problem. We recently (2 days ago) got our first pet together, a kitten we named Maya.

Anyhow, when it is playtime (in her mind) she LOVES to get into spots near the furniture that we can't reach and climb up the sides. She will also climb up onto furniture that she is more than capable of jumping onto.

Here is our problem. We bought a Cat Condo for her http://www.petco.com/product/8937/Claw-Pals-California-Kitty-Condo.aspx?CoreCat=certona-_-ProductList_Cat_4-_-Claw Pals California Kitty Condo-8937 to act as a scratch post and a hiding place for her. It has carpet and sisal, but she doesn't seem able/willing to dig her claws into it like she can our furniture.

She is very lovable and affectionate at the moment, and we don't want to ruin that by yelling (as it is ineffective anyway), but usually even if we're watching her, by the time we catch her she is up to where she was headed, or has moved on. If we do catch her in the act, and place her near her scratch post she just darts right back to where she was. Any suggestions?

There are many different methods to keep cats from scratching. Here are a few that I am aware of:

-Cover the areas of the furniture that the catch scratches with tin foil
Our house would look like a spaceship if I covered everything we didn't want her to scratch
-Buy an alarm that senses movement, so whenever the furniture is touched a very loud noise goes off
Then we couldn't use our living room :/
-Spray the furniture with bad tasting spray found at the pet store Any suggestions? The bottle that I saw was $40. As far as I know I only have access to a Petco
-Physically block the area that is being scratched
Too much furniture
-Buy multiple scratching posts, some horizontal and some vertical
We currently just have the one, but it was $40. That could get expensive real quick. Or do you recommend taking it back and buying different types of cheap ones?
-The cat might be bored while you're gone, get the cat new and exciting toys and/or cat DVDs with animals, birds, and fish
Does it right in front of us/to get to us.
-Glue those little plastic caps on the cat's nails
Prefer not to do this
-Declaw :dis
Nah, couldn't do that to her

I swear! I'm not trying to be difficult no matter how it seems. Just seems like most of those would be ineffective/not fit my situation.
 

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If you can get your cat/kitten to chase a laser pointer...you can do what I did and introduce the scratching posts in the process of play.

My male, Jethro, was tearing up our carpet, but I just couldn't get him to use the scratching posts. Then, I bought a laser pointer and while he was chasing it, I pointed it on the scratching post, and sure enough, he went after it.

Once he did, he scratched the post a few times, and really got into it.

I did it a couple times, and now he'll go and use the scratching post naturally and I haven't heard him use the carpet since. :)
 

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Young cats *do* like to "squirrel" up the furniture, which happens to be how our Squirrely-Jo got her name that stuck. Originally, she was Fabrette, from the PePe LePew cartoons. Anyhow, once the cat becomes too big to do that, they *will* stop and usually before much (if any) damage occurs.

The best thing to do is to make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult.

The right thing easy:
First, buy several different types of scratchers. They don't have to be expensive, but you may need to 'experiement' a little bit to find what she *likes* to scratch: flat, sloped, vertical, cardboard, sisal, carpet, tall, short...there are many different combinations.

The wrong thing difficult:
IMO, I would *not* use a bitter spray to stop scratching, as that truly only works if the cat *bites/licks*, and they don't do that when the scratch ... they use their feet/claws. I don't see how that bitter stuff is going to deter the cat because they will no associate the scratched couch when they finally attempt to groom their feet and have that terrible flavor. Now, if you use a product with a strong *citrus odor* to keep the cat from enjoying clawing right there (where their clawing would release the strong citrus odor) I think that would be effective.
There are cat-products of wide, double-sided sticky-tape that you can put on your furniture temporarily, just until the kitty acclimates to scratching her various *approved* scratchers and not the furniture or door-jambs. Yeah, the tape looks terrible, but *every* time she tries to scratch it, her paws will encounter the sticky-tape and most cats cannot stand to have sticky stuff on their feet and she will deter herself and turn to "the easy things" that are allowed.
Best of luck!
 
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