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Need to get 7 cats to stop scratching furniture.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Me and my brother are planning on finding a place and renting together, and I have a big fur family, and his only conditions on them were:

1) Dont let them ruin his $2000 leather couch (understandable)
2) Dont let them ruin his speakers (Also understandable).

The only guys I'm worried about are my cats. They will scratch it all to pieces.

I called around the vets in town gathering prices for "soft paws"........about $300 for all 7 cats which is less than I expected. But then I called one vet and she told me they aren't worth it, you spend the money and if the cat is a big scratcher they can fall off within a couple of days.

She reccommended bitter apple spray.....I'm planning on buying some of that today to test it out around here to see if it works, but I'm wondering if anyone else has any other ideas? (Declawing is NOT an option. I dont want to start a debate on that, but I'm saying now, declawing is cruel, plain and simple, so not an option and not worth reccommending.)

Any other options I would really appreciate though! Thanks.
post #2 of 6
I'd buy a huge kitty condo since you have seven cats.
The kind that takes up a whole wall. Make sure that it has lots of sisal scratching posts.
You might also get a few cardboard ones that lie on the floor, but you MUST make the posts more attractive to the cats than the sofa and the speakers and have MORE OF THEM since you have so many cats.

An attractive throw can be put on top of the leather sofa when you are not around. The cats will lie on it instead of scratching.
Good luck.
post #3 of 6
bitter apple spray will only stop chewing, not scratching. I have never found it to work with Gizmo.
post #4 of 6
I would spend the money you would have spent on soft paws and buy a lot of things like cat scratchers and trees and stuff.

I just bought a new couch and my cats started scratching the back, so I took aluminum foil, and wrapped the back of the couch and the side arm, it doesnt look to good, but the cats wont scratch if there is foil on it. Maybe you guys can wrap foil on the couch just when you guys first move in, for a month or so, that way the cats never get a chance to scratch it, so maybe when you take it off later, they wont bother, especially if they have lots of their own things to use.
post #5 of 6
I just found this at petco, this would probley be more eye appeling then foil...

post #6 of 6
With seven cats, they're all going to have different scratching preferences. I totally agree with the suggestion that you should take the money you were going to spend on soft paws and spend it on a cat condo and scratchers. I'd get sisal and carpeted posts, I'd get the cardboard things that lie on the floor, I'd get a sisal mat and turn it upside down (ours love scratching on the foamy part) - and I'd have lots of them (as I do!).

Also - cats LOVE to stretch and scratch when they wake up, so bear this in mind. Move scratchers next to where you find them sleeping (which is another reason cat trees/condos are so great - they can scratch right where they are when they wake up).

Also, as cats are territorial, they're going to find the move stressful. I'd consider purchasing feliway plug-ins.

You can encourage scratching where you want them to scratch by using a little bit of catnip spray (but use it sparingly as cats do become "immune" to it if it's used frequently), and you can discourage scratching where you don't want them to with Feliway spray and any number of things - aluminum foil, double-sided sticky tape, the product above, taping balloons along the back of the couch that leave them swinging at cat height....

Test the Feliway on a part of the leather couch you can't see. There is often a product used in treating leather that attracts cats to it - sometimes to pee on it. We've found Feliway doesn't harm anything, but we don't have anything leather. If it doesn't discolor it, get a bottle of Feliway in addition to the plug-ins, and squirt a little on the seats, the inside arms and the back (where your back rests) of the couch to help discourage kitties from peeing on it (just in case).

I'd also treat the couch like the counters (at least in our house) - and discourage kitties from considering it part of their furniture in any way. If they jump up onto it, give a short, sharp puff of air in the face, say "no" and set them on the floor. Especially if you have one (or several) pieces of cat furniture, they won't need the couch too.

Thankfully we moved into our house after we had the cats. We knew to purchase something they can't get their claws into. Our couches are covered in a microfiber material. Only one of the six scratch on them - and it's been two years, and there's not a mark from him despite his claws (which we do keep clipped - that will also help). We also put throw blankets over the couches - it protects them from cat hair, which is the problem with couches that are material, not leather. We whip them off when we're having company - and no need to vacuum, because the hair stuck to the blankets, not the couches!

But if there's no way to keep kitties off the back of the couch (one of our kitties' favorite places to sleep when we're in the living room), you may want to consider using throw blankets over the back of the couch to help protect it.
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