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don't want to get rid of my cat!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello all,
I am new to this site...my first post. Nice to see all you kitty-lovers out there.

I do have a problem with my female tabby, Sammie. I got her though an animal shelter in July '06. She is about 1 1/2 years now. At the time I lived with my parents and she is now a happy indoor/outdoor kitty. Loves the outdoors!

Then I started looking for a condo to purchase, all the while intending to bring Sammie along with me. Had I thought ahead clearly, I would not have let Sammie go outside at all. I moved in to my new condo last April and Sammie went nuts. She was still very kittenish and raced around the rooms and scratched everything.

My mom said I could bring her back to her house. I agreed since I live fairly close and come over all the time. Of course, I miss having her in my own place.

The problem is, Sammie scratches everywhere, and is ruining an antique rug and chair. There are a few scratching posts around the house, but she still continues to scratch wherever she happens to be.

Mom said she must go! I don't know what to do...I am afraid to bring her back to the condo as she will have to stay indoors, and the scratching issues continue.

Any advice? Has anyone had success making an indoor/outdoor only indoors?

I have had pets all my life and never got rid of one...this is traumatic.

Thank you for your time,
post #2 of 7
I would bring her back with you. That way, your mom's antiques are safe, and you can devote some time to training her. First, establish a routine with several play times during the day, including one right before bed. Use strings, laser pointers, feathers, or whatever other toys she likes to get her to run all over and get some of the energy out. If possible, establish specific times so that she can get used to having that outlet at a certain time.

Since she loves the outdoors, consider getting her a harness and leash so she can go out on supervised walks (I really like the Walking Jacket--it's very secure). Again, try to do this at specific times and/or use a specific phrase so that she'll know when it's walk time.

Since scratching up the furniture is an issue, you may want to consider Soft Paws--little rubber caps that cover the ends of the claws to blunt them. Regular nail trimming is also helpful in reducing the amount of damage done. If the nails are too long, they can catch on things inadvertantly--she may not even be meaning to scratch on things some of the time.

In order to train her to use the appropriate scratching furniture, you will need to redirect her to the right stuff when she starts using your good chair or sofa. Reward her with treats or petting when she does use the right thing. Sometimes a squirt of water from a squirt bottle or a shaking a can of coins may get her to stop what she is doing. Then pick her up and move her to the appropriate place.

The most important thing is consistency. Good luck!
post #3 of 7
By a couple of scratching posts or invest in a cat tree. If you have one it may not be enough for Sammie.

Then sprinkle it with cat nip. Each time she scratches at the wall or furniture firmly tell her "NO" and[gently] push her away.

When she uses her scratching post, acknowledge it with a positive. "Good Kitty" or a treat are positive options. Heck, Luna is 3 years old and I'm still telling her "Good girl" when ever she uses a scratching post.
post #4 of 7
Try using Feliway on the things you don't want her to scratch. It works wonders for mine!
Good luck!
post #5 of 7
I agree with re-directing her to the scratching posts or cat tree if you have one once you see her scratching something you don't want to scratch.

When you see her scratching furniture, give a firm no and then pick her up and put her on the scratch post and make her *arms* do kind of scratching on the scratch post or cat tree.

If you see her using her cat tree or scratch post, just give her praise.

Just pretty much what the others said up there.

Good Luck!
post #6 of 7
I agree - bring her home with you. She'll adjust to living indoors. We have six feral rescues and they don't bolt for the door ever!

When you first bring her home with you, make sure you play A LOT with her. You will have to help her work off all that excess energy she's going to have from not being out on her own. Invest in a lot of wand toys. We also have one of those toys that shoots out round semi-hard foam discs. The kitties go nuts chasing them!

Get a number of different types of scratching posts. Remember - kitties like to scratch and stretch when they wake up, so placing them right next to places she settles in for sleeping is a great idea. For now, toss some throw blankets over the back of your couch and chairs.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to manage it. You can also do things like temporarily tape aluminum foil to the sides or downward arm part of a couch.

And cat furniture - like a cat tree or something - is a fabulous, fabulous way to give kitty her space, her vertical and climbing needs, and she can scratch it to her heart's delight. We have one scratching thing in this house - it's that slanted cardboard thing? The rest of everything we have are cat trees. Lots of them. And our six don't scratch on the furniture at all. Never been a problem.

BTW - clipping claws really helps minimize the damage. Not being used to it, it may take a while. We did it one claw at a time while they were asleep - because they wake up the minute you touch them. We'd get one claw a day. Took a couple of months for a few of them. One took over a year before we could get all his front paws at a go. But a treat each time helped.

Good luck!

post #7 of 7
What about using soft paws?


I think these are so cool. I don't use them because the cat I adopted was declawed by her previous owner, but I plan to use them for any future cats that I end up adopting.
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