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How to stop a determined cat from scratching?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
My cat is about 5 yrs old, a neutered male. He was adopted from a shelter when he was 2 yrs old or so. He has a scratching sisal rope thing on the floor and a tall cat tree - both of which he loves to shred. I trim his claws about every 2 weeks. I have tried soft paws on him repeatedly and they just don't stay on - he chews them off within two days of applying them. I've gone through 2 packages of just doing his front feet and never got them to stay on longer than 2 days. He has taken to using my stairs and anywhere there is carpet to scratch and shred too. It's new carpet, but he did it to the old carpet too. I squirt him with water when I catch him but he always comes back to scratch more later. I can't exactly cover my stairs and floor in my living room with double sided tape. I have tried upside down carpet runners, foil and even a shock mat to keep him away but he doesn't seem to learn not to scratch and rip at the carpeting. The horrible word has been brought up a few times as a result - declaw. I've seen declaws and I hate that mutilation but it's getting to the point that it's either declaw or confine him to the basement where there is only ceramic tile - that's where "his" room is that I put him in overnight. I know he'd go stir crazy like that though. He is indoor only and has lot of toys to occupy him. He likes his carpet cat tree and his sisal cat scratcher - I've tried the cardboard ones and he just doesn't like them. I spray his cat posts regularly with catnip spray and sprinkle more catnip there too - he loves catnip. He does use these scratching areas several times a day so I know he likes them. I just need him to stop tearing up the carpet on the floor. I thought trimming his nails frequently would help but it doesn't. He sometimes doesn't have the best litterbox habits, but he only likes to pee on the bed in the basement so we keep it covered with a shower curtain liner that the pee can't get through. He doesn't do it that often, maybe once a month or so. But I'd hate him to stop using the box due to a declaw.

Any ideas?

Michelle and Sterling
post #2 of 3
Yes. No guarantee it's going to work, but it's worth a try. Feliway spray. Spray it liberally where he's been scratching that you don't want him to every three days. See if that helps.

Also, there are sisal mats. Perhaps purchasing several of those and lying them over where he's been horizontally scratching?

The other thing to try is either a can of coins to rattle at him when he's scratching where you don't want him to - or an air can that you make "hiss" (don't point it at him, it can hurt him with the freezing) when he's scratching where you don't want him to. The loud noise or the hiss will startle him. Then the other thing to do is to praise him to high heaven and maybe give him some treats when he's scratching where he should. The idea is to get him to associate good things with appropriate behavior, and "icky" things (that don't hurt him) for inappropriate behavior. (We never found that water worked). He needs you to help him understand what's good as much as he needs you to help him understand what's bad.

Also, I don't know if where he's scratching is in relation to where he naps, but cats love to stretch and scratch when they wake up. So if he sleeps near where he's scratching, consider those scratching pads or more posts for him to use.

Hope these help,

post #3 of 3
By more cat condos, scratching posts, etc... and put them near the stairs (and other places where he scratches) so if he feels the need to scratch maybe he will scratch the condos rather than the carpet. My cats only scratch on their condos. They like to scratch the condos in front of me and I always tell them they are being good. Also, pet stores sell things to spray on your carpet that presumably would prevent cat from scratching. I have no idea how good that stuff actually is, though.
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