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Scratching Posts

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yet another thing I meant to post before but never got to it.

I'm not sure if its to late or what, but I have a bit of a problem with my cat and scratching. I have bought him two scratching posts, one that hangs on the door knob (covered in rope),and one that is a free standing one (with carpet covering).
Well Mai Sai won't have anything to do with them. When I moved down I picked up a throw away love seat for my room (got to love craigs list) which I just cover up with some nice sheets. Well he loves to scratch this, and I dont have a problem with it, it is a throw away anyways. But the problem is he has started trying to scratch the upstairs one, which is NOT a throw away, and worse, not mine. This loveseat is owned by my room mate, and she hates it when the cats scratch it. When her cat does, she will yell and even slap the cat. (yes I have tried to talk to her, but there is only so many times I can explain why this is bad when she gets the results she wants, her cat has stopped) and I'm afraid she will start doing the same thing to Mai Sai.
As for what I have tried. I have tried putting catnip on both, both dried and spray, but Mai Sai doesn't care much for it (silly cat). I tried moving him to post a few times and he just runs away, but to be honest I didnt do it to much, since the post is downstairs and the loveseat is upstairs. and I've tried putting his claws on it.
My next plan is to put it next to the loveseat (took me forever to talk the room mate into that, she hates clutter). But I dont hold out that much hope for it. Does anyone have any suggestions? I would rather not spend alot of money on this, but I will if I need to, I can't handle Mai Sai being slapped for this....Should I start getting after him for scratching the downstairs throw away?
post #2 of 16
Try clipping nails more often or put on the nail caps SoftPaws. I find my guys usually claw more when they need them clipped.

Does the treehouse have the sisal rope? And how big is it. If under 4 feet tall, they usually don't use them very much.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Try clipping nails more often or put on the nail caps SoftPaws. I find my guys usually claw more when they need them clipped.

Does the treehouse have the sisal rope? And how big is it. If under 4 feet tall, they usually don't use them very much.
hmm the scratching post is pretty small, I would say about 2 feet. What should I look for as far as a new one? what is the most cost friendly?

speaking of nails, what are your thoughs on the pedia-paw thing (I think thats how its spelt). My room mate has been talking about getting it for her cat, its a thing that is said to file the nail down gentl....
post #4 of 16
I am no expert (I have scratching cats here too! ), but here are my suggestions:

1) You can get anti-scratch spray for furniture, etc. at the pet store. I haven't looked at this too much, but it might be something worth looking into.

2) You should have at least one scratching post in each room with the furniture you don't want him to scratch. It should be tall enough for the cat to stretch his whole body (3 feet tall-ish). My cats seem to like the sisal rope best, as I think most cats do. I can't seem to find a post that is tall enough for a decent price, so I think I will make one myself (square piece of plywood, part of a fence post, sisal rope wrapped around). You may want to have a variety of materials for him to scratch - maybe a cardboard scratcher in each room too?

3) I wouldn't let him scratch ANY furniture. If you are letting him scratch one but not the other, you might be sending him mixed messages.

4) As you said you are doing, move him to the scratch post whenever you see him scratching ANY furniture. When you see him using the post, praise him or give him a treat. The way I see it, you want to make scratching the furniture undesirable (hence the spray/sticky tape/tin foil) and scratching the posts desireable.

Hope this helps!
post #5 of 16
for trees, check eBay or Armarkat [some eBay sellers sell Armarkat trees, but check shipping - it's often more than the tree!]. Armarkat usually has free shipping.
the Pedicure or the PediPaws will probably not be a good idea - most cats [IMO] wouldn't sit still for that. i use clippers like these.
post #6 of 16
Your scratching "posts" are much too small. Those over-the-doorknob contraptions should be banned; they're a total waste of money. Consider what cats scratch outside: trees (among other things). Consider: cats stretch when they scratch. Ergo: for a scratching post that a cat wants to scratch it needs to be like a tree and tall enough for a full-length cat to stretch from tippy-toe to tippy-toe. Well, it's kind of messy having trees inside, but the tree principle that applies is that the post needs to be sturdy and NON-TIPPY. And it needs to be as tall as your cat is stretched out. Here's two good rules of thumbs for buying a scratching post: it needs to be about three feet in height; the base should be half as wide as the height, with enough weight in it so that you can tip the post 45 degrees in any direction and it doesn't fall over.

And your cat will love you if you get a post with a perch on top.



(actually the one pictured is too small on top; I think they make a bigger one now)

Then there's another whole discussion about scratching surfaces: cats have preferences for different types of surfaces; obviously you want to cater to your cat's preference. The idea is to get your cat to prefer scratching your scratching post over the furniture.

And there's the discussion about location that's already been touched on. The post needs to be located where it's convenient for the cat. You can't expect a cat to walk to the other end of the house to scratch when he wants to scratch NOW. Many cats won't even walk to the other side of the room. So the post needs to be located right at the place where you're tryiing to redirect the scratching. Later you can move it, but always have at least one in each room, as mentioned.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
hmm wow, k a good post (from the looks of the online shops) is about $50+ (for the cheapest). I should point out I'm a college student with about $300 free to last me for the next two months. There is simply no way I can get a post for each room, not unless I want to eat cardboard for lunch. Is there an alt. I can try? What about making one? I'm not sure if I could do it, but maybe I could find a thick branch I could bring in? What would be the best way to keep it from tipping over if I did though?
post #8 of 16
The key to getting them interested in the scratching post is to turn it into a game with a dangling toy on top that they have to climb up to get. The climbing up forces them to sink their claws into the post. From then on, you've got to say "good kitty" every time they use the post and "No" whenever they use the furniture. It's worth the effort.
post #9 of 16
I don't know if you'll want to bring a branch in right away. Unless it is dead, it will need to be dried (I think that's how it works). And even in the case, it could have bugs in/on it. If you have access to someplace with trees, it might be worth taking a look to see what you can find. Even if you have to hold off on bringing it in for a few days!

I don't think it would be difficult to make a scratching post. Go to someplace that sells lumber and see what kind of scraps you can get. You might be able to get all the wood you need free/really cheap. However, even if you can't - for the base, you can probably get thick MDF/particle board really cheap for the base. It's pretty heavy and should do for the base. For the post, you could use a fence post/similar shaped piece of lumber, but that might be a little expensive (haven't built any fences lately, but I know posts are the post expensive part!). The scratching post I have uses a hollow cardboard tube that looks somewhat like a wrapping paper tube, but thicker cardboard. I'm not sure where you could get those, but I bet you could fashion something if lumber was too expensive. A dead branch might work too. Sisal rope is pretty cheap as well.
post #10 of 16
One of my kitties likes to scratch my couch and I have almost eliminated this by buying him a scratching post with sisal rope that's about 3 feet tall (I think the thing was over $40 on sale which sucked for me because I am also a student, but totally worth it in terms of couch protection). He used to have some smaller posts that worked when he was a kitten, but part of scratching is being about to stretch out and the little ones don't allow it. At first (after I brought home the post), he kept scratching the couch, so I put a big bag of food in front of his regular scratching area to obstruct his access...he did seek out another place, but I started yelling "no" when I caught him and redirected him to the post (which is by the couch). He "got it" within a week. (As an aside, my female cat acts like a little snot - when I yell at her brother, she actually immediately runs to the post and scratches to be "the good cat" ) His couch scratching, luckily, mostly happens when I come home from somewhere, so I am there most of the time to redirect. Sometimes he forgets and starts to run toward the couch, but he understands "no!" and then changes direction.

I did buy the No Scratch spray and it didn't work for me. Neither did double sided tape (they just pulled it off and played with it). And I also found the doorknob hanging things to be worthless. They do like the cardboard horizontal ones and I have those in the rooms without a couch. They have a big cat condo too, but for some reason dont scratch the sisal on that one.
post #11 of 16
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
post #13 of 16
...and speaking of cardboard, some cats prefer scratching cardboard!! In pet supply stores you'll find scratching "boxes" (as I call them) that have a surface made from corrugated cardboard. They're an alternative for a cat that likes a cardboard surface and also likes scratching either on a flat surface, or an angled surface (with the box leaning up against the wall) and the best part ---- they're relatively inexpensive. You might want to buy just one first to see if your cat likes using it. Not all cats do.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
...and speaking of cardboard, some cats prefer scratching cardboard!! In pet supply stores you'll find scratching "boxes" (as I call them) that have a surface made from corrugated cardboard. They're an alternative for a cat that likes a cardboard surface and also likes scratching either on a flat surface, or an angled surface (with the box leaning up against the wall) and the best part ---- they're relatively inexpensive. You might want to buy just one first to see if your cat likes using it. Not all cats do.
you know, my cat does like cardboard, but sadly, he likes to eat it, not scratch it. You should see the bite marks on my books and folders
post #15 of 16
IMO you want a treehouse that has multiple levels (3 or more), some boxes to hide in and a basket, or bed-like tray (curved). Something that looks "busy" and fun to climb and jump from level to level.

As far as the electronic file - forget it. I think you will be wasting your money. Maybe a dog would sit still enough to have his nails filed down, but cats...no way. I'm used to clipping nails and I know my guys would never hold still long enough to even atttempt to use one.
post #16 of 16
I agree that a tall scratching post is best. All of mine are at least 36".

I also had great success with this product that you spray on furniture to stop them scratching on it :

http://www.petco.com/product/6524/Pe...-for-Cats.aspx

Jeta decided my brand new arm chair was a great scratching post. She used it every day, several times a day. I sprayed the No Scratch on it and she hasn't scratched on it a single time since. I see from the Petco customer comments that it doesn't work as often as it does. I really didn't expect it to work for me but boy it did!

I have to respray the chair every 2-3 weeks but that's OK with me. Maybe over time she'll get out of the habit of scratching it and I can stop using the spray.
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