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How do you make sure a cat won't scratch your furniture?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm asking this for a friend of mine who doesn't have internet. She wants to get a cat or 2 soon, preferably kittens or young cats. She doesn't want them to be declawed but shes terrified of them scratching up her furniture. She has all new leather furniture. If the cats don't take to the scratching post, her furniture is history. What should she do?
post #2 of 13
lots and lots of scratching surfaces - posts with sisal, carpet, paper scratchers, etc.
Soft claws can also be a solution....
post #3 of 13
Everything Carolinalima said was right on the money, and here's another suggestion: You can also put doublesided tape or attach aluminum foil to areas you don't want the cat to scratch, temporarily, until the cat learns those are not good scratching areas. They don't like the way those things feel on their paws, and won't scratch there.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by srrh View Post
Everything Carolinalima said was right on the money, and here's another suggestion: You can also put doublesided tape or attach aluminum foil to areas you don't want the cat to scratch, temporarily, until the cat learns those are not good scratching areas. They don't like the way those things feel on their paws, and won't scratch there.
But you cant cover an entire couch with foil, what if the cat jumps on the couch and starts clawing the cushions?
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Degu_2009 View Post
But you cant cover an entire couch with foil, what if the cat jumps on the couch and starts clawing the cushions?
They usually don't - they do it on the arms, usually on the front, as they are stretching. It's a good thing to have a scratching post next to the couch.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
They usually don't - they do it on the arms, usually on the front, as they are stretching. It's a good thing to have a scratching post next to the couch.
Ohhh ok Also, aren't scratching posts telling the cats that scratching is okay to do? Wouldn't it give them the idea that you don't mind them scratching and they can scratch up your couch?

If this makes any sense, I'm just trying to figure out how a scratching post makes cats not want to scratch anything else anymore.
post #7 of 13
I have two young-ish kittens and a new couch. Even though my couch isn't leather, I have thd double sided sticky tape, and about 3 scratching posts plus a cardboard scratch pad. I also trim their nails as well. So far my couch is okay, however if they are seen scratching more on the furniture than the posts I will probably get soft claws.
post #8 of 13
The logic behind scratching posts: Cats have scent glands in their paws. They are marking when they scratch, so they are likely to return to the same place when the urge strikes them.

The suggestions in this thread are good ones, but it would be difficult to guarantee that a cat *never* scratches furniture. My guys aren't particularly destructive and don't go to town on our furniture, but they will, for example, sometimes catch things with their back claws as they jump. Our bureaus have the scars to show for it.
post #9 of 13
You can't teach a cat not to scratch--it is an innate (sp) behavior--even declawed cats do the scratching motion. My male cats have not scratched my couch in months (Jack since he was a small kitten)--the new kitten has a fascination with it, but the tinfoil will return in her honor and we will bring out more posts for her. Just like with kids, with pets you have to expect accidents, if you don't you might as well not have them (kids or pets).

Leslie
post #10 of 13
Hi,

if your friend has leather furniture then I'm affraid she'll have to live with scratches on it- especially if she wants a pair of kittens. Leather is particularly sensitive to scratches.

Even if she manages to teach them not to use the furnture (tin foil and all) they will get hooked up on the leather sooner or later during a wild game of catch or when simply jumping onto the sofa. She would be better off getting older cats that won't play quite as wild (as kittens).

If she has a problem with scratches on her furniture she would have to either cover up the furniture at all times to protectet it- or reconsider getting these cats.

I do think it's great that she isn't considering de-clawing

regards,

christine
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Degu_2009 View Post
Ohhh ok Also, aren't scratching posts telling the cats that scratching is okay to do? Wouldn't it give them the idea that you don't mind them scratching and they can scratch up your couch?

If this makes any sense, I'm just trying to figure out how a scratching post makes cats not want to scratch anything else anymore.
Scratching is a natural instinct for cats; it is how they sharpen their claws. Even declawed cats will make 'scratching' motions. You can't break a cat of scratching entirely; you can teach them that there are acceptable and unacceptable places to scratch.

That being said, because the drive to scratch is so strong, even the best trained cats will sometimes scratch inappropriate places; your friend will have to understand and accept that. If she can't perhaps a cat is not the pet for her.

If she insists on a cat, she might look for adopting an adult who already has been declawed; but even then, as declawing is only on the front paws, she may get some marks--if the cat jumps onto or off of the leather furniture, s/he may well mar it with the back claws.
post #12 of 13
I hope noone gets mad at me for this. But I REFUSE to declaw my cats and had never heard of soft claws before but what worked for me to prevent scratching on the sofa was a spray bottle with water in it. When they would scratch they got a squirt. They never seemed bothered by it just the shock of h2o made them stop and after about a week they stopped all together. My cats all get baths and dont seem any worse for the ware from this technique and all of them now know when they see me go for the h2o bottle they better stop whatever they are doing
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3CatsN1Dog View Post
I hope noone gets mad at me for this. But I REFUSE to declaw my cats and had never heard of soft claws before but what worked for me to prevent scratching on the sofa was a spray bottle with water in it. When they would scratch they got a squirt. They never seemed bothered by it just the shock of h2o made them stop and after about a week they stopped all together. My cats all get baths and dont seem any worse for the ware from this technique and all of them now know when they see me go for the h2o bottle they better stop whatever they are doing
Although you can't always be around when they scratch, so it renders the technique pretty much useless lol.
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