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At my wits end!!!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Jake and Elwood are my loving, sweet, adorable kitties and I am at my wits end with them!

In the past, I had gotten my last two cats declawed, not knowing what the procedure actually entailed. Once becoming enlightened, I decided to not declaw my two new friends! Humane, right? Well, here's the thing... THEY ARE WRECKING MY HOUSE!!! No matter what I do, they feel the need to claw on everything! They have wrecked my couch and are systematically working on ruiningmy carpet!

Elwood let me trim his claws, but Jake won't let me near him. He sees the clippers and that's the end of that.

Does anyone know of a good, natural sedative or calming agent I can use to get him to let me clip him? I really really do not want to have to declaw them but if they continue to wreck the whole house I may not have another choice.

HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!
post #2 of 22
OK first of all, deep breath and calm down. This is fixible, you just have to reprogramm them-

Follow this link and see if you have done anything or all of it suggested. Then come back to this thread and talk to us. And thank you for asking before declawing.Scratching issues?

I am also moving this to our Behavior forum. Also age has a great deal to do with this, how old are these kittens? Don't let these Blues Brothers give you the Blues!
post #3 of 22
Like hissy said, there are ways to get them to focus that activity on objects you want them to claw (catnip's good to rub on scratching posts, for example). This will also lessen over time.

I have a declawed cat, but the previous owner had done it. Prior to Oliver I had never had a declawed cat as I personally believe it's cruel, especially if they could get out and have to defend themselves... keep in mind that's my opinion without knowing the entire declawing-procedure (can imagine the graphical nature of ripping them out ).

Give it time and follow that link and all will take care of itself. Sorry to hear about the damage done though, that will probably take longer to heal.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
WOW! That's a lot of information! I'm SO glad I asked!

My Blues Brothers (so glad you caught that - some people don't get it) are just over a year old and we adopted them this past December when they were 5 months old. Cute as can be but they're really working my nerve!

I have tried several of these remedies to no avail:
- The deterrent sprays don't work
- The double sided tape is laughable. The just peel it off, drop it at my feet and laugh in my face as to say "Silly human!"
- They have a HUGE scratching post thingie they DO use, but it seems they prefer the couch.
- Squirt bottle, clapping and yelling don't work. They just get indignant and come back later and try again.
- Soft Paws is a no go. How am I supposed to put "tips" on his claws if he wont even let me near his cute little feet?

I DID however just run down to the warehouse in my company and got a roll of bubble pack and will also try the aluminum foil and citrus spray. I'll try anything at this point!!!
post #5 of 22
Another method that I use only works when you catch them in the act of clawing inappropriate items. As I catch the cat in the act, I hold them firmly, give them a little shake and firmly say "NO". I will then carry them over to the cat tree, put their paws on the tree and rub them over the tree in a scratching motion, all the while praising and loving on them. A treat at this moment can do wonders (reward the good behavior rather than focusing just on the bad).

I've never lost a sofa, chair or carpet in 25 years using this method. Sometimes they don't always know what's right and you have to show them.

Good luck and don't give up!!

P.S. Love the Jake and Elwood names....the last kittens I adopted to my fiends were named Jake and Elwood....the Blues Kittens.....
post #6 of 22
I hate to chime in here with this, but it might be important. Cats like different types of materials for different types of scratching. If your couch or furniture is made out of a loose weave material, it is VERY attractive to your cats. We have one chair that we have simply "donated" to the cats. We have provided carpeted cat trees, a sisal post, and a scratch mat that has a rubbery back (we turned the sisal side down because they seemed to like the rubber part better) for the cats to scratch. This stopped all scratching of all furniture except that chair with the loose weave.

If you're ever redoing your home, buy a VERY tight weave material for your furiture!

Kudos to you for trying to work with your kitties rather than harm them. It can be a real commitment, but it works - when you find the right combination and placement of appropriate scratching posts combined with redirected behavior.

Check your pet stores around you - we just saw a motion-activated air can. If you placed several in favorite scratching places, when activated it hisses. The only problem is that humans activate it too, so it'd have to be turned off if you wanted to sit on the couch!

post #7 of 22
I also keep a few different types of scratching posts around, they have a carpet, sisal, and one of those cardboard ones. And like LDG I have one chair that has been "donated" to the cats. It's my computer chair the folding type with the carpet like covering on the seat and back. I figured since I only paid $12 it didn't matter to much, and I needed to choose my battles. They are both pretty good about letting me clip their nails, usually I try to do it when they are half asleep. And sometimes bribing them with treats also works.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate all this wonderful advice! It's nice to know that I am not alone and that Jake and Elwood are normal (relatively speaking, I suppose!)

I'm still in a quandary about getting to Jake to clip his nails. Since he wont let me near his paws to to it (even sleepy - he wakes up pretty quickly if I try to clip him then), is there any NATURAL calming agent/pill/liquid anyone recommends? I spoke to my vet and he could not recommend anything as he said there are too many product son the market and each animal reacts differently.

post #9 of 22
When I clip Russell's and he doesn't want to co-operate, I get my other half to help me. He holds Russell and I clip away. Though if you do get someone else to help, they should be confident around cats and know how to hold them without causing injury or discomfort. And most importantly, they should know that it is possible that they could get scratched.

You can help Jake become a little more accustomed to naill clipping by occasionally examining his nails. You can extend his nails individually and let them retract during a time when he's quiet. And offer him a treat. He may come to know that contact with his paws and nails can be a good thing and be a little more relaxed when his next pedicure appointment rolls round .

Some remedies for calming include:

1) Feliway Plug-in/Spray - emits feline facial pheromones to promote well being and calm.

2) Bach's Natural Flower Rescue Remedy - homeopathic remedy for calming nerves.

3) Catnip - can relax some kitties, though if you have a cat like my Esper, you may find that you have a kitty bouncing off the walls rather happily and eventually calming down though that could be because she's tired herself out .

These three are ones which I have used and find that they do work. (Though catnip is a treat in this household.) And it is true that each cat reacts differently to different products, though your vet could have at least made suggestions to you.

It does take patience, but it's worth all the smooches and cuddles in the end.
post #10 of 22
Revival Pet Health sells calming drops. I have used them in the past with good results. I don't have my catalog handy- I loaned it out, but you can go to their website and find them. They have several different blends.
post #11 of 22
My cat used to claw my husband's chair. Caught her at it one day and, being there was nothing else handy, and it was probably very stupid of me, I sprayed air freshener in her direction. A little of the spray fell on her and she didn't like it. She hasn't done it since. She has, however, ceased to ignore the carpeted play platform thingie he bought for her and she claws the heck out of the carpet on that. She gets told, quietly but with great enthusiasm, that she's a good girl when she claws on that thing.
post #12 of 22
Kava Kava is natural and works as a calming agent. But I would talk to your vet first before giving him this. I don't know if their are any holistic pet stores in your area, but in Tucson we have one and they sell kava kava specifically for cats and dogs and lets you know the proper dosage for them.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok - my hubby and I just tried, as a joint effort, to clip Jakes nails and it was a no win situation. I was only successful on two claws. I think this might be an all day thing....

Elwood - on the other hand was such a good boy and, without Bruces help, let me do them all!!!
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
By the way --- I also tried the bubble wrap thing. And while my couch looks very silly, I think it might be working... the boys really don't know quite what to make of it, but haven't scratched the couch in two days! YAY!
post #15 of 22
On clipping take it a claw at a time. Even one a day if you have to.
post #16 of 22
Originally posted by TONIM68
By the way --- I also tried the bubble wrap thing. And while my couch looks very silly, I think it might be working... the boys really don't know quite what to make of it, but haven't scratched the couch in two days! YAY!
Thats great to hear, hopefully you can get them redirected to the scratchers you have in your house. Best of luck to you.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the helpful hints!

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, we got Jake's nails clipped tonight and even though he was none too pleased, it wasn't as traumatic as it could have been! The secret? My girlfriend and I wound up doing it. She is a fellow cat person and my husband is not as kitty-savvy so it was much easier. It did take two of us to hold him down but we finally got it done. I guess this is just another reason why she's my best friend!

Just wanted to let you know!!!
post #19 of 22
God bless you for making the right decision not to declaw...seems like you have all the advice you need on how to stop the scratching so I just wanted to congratulate you on your decision since you might not be feeling sooo good about it right now.

Small additional thought(and i'm sure you do this)... positive reinforcement...my little treasure Toby got to stage where every time he used the scratching post he wood look around at me expecting me to say in a delighted tone "good boy !". It really worked.
post #20 of 22
originally posted by Tobycat
Small additional thought(and i'm sure you do this)... positive reinforcement...my little treasure Toby got to stage where every time he used the scratching post he wood look around at me expecting me to say in a delighted tone "good boy !". It really worked.
Now THATS positive reinforcement! That is so cute.

I just wanted to say thank you for not declawing. I am glad there are people actually willing to train their cats. Most wont even bother... clip, clip, snip, snip...
post #21 of 22
Thank you Toby was adorable. I wish a furbaby like him on all of you
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, my last two furbabies (rip) were not so fortunate. I didn't know what the actual procedure was. But now that I am more informed I am doing all I can to try to keep their claws trim and my furniture in tact. Although, some days it seems a losing battle!
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