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Cure Scratching or Get Rid of Cat - Help!!! Redecorating - Page 2

post #31 of 60
Thread Starter 
Tuxedokitties, your situation is so close to mine, having to stop the behavior fast...and my cat, Archie, is a tuxedo. You gave me great ideas.

I have some fabric left over from the most attractive chair, so perhaps I can make a post with some of that on it. I don't have a room to keep the cat in, but I'll think about that.

I absolutely would never declaw a cat. My cat is so people oriented he's more like a dog than a cat. No arrogant behavior, no ignoring, he always has to be with me or my husband, loves company and performs for them on his post. I love him dearly, there isn't a mean bone in his body.

I cut his claws myself and he doesn't fuss. As I said, I cut them so short (but they didn't bleed) that the Soft Paws wouldn't adhere, so I'm waiting.

I do believe this furniture scratching is about marking, I have some Feliway spray but the plug in sounds much easier. I wonder if there is any other way to prevent the scratching as marking behavior? Archie is not anxious or uptight, he's just marking and stretching, his claws are so short he can't be enjoying "unsheathing". Will the Feliway work on a laid back cat?

I'm going to mull over your comments and see what I can use.

The subject of protecting furniture seems to make some people quite emotional. I don't think it's unreasonable to want my cat and my furniture in good condition.

Open to more suggestions,

post #32 of 60
Hollie, I believe that many of the old timers here get a bit passionate because a lot of times these threads end up where the cat is taken in to be declawed, and that frustrates many.

Cats scratch to stretch their muscles, mark their territory and sharpen their claws- it is a natural response for them, something they cannot help. Providing them with tall scratching posts, nice sturdy condos will help the situation out immensely. Pam Johnson-Bennett has an excellent book out called Think Like a Cat that I would recommend you purchase. She devotes several chapters to this subject, giving great tips and guidelines to help out the cat owner.

Good luck!
post #33 of 60
Thread Starter 
I talked to a new interior decorator who said she has 2 cats that don't scratch her furniture. She has 2 scratch posts with sisal (not sisal rope) 36" tall. Every day her husband plays with the cats on the post and really loves them up on the post.

So today I ordered a 50" sisal post for $128. Expensive but if it works it's worth it.

I'll try their routine, and everything else you all have suggested and hopefully something will work.


post #34 of 60
Have you considered declawing him? I know alot of people are very much against declawing but if the other option is getting rid of him I would think that would be preferrable. I hope I don't offend anyone with that suggestion but I would hate to see the cat tramatized with a new home at the age of 11. His paws would heal shortly and everything would be back to normal...

Or maybe trimming his claws as short as possible?
post #35 of 60
Pepper, You are right that the people here are very strongly against declawing. But, because we have other excellent threads in which we debate declawing, I won't get into that here.

Luckily Hollie is wanting to solve the scratching problem by training the cat to scratch new places rather than solving the problem by mutilating the cat. Even though it may be difficult, I appreciate the fact that she is willing to spend the time and money to do it right.
post #36 of 60
Thread Starter 
I think declawing might really screw him up mentally and break his heart, I can{t do it.

I{m going to try everything else and if I have to, put on Soft Paws.

It{s a horrible dilemma because some of the fabrics I love the most have loose weaves that I know would be attractive to him, so I{m thinking...I REALLY want this fabric...but what about the cat, It{d break my heart if he scratched it up.

There are bigger problems in the world so I must keep some perspective.

Thanks for the tips,


PS...Sorry for the typos, I{m in Mexico and the keyboards are different.
post #37 of 60
Whatever I have to say will probably be repetitive, but I'll say it anyway. First of all, you have to offer a number of alternatives - (high . 6 ft, or more,) scratching posts, and alternatives on the walls or floors, and a lot of activity (fisherman's hooks, cardboard cartons, paper shopping bags, plush tunnels, laser pointers, etc,). Buy some throw rugs, and turn them upside-down. Consider taking your cat(s) outside on a harness or leash (take reading material), or screening a balcony or porch. Cats can be destructive. Decide what you can expect, and then ask what you can demand from your "children"! If you adopt a cat, you are resonsible for it!
post #38 of 60
Thread Starter 

Sounds like you have encountered this situation.

You weren{t repetitive, can you explain how you use fisherman's hooks, cardboard cartons, paper shopping bags, plush tunnels, laser pointers¿ I can imagine you leave the cardboard cartons and plush tunnels out for the cat to play in, ditto for the shopping bags¿

My cat is indoor-outdoor, spends lots of time hunting. He is an 11 year old neutered male that looks a lot like the cat in your photo.

Just ordered the 50 inch tall scratch post, good idea on rugs...would any attractive upholstery fabric do¿

Thanks for the tips, Ill try them all when I get back. Now in Mexico which explains the wierd punctuation in this post.

post #39 of 60
The toys (laser pointer, etc.) are to tire him out, as he is less apt to get in trouble that way. I've found that anything covered with sisal, like scratching "trees", boards attached to the walls, or the back of throw rugs works best. JC has always left our furniture (leather and oak) alone, but was really doing a number on our Oriental rug till we got him lots of different things to sharpen his claws on. It's important to offer both vertical and horizontal surfaces, and to make sure that the vertical surfaces are high enough that the cat can stretch out fully (JC reaches my hip bone when fully stretched, and I'm 5'6", so don't underestimate. We got a 9 ft. tree).
M.A.'s suggestion of giving the cat one piece of furniture to use is a good one. We have a heavily upholstered dining room chair in our study that is "his", and he really enjoys shredding the upholstery. We have a second chair in reserve up in the attic. I've been collecting old chairs for a number of years, asking neighbors and family members to give us a chair or two for the cat(s) when they get new furniture. You could also probably find something cheap and usable at a Salvation Army store. Whenever JC uses his chair, tree, etc., we praise him, and if he forgets and starts using the Persian rug, we clap our hands and tell him "no". I'd really try to avoid declawing him just because of the furniture. You could very well end up with more problems, like peeing on the new furniture (that happened when my sister got one of her cats declawed because he had scratched the baby. She really regrets it.) Hope you're enjoying Mexico!
post #40 of 60
Thread Starter 
First I paid a bundle for a new 5 foot sisal (not sisal rope) covered post. I tried everything to get the cat interested in it but he prefers his old shorter post with sisal rope. I think he really loves the platform on the top to sit and play on.

Does anyone live near Sacramento, California and want this scratch post?

His claws grew out far enough to put on soft paws. I did it one week ago and only one has fallen off. So far so good. I really hope they work out and don't become a real hassle to keep up with. The thought of no more furniture scratching is heaven.

Any tips on soft paws application appreciated.

There is hope for my cat and my house!

post #41 of 60
Good news!

If you have questions about softpaws application, check out the www.softpaws.com website application instructions and q&a.

If that doesn't help, PM me & I'll see if I can help b/c I used them on my cats for several months.
post #42 of 60
The soft paws should last about 4 weeks or so before some come off. Cats shed their claws, so the one that fell off may have been ready to come off on it's own. I never found them to be a hassle. I no longer use them however, because my babies love the tall sisal rope posts that we have.
post #43 of 60
Originally posted by hollie9
Does anyone live near Sacramento, California and want this scratch post?
You can donate it to your local shelter and take a tax deduction for it!
post #44 of 60
Thread Starter 
I read somewhere that it works well to cut the vinyl caps shorter at the back of them before applying. Do you ever do this? They do seem pretty long.

Great idea about the donation.

post #45 of 60
The softpaws come in different sizes, so you might want to get a smaller size if they're too big. But if you already have them & can't return them, you might try cutting them down - I've never tried it, but it sounds like a good idea.
post #46 of 60
Any news on your cat not clawing your furniture? How are the soft paws staying on?
It sounds like you have found a great solution to your scratching problem, as well as a cute solution. I love the way Soft Paws look on cats
post #47 of 60
Originally posted by hollie9
First I paid a bundle for a new 5 foot sisal (not sisal rope) covered post. I tried everything to get the cat interested in it but he prefers his old shorter post with sisal rope. I think he really loves the platform on the top to sit and play on.

Does anyone live near Sacramento, California and want this scratch post?

His claws grew out far enough to put on soft paws. I did it one week ago and only one has fallen off. So far so good. I really hope they work out and don't become a real hassle to keep up with. The thought of no more furniture scratching is heaven.

Any tips on soft paws application appreciated.

There is hope for my cat and my house!

Cats don't always immediately go nuts over scratching posts. Some take time. But to help with the process. Rub some catnip on the surfaces. Leave some treats on the post at different levels. And if he still does claw your furniture, instead of arming yourself with spray bottles, take him to the scratching post and show him how to use it.

Play with him around the scratching post, running the toy against the surfaces so that he is able to swat at them and sink the claws at times into the surfaces and scratch a little. This has worked for my female cat Esper who discovered that it's quite nice to use the scratching post.

And any time that he uses the scratching post, reward him.

I've never used soft paws so I can't comment on them.

Is the furniture made of a material that he prefers to scratch? If so, you could maybe attach samples to some of the surfaces to the post. That way it matches the existing decor. I don't think you can prevent a cat from scratching. It's part of their natural behaviour. You can teach them to not scratch a particular item by giving them alternatives. And be prepared to try more than one or two alternatives.
post #48 of 60
I just put Soft Paws on my new kitten a couple of days ago. I had to trim down the base of the vinyl caps to make them fit, and I was having problems getting the air bubbles out of the glue stem while applying, but my husband held the kitten and we got them on and they stayed on! One came off and had to be re-applied, but it and the others have stayed on. We're very pleased with them. I can't wait to get the colored kind, but the clear ones did make it easier to see how much glue you're getting in the cap. Now he's not clawing his way up the backside of the couch to see us. And we'll have time to train him properly to the post.
post #49 of 60
Thread Starter 
My cat is trying like the devil to get them off, biting and licking but so far only 3 off. I really hope if I keep putting them back on he will stop trying to get them off.

The Soft Paws site says they do lick them a lot at first and you will have to replace them more often at first. God I hope that is the case here.

I just couldn't give him surgery.

He is 11 years old, he has had asthma since a kitten but doesn't seem to have any really bad attacks. Is my cat considered old now? He doesn't act it but maybe I've detected him slowing down a bit about jumping up on high things.

As cats age do they stop scratching as much?

I can't wait to hear how others are doing with their Soft Paws.

PS: I can't tell if he's still scratching the furniture since I have tape all over the cat-attractive chairs. My other furniture is out being recovered so our house is almost bare...decorating takes longer than I thought...and no two decorators think at all alike!

post #50 of 60
Just because a cat ages, it doesn't mean they will grow out of scratching. It's their natural instict. It's part of being a cat. Scratching allows them to stretch, sheath their claws, and mark their scent in an alternative way to spraying.

Have you played with him or encouraged him to scratch the scratching post after putting the soft paws on?

Soft paws seems to be a prodcut made to minimise the damamge that can be done by a cat. It's not one that will change behaviour.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by surgery, but please do not declaw your cat. This will only lead to more problems than solving any existing ones. I'll provide you with a link to a thread that discusses declawing. This site is anti-declawing. Please take the time to read this thread. There are more threads referring to decalwing, just use the search function to find them. Some are rather heated discussions as emotions do boil.

Declawing thread

I am really interested as to what other methods you have tried since putting the soft paws on to encourage him to scratch elsewhere.
post #51 of 60
Thread Starter 
I got the new, expensive, tall, sisal (not sisal rope) scratch post and have been playing with cat on it all the time. He still goes right over to the old sisal rope post and seems to love that while never going to new one. I think he doesn't like to climb tall post and there is a platform on the old post he loves.

He never scratches furniture in front of me so water squirts are useless.

I put a citrus air freshener on the nice furniture, don't know if it's that or the sticky tape I have all over it that is keeping him away.

I just hope Soft Paws work for him, they would be the answer.

The surgeries I mentioned were two that were on this long post, one for declaw and the other for cutting some tendons so that claws flop and won't scratch. I couldn't do either.

post #52 of 60
It could possibly be that your cat prefers sisal rope rather than just sisal. Instead of getting another stand or getting rid of the new one, purchase some sisal rope from the hardware store and attach it firmly to the existing post. This can be done by using an adhesive. Ask the people at the store and say that it is for a cat stand.

Or alternatively, cover the new stand with the same material as the furniture. That could entice him to scratch the new post.

Try leaving some treats for him to find on the new post for when you are gone. That can entice a cat to use a scratching post. Have you tried sprinkling catnip on the post for him?

Are there any other differences between the two posts other than the sisal and height? What about smell? Is there a smell from the new post that is irritating your cat? Such as glues.

Remove a small portion of sticky tape from the furniture and see how your cat reacts while you are away. This would be the only way that I can think of for you to determine whether it is the sticky tape or the citrus scent.

Surgery isn't the answer. That will cause more problems than just scratched furniture.
post #53 of 60
Thread Starter 
I posted before that they had been on 3 weeks but now seeing my previous post, they've been on 2 weeks.

My cat bites them and three have come off. Since they were going to last about 4 weeks, I didn't replace his tear offs thinking they all would fall off soon.

Any SoftPaws users have a routine for putting them on...do you replace fall offs if it is almost time to put on a full set? If so, each Soft Paw will be on a different schedule for replacement and you'll be working all the time replacing.

There must be a routine that makes sense, what is it?

post #54 of 60
Personally, I replace them as they fall off. If your cat really seems to be chewing on them a lot, you can try applying bitter apple spray or cream (a taste repellent found in pet stores) to the caps to discourage chewing.

I found that with repeated applications, the cats grew to accept them more readily, and eventually left them alone.
post #55 of 60
Thread Starter 
I replaced the missing ones last night and some don't seem to fit right. The side claws are bigger than the rest of his claws, the Soft Paws only go on part way and the tips stick way out, making his claws much longer than they normally would be. Do you think this means I should get large size instead of medium?

He bit and pulled off the last set, injuring one of his claws so it was tender. I sprayed Bitter Apple on his paws this time and he hasn't touched them. Hooray!

Archie is an american domestic, he is long, not near the size of a Maine Coon cat. But if these soft paws are so small they only go partway up his claw, maybe I do need larges for the big claws?

post #56 of 60
Hi Holly,

I sounds like you may need to have your kitties claws trimmed first. This should be done regularly (monthly or at least bimonthly). Your vet can give you easy to follow instructions so that you can do this at home and reduce any stress....that you may have.

The soft paws are used to save your furniture, but the trimming is something that will benefit your kitty.

Seasons Greetings,
post #57 of 60
SoftPaws size chart

If the claws are trimmed correctly & you're still having trouble fitting some of them on the larger claws, you may need a combination of sizes.
post #58 of 60
Thread Starter 
I don't need to trim his claws more, the reason they don't go on right is that the soft paw is too small at the base to fit all the way up on the claw. This especially applies to the side claws which are thicker and wider at their base. Currently many soft paws are attached halfway down the claw, where they are at maximum width.

I'll try the large size and see what happens.

Archie is acting a little depressed since he being prevented from biting his soft paws due to the Bitter Apple spray. It sure works though, no more biting at the Soft Paws.

post #59 of 60
I'm so glad the Softpaws are helping. The person or people who invented those things deserve a huge THANK YOU!

My biggest & smallest cats need a combination of sizes too (the big cat uses med & lg, the small cat uses med & small).

To keep Archie happy, make sure you spend a little extra time playing with him & loving him after you've put on the claws or the spray.
post #60 of 60
Congrats! It sounds like Soft Paws is working for you and Archie
Keep us posted on his progress
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