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Cats, mice and furniture

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have a question that I hope I can get some advice on. We used to have a cat. She would often scratch at the furniture. She became ill and we had to put her down. Since that time, we have gotten leather furniture. Our old furniture was just that, OLD. It didn't really matter too much that the cat scratched it, although we did try to discourage this behavior.

Now we are interested in getting a cat to help curb our mice population. Is there a way, other than declawing, to make sure the cat doesn't scratch the furniture. And if not, can a declawed cat catch mice?

Any and all advice is welcome!
post #2 of 6

Declawing a cat to save furniture always makes me feel sad for the cat. I know if our home with over ten feral cats now, we have one armchair upstairs that is the designated scratching post, and our other furniture is still in great shape.

There are alternatives to declawing, and this is an anti-declaw board for many reasons. Most of our members in other countries, live where de-clawing has been banned for being a cruel and inhumane and uneccessary practice.

Most of our United States members are anti-declaw because they know other alternatives exist, but in order to use these other alternatives, you have to be patient and know it does take time, training and redirection of a cat's natural tendency to scratch-
post #3 of 6
Anderson we don't de claw in my country, but even if we did i still wouldn't.

I have a leather suite and Rosie my two year old has caught it many times with her claws. I bought a spray from the pet store called "Pet Behave" which has a citrus smell and i'm certain other countries sell similar ones.

You just spray where ever the cat tends to go towards to claw and once they smell it they stay away but it does take a lot of patience and remember never to spray it on or near the cat.

Sophie on the other hand who's 10 months old has never scratched any furniture because i think it's because she has Rosie to keep her occupied.
post #4 of 6
Why not adopt a cat that had been declawed by previous owners? Shelters and pounds always have housecats that have been abandoned, and there are quite a few that have been declawed. (I wouldn't know who would spend the money to have a cat spayed and get a four-paw declaw and then just dump the cat at a shelter, but it happens about once a month at the one where I volunteer.)

This way you can put your mind at ease over the furniture, save another cat from getting this dibilitating surgery, (it really is hard on the cat, I've had two bad experiances personally with declawed cats), and give a shelter cat a loving home.

And yes, declawed cats can still catch mice. However, declawed cats should never be allowed to roam oustide becuase they are completely defenseless and can be killed easily by a dog, racoon, or another cat. Only consider getting a declawed cat if it is to be indoor only, please!

Clawed cats can be taught to leave furniture alone with a little work. Mine wouldn't dream of touching the living room furniture. Merlin actually chased the other two away (when they first came to live with me) because they would try and sharpen their claws on the furniture, and Merlin knew it was wrong and would stop them.

And please, do some research on this procedure so you know why we are against it. A lot of vets in the U.S. still treat it as though it's something every cat should have done, and that just sickening.

When I was little my mom insisted on getting our kitten Eby declawed "to save the furniture". That was the biggest mistake of my mother's life, and to this day she won't own up it. After the surgery Eby turned mean. She used to attack me and any house guest at random, and learned to use her teeth to inflict just as much damage as her claws would have. She went from a normal sweet loving housecat to acting like a ferral who had never encountered humabns before. My arms and legs are still scarred from her. (Somehow she always acted like an amazing sweet cat to my mother. Never once tried to hurt her.) I felt as though it was partly my fault she was like this because I didn't stop my mom (though I was only 10 at the time), and so I refused to consider getting rid of her, because I knew she'd be put to sleep. I lived with my mistake for 9 years before she passed away, and in those 9 years I never once got to even pet her. This is an extreme reaction to the declawing surgery. No one I've met in person has ever heard of this happening to a cat. But all I know is that since she's gone my house has become the major hang out for my friends, because they aren't afraid to come over anymore. I can only imagine what it would have been like to have a sweet and loving cat while I was growing up, and how much fun it would have been.

Hans is the other personal case, and one that is really common in declawed cats. He's 14 years old, and I welcomed him into the family in late September. he had been declawed 12 years ago. The surgery removes the first digit of their toes. Imagine learning to walk with the part of your toes that have the nail on it amputated. You'd have to learn how to balance to be able to stand up and walk all over again, and that would involve having a posture that is abnormal. This is what happens in cats, and because of that abnormal posture and movement, they develop horrible arthritis to the point where it's hard for them to function normally.

I was always againt declawing becuase of what happened to Eby. I never knew what the surgery really was until about a year ago, and it turned my stomach. I was really happy to find out there was a lot more people against it than I had thought, and was so excited to learn that some countries have actually banned the practice completely becuase they consider it a form of animal cruelty.
post #5 of 6
My parents got our first cat declawed. (I was only 5 I didn't know) Though he still managed to reek distruction on some of the woven furniture in our house. Aaaanyway he killed mice all the time. He used to be an outdoor cat so he had a high prey drive. He would play with them until their necks broke. I would definetly check out a shelter for any clawed or declawed cats. My cat has claws and she scratches her post almost exclusively after the first 2 months of encouragement. Either way you're saving a lucky kitty.

But, in fairness to the mice, you might try some live traps as well, put them in a cage and when you get a few drop them in the country or something.
post #6 of 6
I wouldn't declaw a cat. There are ways to keep them from destroying the furniture, while keeping their toes intact.

- Adopt a pair of kittens: paired kids are more likely to play with each other than to play with your stuff. Lonely and bored kittens are more likely to engage in home improvement projects, while cats that have each other's company will tousle and wrestle and groom each other--instead of your couch.

- Scratching posts, everywhere. Give the cats an alternative that is more attractive than your leather sofa. Get a tall cat tree or several, depending on how large your space is. I got this Cat Craft Cat Tree at Wal-Mart for $35:

This one stands about 8' tall, and extends to accommodate ceilings up to 8'6". Attach dangling toys to the top, and watch your cats go crazy.

- Deterrents: line the corners of your furniture with Sticky Paws, which has a texture that cats hate. You don't have to leave it on forever. Once they get the idea that their paws are going to stick to whichever surface you put it on, they will give up on it and leave it alone. Bitter apple or citrus extract sprays also work.

- Claw-clipping: Get the cats used to having their claws trimmed when they are young. I do it once a week, whether they really need it or not. They are used to the routine, and it keeps their claws dull enough to prevent them hurting me when they climb over me, as well as prevent destruction of my new upholstered sofa.

- Play: You need to engage your cats' attention and energy, so it can be released in ways that won't destroy your property.

- REMOVE TEMPTATIONS: Get the delicate items out of the cats' reach. If is valuable enough that you will be upset at the cat for breaking it, then protect it from the cats by putting it away.
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