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Problem? Leather and claws ...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I spoke to my breeder yesterday, and we're going to pick up our new kittens on the Sunday before Memorial Day !

Of course I'm kitten-proofing (if such a thing can actually be done, heh) and something someone said in another thread made me think about this. Our sofa is black Italian leather, Melichus never bothered it, although it does have a couple of scratches on the sides where he slipped getting up that I need to touch up at some point. I wouldn't THINK that kittens/cats would be interested in scratching on leather as the texture seems all wrong for it, i.e. not easy to grab with claws. But ... there's no accounting for taste. Has anyone had any experience with cats and leather furniture? If this may be a problem then I will put some sticky back shelving paper or suchlike on the corners until they've decided that it's not a nice thing to scratch, but otherwise I'm not going to bother. Thanks!
post #2 of 9
My suggestion is to ensure you have a scratching post when you bring the kittie home and make sure the kittie knows it's there.

Neither Bijou nor Mika scratch any furniture but they have make quite the mess of the scratching post!

My best friend got a Ragdoll several years back and was going to have it de-clawed because they also have leather furniture and other expensive furniture. I talked her out of getting the de-clawing done and into a scratching post. The kittie has not done any harm to their furniture.
post #3 of 9
I'll never own a leather sofa for that very reason. I bought a way-cheap, cloth sectional sofa months back and the end corner of the thing is in shreds. I tried spraying it with that "no scratch" stuff, but alas... Hammie tears into it! And, the scratching post/cat tree is right next to the sofa!

I think it's all up to the cat. If the cat wants to scratch there - he will. If not - he won't. My other cats have weird scratch fetishes. Jessie loves plastic laundry baskets; Zorro likes to use the box spring of my bed.

I guess if I were you I'd just cover the ends of the sofa and hope your cat doesn't find interest in it!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Oh, there will be beaucoup scratching posts, besides the kitty tree/condo I'll start building the next couple of days (as soon as I finish the mantel.) My personal experience has been that most cats do not like that texture (leather) to scratch on, and I was wondering if anyone had run into the exception to the rule. I do have a nice, hi-leg La-Z-Boy recliner in the living room that something will need to be done about as texturally it's just begging to become a scratching post. I may have to try to train them to stay off that one chair, or I'll have to move it elsewhere.
post #5 of 9
Cindy i have a 2 and 3 seater leather suite, and when i just had Rosie she caught it a few times on the end of one of them, i put this down to being bored because since i got Sophie she's never touched it, and Sophie hasn't even touched it once.

They won't touch a scratch pole but they will pull their claws on a horse hair foot mat i have by the kitchen door, so i bought them their own for their room
post #6 of 9
I switched to leather furniture about 14 years ago, because of allergies, and have never had a problem with any of the cats sharpening their claws on the leather.
post #7 of 9
I try to keep a blanket on my leather sofa on the top so the girls can perch one it without trouble
post #8 of 9
You're right, there's no accounting for taste. But in this case, if your new kitties decide to scratch your sofa, it will probably be because they are leaving their scent rather than sharpening their nails. The sweat glands in a cat's paw pads and between his toes are nearly as potent as the ones around its head. If you're worried about the sofa, you might want to introduce the kitties to a good scratching pole, perhaps laced with some catnip spray and placed in the vacinity of the couch. Get them interested right off the bat in something that they are permitted to scratch and will have constant access to. Younger cats under 6 months, often will not respond to catnip, so you may have to try other types of incentives.

Even taking those precautions, you'll definitely want to watch your newcomers closely for the first few days. If they decide to give the Italian leather a go, distract them immediately by tossing some keys across the room (not at the kitties, obviously), blow a whistle, or if you're comfortable with it, give them a squirt from a water bottle. It may be difficult, but try not to yell at them as you don't want them to associate your voice with "trouble".

Good Luck.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks! The water technique brings back memories. When we were training Melichus as a kitten, all those many years ago (14?) we used a battery powered water "rifle" that I'd picked up at Toys-R-Us. That thing could shoot a stream of water a good 30 feet! I found it a good cat training aid, as it didn't make much if any noise, and I was waaaaay away (usually hiding behind a door) so that he didn't associate it with us. As far as he was concerned when he got on counters and tables it would start raining! He learned very well what "down" and "no!" meant as time went by. It got to the point where if he sank claws into something he wasn't supposed to (usually just in a stretch, but he'd watch you while he was doing it, testing you just like a kid) I could say "Melichus..." in a certain tone of voice and he'd stop what he was doing, gently put his feet back down on the floor watching me all the while and just go "Mrrrrtttt?" like "What? Did you want something?"

JCat and the others, I suspect that's how it'll be. I think I'll just keep a close eye on the kittens when they're allowed in the living room at first to see if they have a "taste" for Italian leather as it were . Actually, as leather furniture goes this piece wasn't that expensive, but it's one of our better pieces of furniture. I've got a picture of Melichus with it on his memorial page:

Melichus' Memorial
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