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post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just picked up my 17 week old Tonkinese kitten last week. She is adorable but is scratching my apartment to pieces!! She already made a hole 3 inches in diameter in my carpet and my couch has aged by five years. I absolutely hate the idea of having her declawed but I'm afraid I am going to have to pay to have the carpet replaced in my apartment when I move! She has 3 different kinds of scratching posts and I spend A LOT of time playing with her already. Any suggestions?

Thanks a lot,


[Edited by Anne on 11-22-2000 at 08:44 PM]
post #2 of 9
Hi Annie and welcome to the forums!

I'll search my behavior books and see if I can come up with any useful tips. Could you maybe tell us what kind of scratching posts does she have? where are they located? What do you do when you see her scratching the carpet/furniture?

By the way, I've split the post into two and moved this part to the behavior forum. I think it's best to keep within the limits of the forums topics - that would make it easier for new users to find what they're looking for and will prevent double threads. You can view the seperate thread about spaying in the health forum.

Now, where are those books.... Got some work to do!
post #3 of 9
Hi again Annie,

First let me tell you that from what I've read, it's a very solvable problem. No need for declawing whatsoever.

Basically it's a matter of placing the right scratching posts in the right place, while at the same time making your carpet and furniture less comfortable scratching posts.

I need your input on which scratching posts you have right now (size, material and how stable they are) and where they are. Then we'll try to work out which scratching posts your kitty needs and where to put them, while at the same time how to make your furniture less appealing for her.

Cheer up!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi Anne,

Well, I have 3 posts in the living room because that is the only place she ever scratches. One is about two feet vertically,rope covered with a feather at the top. It is right next to the loveseat. The other two the flat corregated cardboard types with catnip in them. One is small the other is fairly wide and in the middle of the living room. She tends to use these more than the upright post.
As for how I respond when she scratches--I try to have a water bottle near by to squirt her with but it never seems to be around when I need it. So I usually end up slapping my hands and saying "no!"
The problem is, however, that she rarely scratches when I'm around. I only find evidence of it later...on the rug (usually in high traffic areas) or couch arms.

Thanks again,
post #5 of 9
Have you tried just a big peice of wood? My cats are outside but when they do come in, they like to scratch on the base of my husbands stuffed fox, it is wood....and outside they use the trees, I never have any problem with them scratching up the carpet when they are inside, they go straight for the wood.
post #6 of 9
Looks like your cat prefers horizontal surfaces, but maybe cardboard is not her material of choice. I have one of those cardboard posts at home and my cats totally ignore it On second thought, could it be that she likes cardboard as the material but would prefer an upright cardboard post?

Another thing may be the size of the posts. Cats need to stretch out as they scratch. You mentioned that the rope covered vertical post was two feet high. Assuming the cat can use all two feet for scratching, it sounds good. But if she prefers the horizontal cardboard ones, they may be too short. They need to be at lease 30 inches long to allow the cat a full stretch.

You'll need to experiment with other posts - how about a sisal rug? Most cats love to scratch rope and it would be a different type of material. Debbie suggests wood - it's definitely a possibility. Eventually you will find a post that would be your cat's favorite. When you introduce the new posts to the cat, never hold her paw and try to make her scratch it. Chances are the cat will be interested in this new addition to your living room and will try it out on her own. If she doesn't just play with the cat around the post and try to lure her with toys to make her swat at the post and discover its texture. Rub some catnip on the post occasionally to make it more attractive.

Your posts' location sounds good to me, as you say she scratches only in that room.

While getting a post that your kitty will like, you should also make her dislike the carpet and your furniture. From what I've heard, the best thing would be to cover the areas where she scratches with double-faced masking tape. Cats hate the sticky feeling under their paws and they avoid these areas. There's a product designed specifically for this called Sticky Paws. It's supposed not to leave a residue behind, as masking tape might.

You'll need some patience, but eventually you CAN train your cat to use only the scratching post.

Keep us posted (pun intended )
post #7 of 9
I would definatley avoid De clawing. If I could, I would get it banned in the US as it is overseas. I have 10 cats and I still have my furniture in tact. I would just pick them up and take them to the tree when they started. In order to keep them there, I used the spray catnip on the posts. I suppose I am just more stubborn that the kitties and they started using the posts.
post #8 of 9
Don't declaw, please! I just think it is cruel. A solution I have heard of is to place small inflated balloons in the cats' favorite scratch spots - especially when you are away. Not only do they not like them, but if they scratch one and pop it, the noise is a great aversion, and can really help when you are not there to discipline.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
HI all,

I just wanted to thank everyone for their input on the issue of declawing. I've done some research myself and have decided that it is definately NOT a good idea. The negatives seems to far outweigh any potential benefits.

Thanks again,

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