Originally Posted by pcdoctor
he scratches on the furniture a lot lately, can't get it to use new scratching post. What can I do?
in agreement with opposition to declawing: declawing fans make it sound so benign but its the removal of the first joint of each toe. That would be considered torture of done to a human. There are very safe alternatives to declawing:
softpaws as mentioned: these are padded covers that you glue on each claw. they come in different sizes and colors.
clipping: if you start handling your kitten's feet while they are relaxing, pushing on the pads softly you can get each claw to pop out. when they are comfy with that you can clip just the very tip off of each claw (five claws in front and four in back) and they are unmutilated and still able to do what their bodies are meant to do. with kittens you have to redo this maybe every 7-10 days. I was wildly apprehensive the first time and now its as easy as clipping my own. my vet showed me how.
As for getting your cat to use scratching surfaces:
make sure you have secure
horizontal and vertical surfaces. I used cheap sisal door mats from walmart as the horizontal and put one next to where she slept because cats like a good stretch after a nap. then when ever we played with feather or dangly things i did it on the sisal rug. the first time a cat naturally digs those blunted claws in the surface they fall in love with it because it grabs those claws so well. I put a sisal rug in each room she played. sometimes I even ran my own nails over the surface and made happy noises, so she would copy me. Then I stable gunned sisal rugs up along the surface of the back of a piece of furniture that was REALLY stable and hung dangles for her to bat. and left it in the middle of the room. within two days she was searching out her scratching surfaces and gave herself full long body stretches. a litltle over a month later I have a kitten who not only has dull but intact claws but who has not scratched a single curtain, pillow or piece of furniture anywhere in my home.
In short you need to put the time in to play w the kitty near the surfaces and make it fun and let her instinct to claws at rough surfaces do its thing, dont expect her just to discover it on her own. she is like a baby and needs modeling and enticement to do the right thing. and a treat doesn't hurt.
Sorry this so long but as a new cat owner I am discovering that like with a child ---a good amount of time put in during early development will really reap rewards in good behavior and a well socialized pet as they grow.