Our cat is clawing the corners of the furniture....

SheeshareeIIApril 17, 2011

Mossimo (Mossy/Moss) is our 11 year old Himalayan cat. He's become quite defiant and grouchy in his recent years. He was never destructive with his claws and only used scratching posts. About a year or so ago he discovered he liked the back corners of my furniture. You've all seen it - the red paisley couch and loveseat. Both back corners of the loveseat are scratched but the one you see coming down the hall and when you walk into the room is the worst. Today I noticed, through the threads, there's actually white stuff coming out. The little sweetie has gone through all the material.

I need thoughts on how to keep it from getting worse. At one point I wasn't sure if he started to try and use the arm so I put two sided tape along that side. I had thought about putting tape on the corners but I was concerned he'd start elsewhere.

We have a scratching post a few feet from the furniture. It's been there since we've moved in and he never had any problems using it. I even bought a new one and sat it beside the other one. NOPE! He likes the furniture.

Ideas on what I can do? Someone mentioned screwing piece of wood to the corner! I cringed but it can't look much worse than it does now.

Please no suggestions to get rid of the cat and he won't be declawed.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No suggestions on the furniture, but do you keep his claws trimmed? Mine doesn't claw on the furniture unless his claws get longer. If I keep them trimmed just beyond the quick, he uses his scratching post exclusively. I can tell I've forgotten to keep up with the trimmings when I hear him start in on the rug or furniture.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 1:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I feel your pain! The carpet runner on our stairway needs replacing, but since the cats use the stairway as a giant scratching post, and have actually worn a hole through in one spot, I cannot see replacing it.

I haven't discovered a magic fix. I do keep the furniture that our cats love to scratch under slipcovers until company comes. I bought a generic slip from JCP that fits our couch surprisingly well. I don't like it as well as the material the couch is upholstered in, but when I read the decorating blogs, I am assured that the white slipcover look is very au courant.

The thing that I have found to help the most is to keep the cats' claws trimmed. I need to keep more to the schedule on doing it. It tends to become a chore that gets put off until a scratching incident occurs, and then we have claw trimming time. One cat doesn't mind it, the other hates it and lets me know it!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 2:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've had friends who have this type (attached) that seem to work.

He has marked your sofa . Use a odor removal on that area.
Get some catnip to run across the scratching post.Maybe some treats.

Very important that the posts do not wobble or have NEVER tipped over.

Chasing or yelling will just make you the bad guy. You have to find a way to make the sofa the bad guy. If you can catch him in the act while sitting on the sofa just stand up and shake it so hard that it appears to be falling on him..

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.purrfectpost.com/

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 4:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Honestly it's not very often we'll trim his claws because it puts up such a fight. It takes two of us, with a towel wrapped around his body and he's still a handful. Growling, fussing, and squirming. Usually we don't get all of them done.

We put Soft Paws on his nails once but after chewing and pulling they were off in about an hour.

I guess I knew there wasn't really a magical answer for this, lol. I'm debating if I should bother to try an trim the pieces hanging from the furniture. What a site! We'll have to start making claw triming a regular thing and hopefully that will help!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 4:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Forboystoo - We must have posted at the same time.

Thanks for that link. I think I'm going to get one. The post he used for a long time looks worn where he likes to scratch. I don't believe the new one ever fell over but I'm not real impressed with the quality of it. The material is also a little different. Maybe he just doesn't like the new one.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 4:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is no cure. 50 years of having cats I have had the front paws declawed as young cats. This last one was the worst and the vet convinced me to do it again. He uses his paws like he has claws and is an indoor cat and as far as I can see, is living the life of a little prince with no pain. I feel if I am going to have pets, they will live by people rules.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 4:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Double sided tape can help. You can take it off when company is over.

I also had these long plastic corner pieces that went over the edge of the furniture. Now we have slipcovers, so it's covered up.

However, I wonder what will happen with new furniture.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I tape all areas where my kitties like to scratch, it either deters them from scratching or prevents further damamge. Additionally I have made make-shift slip covers out of medium weight plastic for new furniture. The plastic comes on very long rolls (available at large hardware stores)I cut and tape it to make a very large piece, throw it over a chair and then tuck in all around. While not pretty at least the color of fabric is visible. Extremely easy to pull off for company.

I also put a couple of scratching mats on the floor and keep them covered with catnip and occasional treats.

Three cheers for you for putting the health and welfare of you cats first!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 7:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If he puts up that much of a fight, you might consider trying different types of nail clippers. My cat absolutely flips out if I try to use nail clippers made for animals, so I use large clippers made for human toenails, and he's perfectly fine with it. I think there's something about the way that animal toenail clippers squeeze the entire nail that he finds upsetting. He even tolerates the Dremel better than the nail clippers made for animals.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Shee...no advice on the cat situation (we have dogs), but just curious if you have any updates on your bedroom or master bathroom makeovers yet? Curious minds want to know, LOL! :)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 8:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Same problem here! It seems that the furniture is more fun than the three scratching mats & poles. I use Sticky Paws on all the cats' favorite furniture corners. It's easy to apply.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sticky Paws

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cats hate the smell of citrus. I stop my cats from clawing furniture by sticking pieces of orange peel to the corners of my chairs. I just peel an orange (or lemon) and attach the peels using straight pins. The cats actually gag at the smell. You have to keep attaching new ones because the peels dry out. Some natural citrus spray may help too. When I got tired of using the peels the spray helped.

We have a cat who for some reason thought our bar sink was his kitty box. I think he got confused as a kitten because it was shaped like his cat box. Nothing worked to stop him from peeing there except oranges. I just cut an orange in half and placed it in the bottom of the sink, gave it a squeeze ever few days to keep the smell fresh, and he stayed away.

I never could stand the smell of those "cat away" type sprays. They made ME gag and the cats didn't seem to mind them.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 8:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I put the tall (3 feet) heavy scratching posts behind the corners of the furniture where they like to scratch and then they use the scratcing post instead of the furniture. The key is to put scratching posts next to the item they like to scratch. Oh and it must be a sisal post and tall and heavy enough so the cat cat stretch fully and heavy so it doesn't topple on them when they pull on it.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 11:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What works for me: Double-sided tape (wide rolls, at least 2", unfortnately somewhat pricey); Feliway emitters and trimmed nails, done daily if it's a learning process to get cat to accept the trim without panic.

If he's really panicky, I'd start with daily roll-up in towel, and no trimming for the first several days. Just roll-up, touch paws, and then some kissy face and a controlled (by you) release and treats. Do it every day (or even a couple times per day if you want to accelerate the process.)

I completely concur about not getting rid of the cat and would never de-claw. It is frustrating. I've never found a cat scratching post that atracted a single feline. I do have an wall with exposed studs (long-term unfinished reno). I wrapped sisal rope around the verticals, and allow, even encourage, scratching there. They've absolutely torn into it. My SIL had a tree trunk as a supporting post in the lower floor of her very eclectic house. She had rope wrapped around that, to the complete delight of her cats. I stole the idea from her; it's a bit messy as the fibers get unwound however.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 11:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sheesh, since you don't want to declaw your eleven year old cat, and I understand that even though we just had all four of ours declawed after they went after my new chairs, I have two suggestions:
1. Take him for regular pedicures.
2. Try Emery Cat.

Before anyone berates me for declawing my cats they are all inside cats. Though like nanabella's comment, even outdoor cats can do fine with out front claws. My beloved Max cat was declawed when we got him as a kitten. I planned on him being an indoor cat, but he kept getting out. Our vet said not to worry as he could still defend himself with his hind claws and teeth, though he didn't think he'd be able to kill anything. Ha! Max was the best hunter cat I ever had. Again like nanabella said, they learn to use their paws amazingly well.
Our four cats are all right around four years old. I'm not sure I would have chosen declawing if they were your cats age unless he's in very good heath. I was a nervous wreck having them go under for the surgery, but they all did fine and I think they're even happier now because when they do "claw" at the furniture (it's a form of exercise/stretching for them) they have no long claws to get caught causing pain until I can run and rescue them.
Good luck whatever you try.

Here is a link that might be useful: Emery Cat

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 12:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Petco sells a spray called Keep Off! that works like a charm for my cat. I got her when she was about 8 months old and she was fine until I got new furniture around her first birthday. She must have thought it was her present and starting clawing the corners. Spray the furniture daily (you won't like the smell so you might want to spray when you go to bed) for a couple of weeks. Then see if he stays away. If not continue spraying and try to stop again. It seemed to last about 2 months for my cat then I sprayed again for a couple of days. So it's off and on but easier than the alternative... Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 7:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What about adhering squares of carpet to the couch where he likes to claw? It won't look good but neither does a destroyed couch.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 9:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do not affix carpet that will encourage the cat all the more, do buy those lil screw pins, and cover the area with plastic bubble wrap..the cat will prob. not try it and if it does will be scared off as the bubbles pop loudly...

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 10:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I have no suggestions but I am glad you're not in the declaw camp.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 10:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I do have the Sticky Paws tape which is what I have down the arm of the couch and the scratching post is right behind the furniture.
I'm going to use a regular nail clipper this time and see how that goes. I'm going to try some of the other things mentioned as well. Thanks!

Aunt Mimi - Nothing new yet. I have been busy with a bunch of other things as of late but I have the paint. I'm excited to get started but I'm making myself finish other painting project I've had on the bottom of the list. I'm done with the interior doors now I need to finish the stairs. Many times recently I was planning on working on the stairs and I just . don't . want . to! LOL. My friend is going to pick up brown Ikea curtains for me the next time she's there. That's the other reason I was holding off..once I paint the curtains I have up won't match and will REALLY bug me. Thanks for asking! I'll get pics posted when I'm finished.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Declawing should never be an option, it's mutilation pure and simple, very painful and cruel. It's unnecessary with proper training and safeguards. Cutting off toes is just a bit extreme for my taste. Thank God people don't cut off their child's fingers when they start to walk and get into things. Sorry if I offended anyone, that's just my personal opinion on the matter.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

HIWTHI they DO NOT CUT OFF THEIR TOES! And yes it is your personal opinion and not what was asked for here.
I completely respect those that are against declawing and I wish you would do the same for those that have had this procedure done to their beloved pets in the same way.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 3:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sheesharee, sorry I have no suggestions for your poor sofa. I finally sold my scratched up sofa in my yard sale (buyer was pleased at the low price and bot it for their cabin) and will have nothing but good quality microfiber upholstery which the cats leave alone.

Our cats and dog are all rescues so IKWYM with the difficulties of clipping nails. I recommend you make it fun by only doing one nail, then giving a treat. Next day you might be able to do 2 nails, and again a treat. Keep on doing this until he doesn't fight any more. Two of my 3 cats and the dog were very much against clipping but they're all now fine with it cause they love their treats. We have one who was declawed before we got her and it's not something I'd ever do to an animal. She has difficulty jumping up which is not uncommon when the first bone of the foot has been removed. Their sense of balance is not the same. She's also quite crabby so may have had a personality change altho she's also Siamese so it may be 'normal' for her - gotta love that Siamese personality. LOL

The site below explains declawing and also has a link about solutions to cat scratching.

Here is a link that might be useful: explanation of declawing

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 3:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Justgotabeme, I think it's unrealistic to not expect the discussion of declawing to come up when a thread like this is posted. No offense to Shee. She was specific about no declawing.

Not all cats react the same way. Hanna is 13 and was declawed at a very young age. She's never exhibited any of the problems sometimes associated with declawing, but it's not something I would be comfortable doing to a pet.

Shee, I also use toenail clippers. Hanna and Artie are both fairly good about letting me clip their claws. I think I just lucked out.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I clip my cats claws when they a napping and groggy. I usually don't get them all. I spread it out until I do

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 4:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I clip my cats nails and have done so since she was small so she is used to it. I also find that she likes my front door rug that is black rubber and sisal design mix. She claws there sometimes and it isn't a problem. Now my dog is a different story, (beagle). She won't let me come near her paws. I WISH I could trim her nails. I have to restain part of my deck each year because she scratches off the stain with her nails. I've tried every trick in the book. Groomers can't even tackle her.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Joanie.. I feel so bad 4 you .

My poor dogs moved from cement and hardwood
to grass and carpet.

A 5 year old and a 10 year old I NEVER had to trim 'till I moved.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Shee, I just thought of something you could try when clipping nails. You may still need two people to do the job, but it might make it less stressful for everyone.

Our vet uses a muzzle when she administers shots to the cats and keeps it on for the complimentary nail trim. At first I was taken aback when she put it on, but it does the trick.

Here is a link that might be useful: cat muzzles

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Justgaotabme, FYI and I quote below from the above article. It's too late for your cats, but maybe someone else will educate themselves before making the decision to declaw AKA elective surgery to cut off their toes. Why are you so offended? You did what you thought was right for your cats. My statement was not addressed to you specifically.

"the last bone of your cat's claw has to be removed. Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat's "toes". When you envision that, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. It is a painful surgery, with a painful recovery period. And remember that during the time of recuperation from the surgery your cat would still have to use its feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box regardless of the pain it is experiencing. Wheelchairs and bedpans are not an option for a cat."

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 2:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Find someone who is good with cutting cats nails. A groomer, your vet, a friend, and watch how they do it. I have a friend that can easily cut all my cats nails in 30 seconds.

Like you, my husband and I make a big production out of it. Wrap in a towel, I hold while he analysies every cut. I think we make the cat more stressed.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another one here that would never declaw a cat ... and it personally bothered me that someone thought the cats were happier after being declawed ... but everyone has to live with their own decisions.

I have 4 cats, and many scratching posts throughout the house. Luckily they use the the scratchng posts.

I've heard of using tape, bubble wrap and foil to cover the area they scratched to keep them away.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 1:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wanted to give an update to this.

We clipped his nails using regular clippers which was much easier even though he still wasn't a fan of the process. I switched out the base of the scratching post and make sure it was good and tight. Smeared lots of cat nip into the grooves of the sisal. I've haven't seen him claw the furniture since and he's been using the post. YAY!

Thanks for all the tips! We'll continue to keep his nails trimmed and keep an eye on his post.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 11:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our cat started spraying when he got old and grumpy. Turns out that some sort of marking behavior is pretty common in older kitties. Vet suggested that his highness's issues stemmed from "old dude syndrome" combined with overly concentrated urine. Put him on a diet that made him thirstier, and we got a drinkwell kitty fountain. That has solved most of our problems. Perhaps a full workup is in order? He may have health issues that are less than obvious--and this is one way to let you know.

Hang in there. (The things we put up with because we love our pets.)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm really glad you found something that seems to work.

I just wanted to add... cats hate aluminum foil. If you tape (or pin) pieces of aluminum foil to the place where they're scratching, they'll stay away.

Combine this with citrus spray, and they'll be trained in no time. (One hopes.)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 3:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mjsee - I was wondering about grumpy tude and took him to the vet not that long ago for a good check up. I'm happy he's good in that regard.

Mclarke - I've heard so many times about how cats don't like foil. All of ours LOVE it and come running when I get it out. We started to make foil balls since they were so enthusiastic. Out of all their toys they seem to be the most played with.

Hopefully he keeps liking his post! I wish I would've thought to do those things before he started shredding the couch. Oh well. Character marks. :)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 4:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

>>Honestly it's not very often we'll trim his claws because it puts up such a fight. It takes two of us, with a towel wrapped around his body and he's still a handful. Growling, fussing, and squirming. Usually we don't get all of them done.

Clicker train him to be good about nail trims. There's a whole fabulous list dedicated to clicker training cats called "Cat Clicker." They will be happy to tell you how and coach and support you through the process. Only takes a few minutes a day and can make a HUGE difference in stress levels for kitty and for you. There is also a book out about clicker training cats by Karen Pryor.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 4:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just wanted to chime in that I am now babysitting my daughter's not declawed cat for several weeks. Well, she immediately came into the house and started destroying the rugs.

I purchased a product called soft claws also know as soft paws.(They are both made by the same company). They are little nail caps that you glue on the cat's nails. They work perfectly! She still kneads the rugs but her claws can no longer do damage.

Do an internet search and you can read the reviews. I purchased mine on Amazon.

They are supposed to stay on for 4 -6 weeks and the package has about 50 nail covers in them so one package will last for a long time.

BTW - I am not affiliated with the company in any way!

These have been a great solution for us! I'm not one to declaw a cat either.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 3:09PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Dove soap users...
Have you noticed they made the bar soap smaller? I...
Help me find a new coffee table
Just before the Houzz migration, GWers helped me decide...
Check In here, Roll Call
Hello dear friends! Have you made it here ok? Let this...
Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
Question about decorating rooms that lead to another
Both my living room and kitchen are visible from my...
No Windows in the Dining Room
My dining room has 2 large wall with no windows and...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™