furniture scratching deterrent for new kitty

gibby2015December 27, 2013

My new kitty has claws and my old kitties do not. She loves to scratch the corners of the sofa and doesn't seem interested in any of the scratching devices I was hoping she'd use. She checks them out when I put some fresh catnip on them but that's about it. One of my old kitties who does not have claws loves the scratching post and uses it all the time. Unfortunately she doesn't. He also scratches on the sofas which of course isn't a problem without claws.

I've been trimming her claws but that doesn't really help with the furniture scratching though it helps the human scratches as her little nails are like needles when not trimmed.

What do you recommend to keep her from scratching the furniture? I saw some double sided sticky stuff but wondering if that works. I have enough trouble trimming her claws so there's no way I'm doing something like soft paws. I'm hoping there's something that would just deter her from going after my living roof sofa. I'm not so concerned about the old family room sofa or the box spring of our bed - the other two things she seems to like to scratch.

I'm one of those "awful" people who has had cats declawed and I've also adopted declawed cats. Ironically the only cat I've had with a behavioral problem is the current one who has her claws. She has had some litter box issues which she is getting over and I don't want to upset the progress by doing anything with her claws. Plus I'm really trying to make every effort to find a way to live with claws in a non-destructive way - not destructive to the humans or the household. Though my cats are all happy and well adjusted and have the best life a cat could ever hope for, in this day and age I still feel like the devil himself for declawing my cats. So I'm trying very hard not to go down that path with this one.

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THANK YOU for looking for non-amputation alternatives for your new baby!

Yes, double-sided tape works as a very effective deterrent. Cats HATE getting their paws on anything sticky, so put that double-sided tape anywhere you do NOT want her scratching. Once she figures out which pieces of furniture are off-limits, you should be able to remove the tape.

There are also cat deterrent sprays, though I've never tried them, so I don't know how effective they are. I also don't know if they'd stain furniture. It might be worth looking into, though.

Keeping claws trimmed will definitely help minimize the damage those claws can cause, but it won't stop the desire to scratch.

Keep offering alternative scratching options. Some felines prefer to stretch up vertically when they scratch, while others want to stretch out horizontally, so offer both tall vertical posts and long horizontal scratchers. Also, cats can have strong preferences in terms of scratching surfaces. In my feline household, favored scratching surfaces are corrugated cardboard, real wood, and sisal rope. Fabric or carpet-covered scratching posts are generally ignored. BUT, your baby may prefer fabric or carpet. You just need to offer her a variety of orientations and materials to see which appeal to her most.

Rubbing fresh catnip into the scratchers may not help until she's older (she's still a kitten, right?). In my experience, felines don't respond to catnip until they reach sexual maturity. But if you buy or make a post with a dangly toy bouncing around at the top of it, that may appeal to her kitteny instincts for play.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Laurie, she is now nine months old, at least according to what I was told about her age when I adopted her. I'll see what I can find at the store and try the sticky stuff and the spray. She is so funny - if I go scratch on the sisal post to demonstrate she comes over and scratches on it too. And if the other cat is "scratching" on it sometimes she will do it with him. But she pretty much prefers the sofa.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 1:24PM
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I have used double stick tape, worked for most of the cats I have had but one liked it, actually chewed the tape. I then got some clear vinyl and pinned it on, that worked and stays better than tape. The most recent cats I have trained then with treats to use the scratching posts. That worked really well. They make a big show of scratching now and lead me and everyone else to the scratching post so I am sure to see them do it and demand their treat.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 6:11PM
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Hmmm....treats. I'll try that too.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 9:14PM
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I've mentioned this in other threads but IMO the best cat scratcher is the one linked below. Your cat is still young and I now remember that my cat was around a year old before she lost interest in 'testing' chairs and sofas and focused strictly on the vertical cat scratcher and her cardboard scratchers.
I suggest you place it next to the sofa where she's now scratching and place a couple of the cardboard scratchers in areas where she like to hang out. Here's my cat's favorite cardboard.....she loves leaning up against the sides while sleeping.

Here is a link that might be useful: cat scratcher

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 11:39PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Yes, the corrugated cardboard scratchers are the best! The kind that lay flat on the floor are really good.

I also have a sisal type rug in the kitchen and that is a favorite too, since it is big and Rocket can stretch out when he is scratching.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 2:02PM
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spedigrees z4VT

A big cardboard box filled with old newspapers or catalogues is enticing to cats, and a cheaper version of a scratching post.

I also have a ramp going from the arm of my couch to my old arthritic cat's heated bed on the windowsill, and it doubles as her favorite scratching post. In her younger days, she liked to scratch her claws on the dogs' outdoor ramp from the back steps. Both ramps are wooden boards covered in fake grass outdoor carpeting, and this seems to be a favored surface for kitty scratching. I attached the grass carpeting with a staple gun.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 5:28PM
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I used the double sided tape on the furniture. I also placed a scratching post right infront of the corner that he was scratching on. He uses the post now instead of the furniture. One last option, I know people hate this, but the water bottle.....

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 10:04AM
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Well the sticky stuff seems to be keeping her away from the furniture but she doesn't seem to have settled on any of the desired scratching devices. She's tearing up a runner in the hallway which is okay because I'm replacing it. Though I need to get her onto a desire scratching device before that.

No interest in the sisal/carpet scratching post. I also bought those horizontal cardboard scratchers and a hanging fabric one - thought that would be most like the furniture. No interest in that either. She has scratched on the cardboard thing a couple times but mostly she just sits on it. Everything came with catnip so I've loaded all the scratchers up with that. It attracts her to them but doesn't inspire her to scratch them.

I also got her (and the other cats) a giant cat tree. Thought she might scratch on that as well as climb it. So far just climbing and playing. I was amazed to find my big ole' no front claws Siamese cat on the top of the thing yesterday. I was feeling bad for him because he wouldn't get to play on it like the new kitty with all her claws but he quickly proved me wrong.

Hopefully she will get this figured out soon as DH was very annoyed to find her scratching his very expensive stereo speakers. She even scratched the sticky stuff partway off that. And being on blood thinner, he's also not fond of her use of claws when playing. I do think that can be managed though with the clipping which I will hopefully get much better at than I am now.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 1:59PM
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Try draping a blanket or sheet over the corner that she is fond of scratching. Make sure it drapes to the floor so she can't walk up and grab hold of anything solid to pull her claws on. This was the only thing I can do to keep my cat from clawing couches and mattresses. When she tries to claw into it and pull, it gives which is not what she wants.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 11:55PM
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gibby, make sure the cat tower has a vertical section wrapped in sisal. My cat never uses the carpeted areas of the tower for scratching. Also, , cats prefer something tall so that they can stretch as they scratch so make sure their posts are really tall. It seems cats never go for those short posts a lot of stores sell.

jackieblue, I had to smile as I read your post. I once tried draping stuff over furniture but my cat thought I'd had set up the perfect hiding spot for her! She'd climb under the sheet/banket and proceed to scratch in 'privacy'. : )

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 1:30AM
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The sticky stuff seems to be working to protect the good stuff but she still doesn't seem to be scratching much on the scratching devices. I'm also still not very proficient at clipping her claws and DH really does not like getting scratched up when she plays which I completely understand considering he is on the blood thinner. Horrible as everyone thinks it is to declaw your cat, I've seen no detrimental impact on the cats I've had that were declawed over the past 35 years. Our other cats are happy and well adjusted and aren't constantly being reprimanded for scratching or going through the ordeal of my claw clipping. They happily scratch on all my furniture and play with the humans all to their heart's content without harm. Everyone's happy. On the other hand it's a constant battle with the new little scratcher......

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 12:56PM
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annz - I just got one of those little beds for her just like your picture. I haven't seen her scratch it but she likes to lay in it and brings all her toys and puts them in there. My big Siamese cat likes to lay in it too.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 7:42PM
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