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You're absolutely right. Cats need to make a full stretch so that post obviously not tall enough for the cat to use for this purpose. I swear by this scratching post. I had a really long and big cat who destroyed the arms of my couch. It was years of this and I was at a loss about what to do since I had already tried the sticky stuff, sprays, and other posts. Finally I found that post and it was a night and day change in my cat's behavior. He LOVED that post and immediately stopped scratching my couch. He got the full stretch he needed and he loved the texture.
When people say that cats know what they're doing, they're right but it's not spite and it will never be spite. The human just hasn't figured out what it is the cat needs to change their behavior. Cats do things for a reason and it's up to us as caretakers to figure it out to stop the behavior.
It's sturdy, durable, and my cat loves it. Only downside, the base is biiiig. Which is why it's so sturdy, but also makes it hard to find room if you have limited space.
Edit: in case anyone actually wanted a working link ;)
I use 66 quart sterilite tubs from Amazon as litter boxes. If you have Amazon prime - they also ship a great clumping litter for $13 and free shipping (40 lb bags). I have 2 and go thru about 40 lbs a week.
Get at least 1 of these scratching posts - even my full grown MCs love this and can't knock it over. My breeder has a couple of these too.
Awesome to hear! Yeah, that's why I never do that. My cats have a traumatic response to just the yearly vet visits. So we just brush and comb, and get knots while they are still small. Bathing we simply don't do. I've bathed my cats maybe 2-3 times each in their entire lives, and it was because of diarrhea/puke in their fur or whatever. Otherwise they do a good job themselves. As for nails, scratching posts scratching posts scratching posts. And not the crappy ones that tip over. A big one they can fully stretch out on and really dig into like a tree. I swear by these SmartCat ones. They are on Amazon or at Petcos I believe. I have 3, one in each of our main living areas. They love these things, see shedded nails all around the thing. It's a quasi natural way for them to take of their own nails.
Glad kitty is alright though! :)
Also try to get a tall, stable post. They like to be able to stretch out and a lot of posts are too short.
SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post [link]
These are the kind we have but anything along those lines would work, if you can find something less expensive.
All cats are different, but a good scratching post(s) can save your furniture. It might take a few days, but once they take to it, they'll prefer it.
There's a bit of technique to it, too. Cats have routines and sequences they follow. For instance, my cat always likes to scratch after using the litter box, so if the post was too far away, she would probably find something else to scratch on. But since there's a good post nearby (not like right there, but maybe 15 feet away) she loves using it. She also likes to scratch and stretch when she wakes up.
You also want a good post, something tall and sturdy enough that they can stretch alllll the way up and hang on it with their whole body weight. Ideally, they should be able to climb up it. A couch is big and sturdy and lets them do this, so it will always be preferred over some piddly little scratching pad.
My cat will still stretch on the couch (usually right before jumping up to our laps), but she doesn't scratch it. And there are lots of sticky removable plastic films you can use to discourage scratching on anything that does become a problem. After a few weeks, you can often take them off and the behavior is set.
I can recommend this post, and have seen many others recommend it as well.
Make sure it’s a tall scratching post!
Cats like to stretch when they scratch so they go for the couch because it’s taller than them and they can reach up high.
I’ve fostered a ton of cats and not a single one ever scratched me couch when I had this baby! Not even the jerk cat that I actually adopted haha
I would start with one, yeah. I would start with a large scratching post that the cat can lounge on to tick both of the boxes. If it gets a lot of use, I'd consider more cat furniture if needed.
This is the one I'm planning on getting my cats as my kitten seems to be outgrowing her scratcher. I haven't purchased it yet and can't give a review, but there are reviews on Amazon:
Stumbled on this thread because I was looking up more info about petlink for my cat's chip registration.
If you have trouble with your cats scratching your furniture, odds are it isn't getting to stretch enough while it's scratching so it goes for your furniture since it's high up. I got one of these on amazon and it's been amazing. Both of my cats use it all the time. You can find an Amazon basics one which is pretty much the same thing but $3-4 cheaper.
Granted these things are a bit pricey but they're super worth it.
Like I said all cats have different preferences, but if you're looking for something vertical and sturdy with a furniture-like texture this one completely rectified a chronic scratching habit on a specific piece of furniture in my own house without having to resort to any scratching deterrents.
Placement is important too. Mine likes to scratch as a "hello" or "pay attention", as do many cats. She was scratching the corner of my bed when I walked in and woke her from a nap or to get my attention when working from home (desk is in the bedroom), so I placed that scratcher where it would be the most convenient spot to scratch via her usual napping spots and navigational routes through the room. Her cat tree is next to the front door so she has something to scratch when she greets me at the door, and so on.
I find even temporarily put the scratchers by the things she likes to scratch...I have 1 cat that likes to scratch my 4 ft speaker so have a giant perch by the speaker she likes and she'll choose that.
Get a giant perch, 6/6 of my cats, it's their favorite thing to destroy
Yup whenever you move you have to re-teach them which is annoying!!
Side note: I know it’s really hard to get a cat to stop scratching something they’ve already deemed scratchable, and I know how awful it is. One product suggestion, just in case you haven’t tried it yet:
This scratching post is the absolute best. We have four around our house, the cats love them. Even people who told me “my cat wont use a scratching post” but tried it anyway on my recommendation have discovered that their cat does indeed use it.
Getting a good scratching post is also a huge help if the caps don't work out. My cat doesn't scratch anything with this one.
I grew up with cats being declawed too, but we allowed ourselves to be educated about it instead of being immature and selfish by ignoring evidence that what we did was wrong.
Thank you for fighting for your kitties!
I think it depends on how big your place is. If you have a 1 bedroom apartment one is enough. If you've got a big house, you might want a few so that there is always one nearby.
Also, make sure they're good posts. There are some cheaper kinds that are kind of shaped like a cone, with no flat base on the bottom. I got one of these for my cats and they kept pulling it over when they tried to use it. It would fall on them and scare them, so they stopped using it. It's worth the extra price to get good ones. The SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post is what I have now and it's the best one ever!
I highly recommend this scratching post, it's been wonderful for our Siberians. It's tall enough for them to stretch out fully, ours like to climb up it and sit on top of it, and they have never managed to knock it over despite many serious attempts.
My cats have stopped clawing the furniture (and the bathroom cabinet once) when I give them this post. It’s a little more expensive but it’s tall enough for them to get a good stretch and it’s sturdy. I have 3 cats and one lasts for about 3-4 yrs. I’ve learned the hard way when I get something new to get a new post and plant it in front of the new furniture so it’s easier to use than the expensive thing. They make a little seat that slides on the top, but it tends to slide off over time.
OUr cats used to claw the furniture too, till I got this scratchng post and stuck it near the couch where they were constantly scratching. Now they have no interest in the couch.
I have had a lot of scratching posts over the years, this is by far the best, high enough that they can really stretch (even my huge cat) when using it, and unlike others, it really lasts, and slightly less of an eyesore in the home. All of our cats have used it happily, and left the furniture alone.
Mine weighs 14.8 pounds. I call him "king of the jungle" sized.
He also requires a large scratching post because normal ones won't handle his weight pushing on it. This thing: [link]
Offer a separate deposit for pets when approaching rentals, if you offer a large enough deposit, also offer to have the carpets cleaned, and keep fleas under control with a final proper spray after the carpets are cleaned, and you will find landlords more accommodating as far as pets go.
We(I'm involved in other people's properties) always ensure that a decent cat scratching post is part of the accommodation one of these satisfies cats properly [link]
, and we also make sure that they have sprays to keep the cat attention away from fixtures and fittings.
if thats the one you mean, thats exactly what we have. its quite nice, very sturdy, only thing is its a bit large and theres no room left in our living room without making it look cluttered. but for the most part my cats have not been touching my speakers. now im mostly concerned about them fucking with the projector screen, and thats a drop down screen so its pretty easy to yell at them since it wont be down unless im staring right at it.
I don't know what kind of place you're adopting from, but when we adopted our cat, we asked for one that absolutely 100% used the litter box, and it has never been a problem. Get decent quality litter and scoop once or twice a day. We also have a mini trash can thing called a litter genie to put the poop in that completely traps the smell. Our house is tiny, so the litterbox is in our bedroom, but you can't even tell. Also, get your kitty a nice big scratching post so they're not tempted by wood trim.
Yes I got mine as kittens. As a bonus, the breeder let me visit often, so I got to see them weekly from about 4 weeks on. Great fun playing with their litter (6) and another litter of 6 that was 2 weeks older, plus 3-4 Momcats.
My breeder trained them on a big scratching post I found and I had one just like it, so they rarely feel the need to exercise their claws on anything else but that and some cardboard scratchers.
I use a squirt bottle for discipline. For some reason playing with a dripping water faucet is fun, but getting wet from an unknown source is not. I really have learned not to leave stuff around unless I want to look for it later!
Here's the scratching post. They could climb it as kittens, but can't knock it over as cats. The breeder got one and she was so impressed as her big cats immediately took to it as well, she bought a few more for her pride.
My kittens definitely prefer their SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post to anything else they have to scratch. They aren't perfect about it, but they will go out of their way to use that post instead of something else. The key is to put the post close to the sofa. Any time you see them scratch the sofa, pick them up and put them by the post. Scratch the post with your fingernails (not to "show" them, but to make noises that they'll be attracted to). If you have more than one room of furniture you want protected, you need more than one scratching post. I have a carpeted post in my bedroom, which one of the kittens uses as her "wake up" post. Neither of mine go for my carpet floor or my bed.
My cats were the same way until I bought this scratching post. I must've tried 10 different ones before this and they still preferred furniture or carpet. Now they seek out this post instead of scratching whatever's closest. It might seem expensive but I bought mine February 2014 and you can barely tell it's been used. Supposedly cats prefer it because it allows them to actually stretch while scratching which is why cats prefer furniture to the smaller scratching posts.
It's very inhumane to declaw a cat, it should be illegal. Many vets refuse to even do the procedure.
Healthy alternatives... cats (most) need a post, and they gravitate towards stability. if you get a scratch pad that jostles about, they're unlikely to use it.
It's going to sound like a cop out (especially on diy) however I had two cats, one we rescued as a kitten (From a junkyard in Brooklyn) the other was a shaved down 9 year old with only two teeth from a hoarder. (He wasn't having any of our shit, but fast forward his hair grew and he's majestic as all get out) The second cat had never even used a scratching post before. For both cats (not at the same time) we bought this one and it's the one I buy anyone who is getting a cat.
It works (bit of cat nip and toys on it till they get the hang of it) in part because of the stable base. put in in the corner, screw it down if you have to, and it will save your furniture.
I hear you. There are some pretty good scratching posts out there, 3/4 of my cats exclusively scratch the post. One is a rebel and has shredded my $25 couch, I'm buying some nail caps to try out on him :3
Post I love and have 2 of
as much as you think its cute and doesnt hurt at all and is totally adorable, DONT let kitty bite you or gnaw on your finger. it will become a very fucking annoying habit later
also get a scratching post like this, it will save your furniture and kitty will love it
get kitty used to touching its paws, this will come in handy when clipping its nails later
get kitty used to a bath, take it in some shallow warm bath water with toys or a motorized little fish for it to play with. desensitize kitty to water as much as you can or else baths will be like WW2 every time
i use "young again" zero-carb cat food for my cat. try to avoid carbs for your cat if you can, that's not what they're evolved to eat and it'll create fat cats
Welcome to the world of NYC maine coon ownership! I can't recommend this big, hefty post enough - both of our big burly cats were too much for normal scratchers (they would pull them over because the scratcher didn't have enough weight). It's also tall enough for them to sit on top of it:
My guy still uses the scratcher but doesn't play with the ball much anymore. I think he's bored of it. I got him one of these though. He loves that thing.
I haven't tried softclaws, but we're pretty religious about the claw trims every two weeks. It's a two-person job, but you get a rhythm down. My husband sits on the ground and wedges the cats body between his legs, and then he holds the cat's upper body still with his hands, and presents each claw for me to trim. We have a 'cone of shame' on the cat to prevent biting (he is so sweet besides getting his nails trimmed). When his claws are trimmed, we don't get scratched when horsing around. It takes like less than 2 minutes now to do.
We've also got an amazing scratching post that is seeming to do the trick for furniture scratching - he's been using that and not the couch since we got it: [link]
I'm going write this not assuming you already may know some of this.
First, do you have a proper place to scratch?
Cats need to stretch and scratch. They aren't being assholes. If you have a proper scratch post and you train your cat (yes, it can be done) your new couch can remain unshredded. The flat ones or posts that are too short are no good. People think that those are the way to go, but if you don't give a place to fully stretch and scratch, they will sue things like the couch. Here is a good example of a scratch post.
Train your cat to use the post. When they use it give extra attention or a treat. Like a single piece of a treat. You have many options in training against scratching the sofa. You can use a repellant spray, double-sided tape or cover it (during training) with something, like a blanket, to prevent scratching.
Lastly, do you trim your cat's nails?
The key is that even with the right post, you need to train your cat where to scratch. It isn't hard, search and learn. I went through this when I had a couch made. I have zero scratches on it.
This scratching post is something to consider.
You want something tall so they can stretch and scratch.
We got this for our two cats who are 11+ and 12+ pounds. They love to hang on it when they scratch. It's 32" high with a heavy 16"x16" base, $39.99. I highly recommend it. It's also available here, but without free shipping, unless you buy another $10 in cat stuff. :-) There's a padded perch for under $10 available at both Amazon and Chewy, but I don't have it (yet).
Car Care Essentals
* You'll want to get a good scratching post. I use this one - it lets the cat reach all the way out and stretch up. Sisal is what you're looking for here.
* For toys, you can get an assortment of things, my cats like balls with bells in them and a ribbon on a stick, but will also happily play with boxes and discarded grocery bags,
* I personally recommend Arm & Hammer clumping litter, as it deodorizes things somewhat.
* You'll want to start with kitten formulated food, I'd suggest IAMS. We mostly feed kibble here, with moist food as treats.
* Please, please do not declaw. It's a terribly painful thing, and it can lead to lifelong issues for the cat. Soft Claws can certainly be used, and cats can be taught not to claw inappropriately. Making sure they have a good scratching post helps too.
* Handle the kitty. Pet them, fuss over them, talk to them a lot, play with them. Socialize them to want to be with their people. Get them to associate you with Good Things, and they'll start seeking you out.
* Cats like heights. To prevent the kitty from jumping up where they should not be, put a strip of double-sided tape where they will land. They'll quickly associate jumping up there with sticky feet, and will stop doing that.
* Feliway has a lot of cat info, and products that can be used to reduce cat stress and alleviate some behaviors can be found on Amazon.
* Good luck with the baby. :)
Very similar to this one, we sell these and highly recommend them at the cat adoption place I volunteer:
Yup. He really tears into it.
This is the one I got for my cat:
It's big and sturdy and he really likes it.
First and foremost, you need to get a good cat scratching tower. You being 14 and your brother being 9, obviously you will have a hard time buying one yourself. So tell your mother to read my comment:
BUY THIS CAT SCRATCH POST IF IT'S THE ONLY THING YOU BUY THEM BESIDES FOOD: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000634MH8?pf_rd_r=4ZAR85Y0PKG4H6TGGCEN&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee
Cats need to have a tall scratching post or they will tear up furniture. People's biggest mistake is skimping on the cat scratcher and then getting angry when their cats tear up furniture. If you can make a cat scratch tower with spare cloth and wood with your art teacher, you could try that. Just make sure it's at least 2.5-3 feet tall. I think you're much better off getting this scratch tower for your birthday or a holiday, though. I honestly think your mom would be happier with it in her house than having scratched furniture worth more than $45. You might be able to find ones cheaper, but just be sure they're taller than 2.5 feet. After buying tall scratch towers, I have never had my cats scratch anything else.
You're raising kittens, so just be sure to not instill bad habits. If you catch them scratching things they're not supposed to scratch, direct them to something they ARE allowed to scratch.
Anything else is a luxury. What cats need the most is humans who pay attention to them and stimulate them by interacting with them. Just be sure to play with your cat frequently, every day. There's a perception that cats are zero-interaction pets that just entertain themselves and this is not true. That and a good quality scratching post. I think human interaction is something most cats sorely need more than their cat tree.
Using double sides packing tape worked for me. Other options are purchasing a car scratch post and putting it up against the couch.
IF none of these seem like they will work then put this down on the ground where she scratches. We used it when our cat was spraying in one particular corner.
Cats are attracted to scratching posts that are tall enough to get a good stretch in. If you got a short cat post, or one that is shorter than he can reach on the other furniture, it will likely be second best. When I found that out, I bought a post on amazon that was really highly reviewed and was really tall. And since I got that post, my cat doesn't want to scratch on anything else in the house (unless she's being lazy, to which I will just make a loud noise and spook her into not scratching the couch she's trying to scratch.) But she rarely, if ever, scratches anything except her post. It's a little on the expensive side, but if you can find one that is this tall, I think you'll have more success.
I can't promise it'll work, but it worked for me like a charm. When I read online that cats really just want to be able to stretch, it made a lot of sense to me that she was preferring our furniture over our cat posts.
looks like this one on Amazon
Does she use the scratching post? Not all cats like the resistance of the cardboard ones and need tougher scratchers like carpet and posts. You can try scratchers like these:
Theyre more expensive but they last a lot long than cardboard and dont leave a big mess of cardboard bits.
If the cat doesnt use any scratcher, then you will have to try a cat spray as it is probably a smell in the carpet or carpet pad that is encouraging the behaviour
Not a tower, but my 15 lb maine coon mix loves it... [link]
I got my cat one of these and she doesn't mess with my cabs anymore:
I have a hammock suction cupped onto the window around 4.5 feet up and I put a scratching post next to it. He has always liked to climb scratching posts and sit on the top, so now he just climbs to the top and jumps to the hammock bed thing. Might be a good solution!
This is the scratching post I have:
And if you look at the window unit you can see that I left a lip on the inside of the window so there's a little platform he can jump on: [link]
Hope that helps!!
Your link isn't working on mobile
Is this right?
Hey OP, I highly recommend this scratching post: [link]
It's lasts for years and it allows the cat to stretch out fully. The matching perch is awesome too. Cats love to be up high.
Scratching Posts and Cat Towers:
You need to have a visible scratching post in each main room. Cats scratch things to show they have a right to be there. They scratch for other purposes too but this is one you need to think about when placing a scratching post. A hidden scratching post won't do any good because the cat probably won't really use it. I recommend a tall scratching post where the cat can completely stretch out while scratching. I recommend this one: SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post [link]
Also be aware that even cats who are shy or independent want to be in the same room as you. So if you hangout in the living room the most they will want to be there too. And keep in mind that cats like to survey their "territory" and will try to find the highest spot in the room. If this is your dining room table or your kitchen counter, then don't be surprised if you are often kicking them off those surfaces.
Instead buy a tall cat tower that is taller than those surfaces you don't want them on. Remember that placement is key. I bought a cat tree before I moved and both of my cats loved it because it was next to a window and also in a location where they could oversee almost the entire apartment.
When I moved I thought I had it in a good place but I noticed that the cats stopped using it. Instead I did notice that they preferred to sit on a tall chair in a different part of the room than the cat tree.
As soon as I moved the cat tree to that spot (where the chair was) they immediately started using the cat tree again.
Cats need to be able to have constant access to a litterbox. They aren't like dogs and will not hold it until you decide to open the balcony door. So unless you want them to pee on your furniture, I would suggest buying a hidden litterbox. Something like this: Good Pet Stuff Hidden Litter Litter Box [link]
Or this: Merry Products Pet House and Litter Box [link]
Things like that work if you don't like seeing a litterbox. Also try a few different litter options out. Don't get scented litter though. Most cats really dislike scented litter. But some unscented litter doesn't smell as bad as others.
Also as long as you are cleaning the litterbox frequently, you won't have that bad litterbox smell.
Cats can be very picky and if you don't change the box enough the cat may stop using it altogether. So keep that in mind.
Don't try toilet training your cat. Trust me you will have way more problems than it is worth. And I have witnessed some cats start peeing in inappropriate locations after the toilet training attempt. Cats have too strong of an instinct to bury their poop, so you would have to have a litterbox anyway and so what is the point.
If you trim your cats nails once every other week or so you won't have to worry so much about their nails getting stuck in things. Many times furniture clawing starts because their nails get stuck in the furniture and once a tear occurs it is like a clawing magnet.
Pet stores sell waterless shampoo if your gf never trained them to be okay with giving them baths. If you start bathing them when they are kittens it isn't a problem, but adult cats get too stressed out so I wouldn't do it. But waterless shampoo should be okay. Most of the time cats clean themselves just fine though.
I highly recommend not free-feeding your cats. Kittens can free-feeding but adult indoor cats tend to overeat and get fat. Fat cats are not good! Fat cats are more likely to have major health problems down the road. Just don't do it. Get an automatic feeder if you don't have time to feed them on a schedule. Qpets 6-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder [link]
This is the one I use. I have two of them (one for each cat) and it works out really well. It is much healthier to feed your cat small meals frequently throughout the day instead of just one large meal once a day. I have my feeders set to feed them a tiny meal every 4 hours.
I have noticed a decrease in begging for people food since I have started this feeding schedule.
Wet food is way better for cats than dry food. Cats tend to get more water from the food they eat than by drinking water. But you can get your cat to drink more water.
I work at a vet clinic and one of the biggest health problems I see in cats in kidney failure. Cats originated in desert areas. This means that cats aren't typically going to drink a lot of water but there are ways to encourage your cat to drink more water. Pet water fountains are perfect because the water stays "fresh" and doesn't go "stale" or too dirty because of the filters in the bowls. Something like this: Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain 128oz [link]
There are a lot of choices though so look around and find one you like.
I hope this helps a bit. :)
If cats don't have a place to stretch and scratch, they'll make one. Tall scratching posts like this one will allow a cat to scratch properly.
Nice find. I got mine from amazon
I'm sorry, I never saw you ask if there was anything my cat wasn't allowed to do. I wasn't intentionally ignoring the question. But yes, there are many things. If you need examples here are some (because otherwise even though I have a training philosophy I guess I must let my cat do whatever she wants?)
Perching on my monitor, going outside, going into the dogs' crates (those are their "dens" and are safe places for getting away from the cat!), sleeping on my clean clothing, going on the counter when I am preparing food, and scratching my good furniture are just some of the things I don't let my cat do. And, for the most part, she doesn't anymore.
I have my limits of patience too, but I try to remember one basic thing: that a cat is not trying to antagonize me, she has a need that's not being met. Using the kitchen counter example, she presumably just wants to see what I am doing and make sure she's not missing out. So, when I am preparing food, she has her own stool that she can sit on by the counter where she can see what I am doing and yet she's not in the way. I let her sniff the closed bags of food so she can see it's not something she wants. It's not a big deal to me to let her do this. It satisfies her curiosity and it works for us.
If your cat prefers to use the couch instead of the scratching post, you have to ask yourself why? It's not because she's being defiant. Her scratching post is simply not fulfilling her needs. Most cheap posts are too small, too easily tipped, or just plain not the right fabric. A couch is big, heavy, tall, and sturdy. When I got my cat a decent post, she stopped scratching my mattress.
I got a lot of my tips from this website. Maybe you can see some other people there who agree with this method of training and can see that it works for them, too.
had this one for a few years now with two cats and they still haven't defeated it
Okay so this wouldn't change my life as drastically as it would change my cat's life. She LOVES these rope scratching posts. Now generally she's a good kitty when it comes to not destroying things in the home... but lately she has started to pick at the carpet when we've shut her out of our room and she gets lonely. Having this big post would be sosososooo helpful for both of us, human and kitty, in the long run because it would deter her from picking at anything. :)