Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cat Scratch Fever

We have two cats: Pepper (long haired, black male) and Sarah (short-haired, multi-color female). We love them dearly and they are a constant source of entertainment for us. However... they are totally indoor cats and are not declawed. Now, I've had cats throughout my life, but they have almost always been declawed. It wasn't until recently that I learned what exactly that involves and I really couldn't do that to another animal. At any rate, having cats destroy carpet and furniture is a new experience to me, but that's what we're dealing with. Here is what our loveseat looks like:

So I went online and did some research. I found a lot of good information here which explains why cats scratch and ideas for diverting their attention to scratch where you want them to.

So we did 2 things. First, we bought some SoftPaws, which are basically soft, fake nails for kitties. These were hilarious to me, but the concept made sense so I just had to try them. The site warns that cats will try to take them off so you may have to re-apply them often until they get used to them. I bought a set that had enough for both cats. Well, when they got here, they were too small for Pepper (the largest of our 2 cats) so we could only put them on Sarah.

Aren't those a hoot? She tolerated us gluing them on pretty well. Then she went to work on gnawing them off. It took her all of one day to get them all off. So we put them on again. This time it only took her an hour or 2. (*Sigh*) I still plan on trying to get some large ones for Pepper, but we have more or less given up on putting these on Sarah.

The second thing we did was much more successful. Jameel built the kitties what we have come to refer to as the "Kitty Palace." I told him we needed a bigger scratching post. He got that "Tim the Tool Man" gleam in his eye and came home with this beauty. We painted it white and bought some rough indoor/outdoor carpeting from Home Depot to put on it.

The cats LOVE it and have pretty much stopped scratching on the furniture in the living room. However, they are still scratching at the carpet around doorways. We can't seem to figure out a way to keep them from doing that. They usually do it when we're asleep, so we can't spray them with water or anything like that as they are scratching.

If any of you have ideas, I'd love to hear them!


besnini said...

Sorry, no ideas about the scratching but I had to comment on your hubby's creative ablilities. Wow, that is a cat palace. Nice job!

boo4baby said...

We have a new kitten and are wondering about the declawing, too. I don't want destroyed furniture or carpet. Wade won't keep the cat if that happens. :)

Jennifer said...

Boo - Yes, Jameel has already threatened to get rid of them if they don't straighten up. That's why I want to teach them quickly! It would break the girls' hearts (and mine) to get rid of them at this point. I'll let you know if I learn any magic tricks to keep them from scratching.

Baroness Insomniac said...

Now that Jameel is quite talented. =))

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