Cat Clawing Crisis
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
How to Make a Sisal Rope Cat Scratching Post
Love Your Cat
Your Feline Companion
How Do I Keep Cats from Clawing the Furniture?
I have three cats and two old couches that are shredded. We just bought 2 new loveseats for our living room. Does any one have a homemade solution to deter our cats away from these couches or a really good product to buy that actually works? I have tried a store bought product that didn't work and I have also used vinegar dabbed on the fabric with no luck. I tried placing aluminum foil on the edges, which works, but it is not so pretty. Also, once I take them off the cats are back at it. I tried squirting them with a water bottle when I catch them, but they mostly scratch at it late at night or when no one's home. I am out of ideas. My last hope is to declaw them, which probably isn't cheap and I heard not so great for older cats. Please help!
Get Attention with Catnip
Get a catnip scented scratching board for each of them and they will never scratch your furniture again. They are at CatClaws.com and they really work!
Spray to Stop Clawing
The best product on the market to stop cats from urine marking or scratching is called Feliway. I was at the end of my rope with 3 elderly cats that spray marked my house and furniture. I had tried everything and was contemplating getting rid of them because of the smell and all the furniture, etc. that had been destroyed. I've used it for over a year and it works wonders! Read more about it at DrsFosterSmith.com. They sell it for $19.99 a 75-ml spray bottle. I haven't found any local pet stores that carry it. I asked at PetSmart and Pet Supplies Plus and was told they can order it for $30-40 a bottle. At $19.99 a bottle it's still a bit pricey but it lasts a long time and is worth every penny.
Claw Caps Stops the Destruction
I have the same problem. Not only does my cat scratch the furniture, she also scratches an old surgery site on herself causing injury. I will not declaw my 11-year-old cat so I buy Soft Paws nail caps. They are little soft plastic caps that you put over your cat's nails with a special type of medical super glue (although I use regular super glue and it works great). They last about a month or two depending on the cat, and how fast their nails grow since they fall off when nails naturally sloughs. They work great-especially on the back feet for protecting her from herself. They are expensive initially but in bulk they are much more reasonable than repairing damaged furniture or, in my case, further medical care for her.
Cover With Clear Plastic
This is my method of deterring and training cats to leave my furniture alone. I buy the thicker, crystal clear plastic that you buy off a bolt at the hardware or fabric store. I tape it (with clear tape) or attach it with upholstery pins to the sides and corners of the piece. It is not horribly noticeable and spoils all the fun for the cats until they finally give up and find an appropriate place to claw like outside on a tree, a scratching post, etc. I no longer have to cover anything as my cats just ignore the furniture
Bitter Apple Keeps Pets Away
A product called Grannick's Bitter Apple. will work wonders and is available at most pet and discount stores. It has kept my cats and dogs away from the furniture, Christmas trees, toys etc. It doesn't even stain wood. They hate the smell and/or taste and keep far away. One other solution would be to give them something else to occupy their time like a scratching post or catnip may work.
Save on your pet's medications at 1-800-PetMeds.
Claw Sheaths Are Worth Trying
This is an age-old problem with cats. Cats scratch for several reasons, including marking territory, relieving anxiety, renewing their claws, and just plain exercise. The "final solution" you mentioned should not be considered at all - declawing cats is extremely cruel and is actually prohibited as such in many countries. It is a major procedure that often leaves the cat in permanent pain and leads to other undesirable behaviors. Please don't do this to your cats!
There are several other solutions I would recommend:
- Use claw sheaths, called Soft Paws or other similar names, available in pet stores or online. These are little rubbery glue-on covers for the cat's claws. YouTube has many videos to show how to apply them. They last for several weeks and cats accept them pretty well.
- Apply double-sided tape to the place they tend to go for, being careful not to apply this on shredded fabric, though, since removing it from shreds could further damage the fabric.
- Place vertical scratching post and horizontal cardboard scratching pads beside the loveseats. You can rub some catnip into these to entice the cats to use them.
- Hide orange peels nearby or use orange-smelling spray (available in pet stores) since cats avoid that smell.
Cut Their Claws
You can learn to cut the cat's claws. I cut my cats every two to three weeks. Yes, you may worry of cutting them to short, but all you need to do is cut the hooks off.
I have several scratching posts placed around the house, and they use them a lot. The best one is about three feet high and has a sturdy base the cats use this post for stretching also.
Find a Corrugated Cardboard Scratching Board
I have had cats over the years, and I have found that if I have a good corrugated cardboard scratching board for the cats that I can put cat nip on, they are drawn to scratch on it. They usually like catnip and some kitty treats for using it. Walmart carries them, and my cats love them. You may want more than one because a multiple cat household needs more than one. My kitties will actually lay on it for a while too. It is truly a lot cheaper than a new couch or re-upholstery, and yes, when you get a cat declawed, it is essentially the same as cutting off the tips of your fingers at the first joint. It's not a nice thing for kitties to have to go through.
I had the same problem with my cat clawing the furniture. Here is what I did. I took a 6 ft. long board and covered it with a piece of carpet. I then leaned it against the wall near the sofa. It was irresistible and made a great scratching post. She also loved to run up and down it. A rough-cut board would work also. The board can be moved to various locations once the cat gets used to it.
Cats Hate Lavender
Try spraying lavender onto your fabric furniture. Cats hate lavender and will stay away! You'll need to keep it spritzed every so often.
Keep Kitty Secure When Alone
Our cat clawed the furniture, favoring the couch over scratching posts and boxes, and also climbed the hutch at night knocking things off and damaging the wood. We resorted to putting him in the half-bath downstairs where his litter box, food and water were when we went to bed and whenever we went out. He became so used to this that he came when he was called during the day and sat by the bathroom door at 10PM every night waiting to be put to bed. He still clawed some but was shooed away with a loud noise when caught. The furniture suffered very little from then on.
Lorraine in NH
I have read (although I've never tried it) that if you attach a blown-up balloon to the area she/he scratches and it pops right in their little face, it deters them from scratching there for the future.
Carrie didn't mention if she had scratching posts. Adding one or two gives the cats something acceptable to scratch on, while leaving the loveseats alone. Every time they go to scratch the loveseats, move them to the scratching posts and praise them if they scratch. The water bottle squirts work as well, in addition to moving them to the scratching posts.
She can also put clear tape on the edges. It doesn't show as much as the foil. Hopefully it will just be a temporary thing as the cats will take over the scratching posts instead.
Send Them Scurrying
We have had lots of cats (and dogs) and always keep a spray bottle of water handy when we need to train new pets about things we don't want them to do. Just a quick little spray at them and saying no at the same time should be enough to send them scurrying. It should only take a couple of times of this to break bad habits!
The Sky Is Falling!
I have a cat and she did that as well. I hung some old t-shirts on the corners where she liked to claw. She doesn't claw the sofas any more. You can use something pretty. Just don't attach it. They start clawing, and it comes down on them. They don't like it!
Cats Can't Resist Catnip
Invest in a good cat scratching post that is at least 32" tall. I also purchased some catnip and rub it on the post occasionally. They can't resist catnip! I buy it in a jar and keep in freezer to keep fresh. I think this will work for you. It did for me. Declawing is so very cruel. They don't pull the claws out. They literally cut off first knuckle.
Join the conversation on Facebook!
Take the Next Step:
- Stop overpaying for your pet's medications. See how much 1-800-PetMeds can help you save.
- Could spending 5 minutes reading a newsletter twice a week save you time and money every day? Dollar Stretcher Tips readers think so. Subscribe and find out how many ideas stretch your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.
- Don't let your pets take such a bite out of your budget! The Dollar Stretcher's Guide to Frugal Pet Care can show you smart ways to love your pet while spending less.
Money-Saving Tools for Families
Trending This Week
- A financial safety net for single moms
- Do we need a will?
- Chip off the old cheapskate
- Frugal party ideas for twin tweens
- Home remedies to soothe the sizzle of sunburn
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- This week's Readers' Tips