CAT OWNERS: How do you train a cat to stop scratching furniture?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by emilioestevez, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. emilioestevez Suspended

    emilioestevez

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    Aug 25, 2015
    #1
    My 1-year-old cat is destroying my furniture by clawing it. What's the solution? The cat remains in a room void of furniture now but obviously cats need room to run around and explore. Cheers.
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #2
    Might I suggest that you get the cat a scratching post?
     
  3. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    #3
    If it never goes outside get it de-clawed or perhaps numerous scratching posts laying around. BTW you do not train a cat it trains you for its needs.
     
  4. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #4
    You're better off just letting the cat outside. This is borderline abuse of a cat. You basically cut their fingers off at the knuckle. It renders them completely and utterly defenseless.
     
  5. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    #5
    Can you actually train a cat not to do something that it likes ?
     
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6
    It is not just that 'it likes' to claw the furniture (or some suitable substitute), it is that it needs to be able to do so. This activity helps to keep the claws sharp.

    To the OP: You have two choices. Get a few scratching posts, so that the cat can scratch something appropriate and keep its claws in shape, or declaw the cat and then, be prepared to accept that your cat will have to be an indoors animal for the rest of its days.

    Personally, I'd recommend the former.
     
  7. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #7
    My two cats never warmed up to the scratching post but they do much better on days I let them roam the back yard for hours. So far they have yet to run off. We treat them well (feed them, groom them, love on them) so they always come back for more when called.theyve only ever gone as far as the next door neighbor's yards anyway. I should probably get them chipped. Well, the Russian Blue I really like anyway. ;) The other is a standard black cat that's dumb as bricks.

    They really act like children. When they've got too much energy and start chasing each other it's time for them to go outside and expend some energy.
     
  8. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #8
    I have a great method that's easy, and doesn't hurt the cat.

    *** PLEASE *** do NOT declaw your cat.
    It will never be able to defend itself when outside.
    Even a house cat should never be declawed in case it should ever slip outside.

    To solve the problem I asked my vet, he suggested that I learn to clip the cats claws / nails... very short. Shorter than you would see them cut by the groomers or anyone else for that matter. But you have to "train the nails." Yes, this is entirely possible.

    You must be patient because you can't do it all at once. First time trim you cut close to the quick. But first inspect your cats claws carefully to locate where the quick stops (see pictures in article)

    Then instead of waiting a month or more, clip again after two weeks, we'll call this session 2.
    Wait another two weeks for session 3, this time you'll be able to cut them a little shorter as the quick will begin to recede. This is normal and it's what takes time. One of my cats began receding at two weeks, another after only ten days.

    After just ten weeks, my cats nails were short and eliminated all scratching / clawing of any furniture, clothes, etc.
     
  9. Roller macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Check out Jackson Galaxy's (love the name!) website for cat training tips. Yes, cats can be trained with some effort, though not as easily as dogs. There are also cat repellants that you can attach to or spray on furniture to discourage scratching. And, as Skepticalscribe said, offering the feline a scratching post or two might help.
     
  10. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #10
    Squirt bottle, just squirt it with some water when you see it scratching the furniture.
     
  11. Richdmoore macrumors 65816

    Richdmoore

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    #11
    My understanding is that declawed cats tend to have problems using litterboxes, and may actually stop using them altogether. They also tend to bite (their only defense left after declawing) and are prone to lots of aggression out of a fear response to being defenseless.

    I would not consider declawing, even for an indoor only cat.

    Get several cheap scratching posts, of various types until you learn which style your cat likes. Put aluminum foil or double sided tape on areas you want the cat to avoid scratching, until it learns that item is unpleasant to scratch. There are lots of books, web pages, cat forums, and other information.

    Also, just consider that sometimes livings with cats, dogs, etc means that your stuff will get tore up. Of course you can minimize it to some extent, but it is the price of owning an animal.
     
  12. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #12
    If they are exclusively indoor cats, there is no problem with this imo. Indoor cats statistically live longer I believe. Might as well neuter them too. :)
     
  13. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

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    #13
    I have an exclusively indoor cat that was already declawed when I got him @ 4 months old. He's 11 now, has never, ever had problems not using a litter box, nor is he aggressive or a biter because he was declawed.

    I have a rescue female cat who's not declawed. She started scratching my furniture. Really pissed me off. I bought three standing cat scratchers and two of those corrugated cardboard ones that lay flat on the floor. She doesn't have much use for my furniture anymore. Every now and again I'll catch her about to scratch the side of my couch and I'll yell at her and say "NO!". She gets the hint.

    If you're having problems getting a cat to use the scratchers, rub some catnip on them. They sell sprays you can spray on your furniture to stop cats from scratching it, but from what I've read it doesn't work.
     
  14. Roller macrumors 68020

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    #14
    That's correct. Indoor cats tend to live considerably longer, largely because they're not killed by predators. Our cat, who's been indoors since we got him last year, often sits and looks out the window for hours. I sometimes think that he's longing to be outside, but overall he seems very content the way he is.
     
  15. triptolemus macrumors 6502

    triptolemus

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    #15
    I will second this. They work perfectly. Two cats, and they NEVER scratch on anything else.

    When you buy them in a pet store, they usually come with a little pack of catnip. Sprinkle some of that on the cardboard scratcher every few days. It's like crack to them.
     
  16. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #16
    Neutering is completely different than mutilating the animal.
     
  17. Roller macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Our cat doesn't react to catnip. Alcohol, crack, and weed don't do much for him, either. :)

    BTW, I just glanced at the "similar threads" listing for the first time and noticed there's one about Cat Stevens.
     
  18. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    #18
    How long are we talking here? The last 5 cats my parents have had over the last 35 years have all lived at least 14 years (only because the current one hasn't passed yet), all were outdoor cats. The most recent to pass was 19 years old. A well cared-for cat will last a long time, indoor or outdoor animal. They have never de-clawed their cats and have never had much trouble with furniture damage.

    I second the squirt bottle idea.
     
  19. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #19
    Honestly, indoor/outdoor cats are the best. They behave extremely well because they get to be themselves and cater to their own instincts outside.

    Does it bother me that one of them might not make it home? Maybe a little, but at the end of the day, I'm happier knowing my cats get to live as cats. Heck we have one that pretty much owns our front yard while the other lives mostly inside.
     
  20. daflake macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Okay, just a small couple of things. De-clawing a cat does not render it defenseless. The first line if defense for a cat is its mouth and teeth. The claws are actually used as a warning and to climb. That being said, I have two indoor cats and I don't de-claw them, it simply isn't worth it.

    Training - Yes, cats can be trained but it is harder than dealing with dogs. I used double sided tape (they make pet safe stuff) if you have a specific area that is being scratched. Simply cover that area with the tape and it will turn the cat off of clawing that area. Also, a squirt bottle or simply raising your voice and training them with simple words. My cats (a little over a year) understand no, down, ouch, and come. No squirt bottle or de-clawing was required.

    Indoor cats can live 18 + years. My last two made it to 18 and a friend of mine just lost their 22 year old cat. Out door cats have an expected lifespan of about 7 years.
     
  21. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #21
    perhaps it depends on the cat but the two I had greatly disliked liked the smell of bitter apple spray and would avoid it. Any time I'd find them on the furniture I'd spray a towel with bitter apple and drape it over the furniture that interested them......they wouldn't go anywhere near it and after awhile they lost interest in scratching anything but their post.
     
  22. Huntn, Sep 12, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #22
    You are welcome to your opinion, but "mutilation" is a harsh term not appropriate for the situation imo. These cats are domesticated and if this makes them better pets able to live long lives with their owners, I see no problem. We had 3 cats, all completely declawed and neutered as youngsters. This experience did not traumatize them. They were well rounded, friendly cats, very people social, great with kids, who lived about 17 years. They used to kneed us with their imaginary claws expressing their affection, both of us (me and the wife) as happy as can be they were imaginary :)

    Our cats made it to 17 and I believe statistically your parent's cats were lucky. Many outdoor cats are killed by cars, dogs, and poison or contract diseases.
     
  23. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    #23
    It's, uh, definitely in the neighborhood of mutilation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onychectomy
     
  24. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    Dec 7, 2010
    #24
    Declawing animals is abusive. No vet worth their salt should declaw an animal if you ask them to.

    In regards to the OP, you could try a scratching post and spray some feliway on it. You could also try lemon juice on the furniture you want it to stay away from (cat's don't like citrus particularly).

    I had the problem of the cat sitting on my dj equipment (and it puked on my housemates equipment), so we had to make a tinfoil cover for the table.

    But generally cats will have a go at at lest some furniture, my sofa and carpet on my stairs have taken a beating.
     
  25. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Mines an outdoor cat, and is now 12...... My aunts outdoor cat lived to 24.

    If your outdoor cats are only living to 7 someone ought to report you to animal protection as you're clearly doing something VERY wrong.
     

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