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Scratching Furniture 1% of the time?

dollface
November 11th, 2009, 11:13 PM
We have a cat tree and Gizzy uses it 99% of the time, he even tries to get Forest to not scratch it, Forest ignores him and does it anyways. There was a time when Forest went after the couch, but that stopped when I put up aluminum foil.

The only time Gizzy doesn't use the tree is when he has fallen asleep on the couch or the recliners and then he wakes up and starts stretching and then the claws dig in, and the couch gets picked at. We don't have nice furniture, but there will be a day that comes when we do. Is there a way to make him stop? Or is it really not worth it and just get the kind of furniture that is resistant to cat claws (if there is such a thing)?

catlover2
November 12th, 2009, 06:56 AM
Rub catnip into the cat tree about once or twice a week, so they are attracted to it. When you do see Gizzy scratching the tree praise him. Some cats don't like cat trees. My girl prefers a cardboard egg carton on the floor, or one of those cardboard ones available in pet stores.

As for the couch and recliners cover with cheap cotton sheets---the less thread count the better; leave them on for several weeks. Cats don't like to scratch on cotton as they can't get their claws into it. You want to break him of the habit. Let us know how this works for you.

dollface
November 12th, 2009, 05:15 PM
At first the tree was in the corner, and when Forest started using the couch, I moved the tree right next to the couch and wrapped the corners in aluminum foil.

I thought I read somewhere on here that you're not supposed to praise them nor pay any attention when they use the tree :confused: I did that once and the next day when I was laying on the couch he reached up to stretch by my head and in went the claws. So I grabbed his paw and said "NO" then he ran away. If I can catch him while he's doing it I grab his paw to pull it out of the couch and say "NO". Is this wrong?

He also sleeps in my old subwoofer box and uses the carpet on the outside to scratch. He's got 2 places to scratch and there are two cubby holes to sleep in, with blankets.

catlover2
November 12th, 2009, 10:50 PM
No I don't think you did the wrong thing. Discourage bad behaviour with a "No", and praise when you do see him doing something you approve, like, or want him to do. I think cats, as do most animals, respond well to positive reinforcement of a behaviour. When a cat hears "No" most of the time and few "Good boy!"s he really doesn't know what you like. That's my take on it.

dollface
November 12th, 2009, 11:01 PM
So it's ok to praise him when he scratches the tree then?

I will try the cotton sheet idea if i can find a cheap one, or use aluminum foil until then. No need to punish where he sleeps but discourage unwanted scratching at the same time :)

rainbow
November 13th, 2009, 03:22 AM
I will try the cotton sheet idea if i can find a cheap one, or use aluminum foil until then.

Try the thrift stores for cheap sheets that you're just going to use for a cover. :)

catlover2
November 13th, 2009, 04:02 PM
So it's ok to praise him when he scratches the tree then?

I will try the cotton sheet idea if i can find a cheap one, or use aluminum foil until then. No need to punish where he sleeps but discourage unwanted scratching at the same time :)

Yes, it's OK. It never does any harm to praise a positive action with a "Good boy!" You're saying to him, "Yes, this is where I want you to scratch".

The sheets have the benefit of keeping your furniture clean & free of cat hair. When guests come over you just whip them off. It might look as it you're on holiday, but it saves the furniture. I have a 10 year old sofa that still looks great! Cats are happy to lie on it, you're happy to not see loose threads, and guests are happy to sit and not go home with cat hair on their black pants! :)

dollface
November 13th, 2009, 05:40 PM
Okie doke! Last time I when he was scratching the tree I pet him and said good boy and then the next day he scratched the couch right in front of me, and that's when i started grabbing his paw and saying "NO". So maybe if I treat him he will understand that's the only place he gets the treats and a NO in other places?

Thanks rainbow I will be hunting around the next couple days! Here's to no more couch scratching!