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Old 03-29-2013, 06:28 PM   #1
StitchesGr8Fan
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Need Help - Cat Claws

DH and I are have a problem with our littlest cat. He uses his claws as fingers and is ruining our furniture, blinds, linens and clothes. He accidentally scratches us sometimes (it is an accident, he doesn't use our legs like scratching posts like our other cat did) and we have a baby coming soon. He has gotten himself caught in things more than once and we've had to rescue him.

Here is what we have tried:
1. Regular nail trimming
2. Scratching posts and pads EVERYWHERE in the house, and positive reinforcement when he uses them.
3. Nail caps (he and his big sister chew them off)
4. Yucky sprays on surfaces we don't want him to scratch
5. Tin foil
6. Telling him no when we see him doing it and redirecting his attention
7. Play time

We are trying everything we can think of to avoid the dreaded D-word. I know that is incredibly painful (although every cat I've been around that had it done was back to normal in 2 weeks and never acted traumatized). It makes me cry to think about it, but we can't have him destroying everything, and accidentally scratching the baby. He is incredibly curious and will be right there with her, playing with her stuff. Is there anything else we can try?

And before I get flamed, I've read the articles saying that it is terribly traumatizing to a cat, and it is painful because the claws are attached to their bones. Although, like I said before, the 4 cats I know that had it done were not traumatized at all. It took them a couple weeks to change their habits but they didn't walk around limping or acting scared or traumatized.

I'm having such a hard time making this decision and I'm looking for other alternatives because declawing has become such a hot topic, like formula-feeding a baby. You are a bad cat mom if you have your cat declawed. Although, a lot of the shelters in the area have taken the no-declaw clause out of their adoption because they get a lot of cats back with scratching problems. I'm just tired of yelling at him or waiting for him to scratch something else. Please help.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:53 PM   #2
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I had a little cat once that could shred a sofa is under 2 seconds. Man she was fast. She left the curtains and blinds alone and didn't scratch people.

I was living in company housing with rental furniture and go tired of paying damage on sofas and chairs. The rental company suggested a plastic tape (can't remember the name of it) that I got at the pet store that I could put on the furniture so she got no pleasure in scratching. It worked like a charm and was easy to peel off and didn't leave a sticky residue. I don't know if it would work on curtains or not.

I was on that contract for 9 months and when I went to the new contract she did not scratch at the furniture. I don't know if it was a phase she was going through or if the no satisfaction in scratching at the furniture for 9 months taught her not to scratch.

I know how you feel trying to make the best decision for kitty, your home and the new baby coming. It can be a hard one to make. If you decide that the d-word is where you have to go for everyones best interest please make sure that kitty becomes an indoor kitty only.

Congrats on the new baby.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:58 PM   #3
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Need a little more info, how old is kitty and how much does he weigh?
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:05 PM   #4
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I have a kitten (when does it change to cat? He will be one in May) who scratches and is destroying some of our furniture. I have to watch him at screens. He usually does it I think to get our attention but it really is a pain. I had thought of declawing but the rest of the family is really not happy with it. I would love to figure out a way to have him stop it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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Try putting a little catnip all over the scratching posts. Lead him there when he starts to scratch. Don't declaw it's cruel.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:33 PM   #6
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He is definitely an indoor-only kitty.


He is about to turn one. He is 7 lbs. we really thought he was not going to be a scratcher. He's smart as a whip, but has been slow to mature. (His litter was taken from their mother at 3 weeks by a well meaning old man who fed them nothing but green beans and oatmeal until a rescue found out about it). His growth seems to be stunted too. He really looks and acts like a 6 mo kitten, but he's very smart.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakcp2001 View Post
Try putting a little catnip all over the scratching posts. Lead him there when he starts to scratch. Don't declaw it's cruel.
We've been doing that. We aren't seeing any improvement. It's actually getting worse as he realizes he can use his claws like fingers to manipulate things. All the catnip does is hype him up and make him climb the blinds.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:38 PM   #8
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Seems like you already made a decision, but are looking for people to justify it for you to ease your guilt. Good luck with that.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakcp2001 View Post
Seems like you already made a decision, but are looking for people to justify it for you to ease your guilt. Good luck with that.
No, I'm hoping that someone knows of a new product or method we can try. I appreciate your suggestion but he's not responding to that approach.

And thanks for making me feel worse about a bad situation.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakcp2001
Seems like you already made a decision, but are looking for people to justify it for you to ease your guilt. Good luck with that.
What?! It doesn't seem like that at all! Seems OP is VERY against declawing and looking for help. Which you're not giving... Only guilt and judgement. Geez
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakcp2001
Seems like you already made a decision, but are looking for people to justify it for you to ease your guilt. Good luck with that.
Cripes. That's clearly not the OP is saying.
OP, I unfortunately don't have any advice. My friend had a cat like that and in the end had him declawed because she was just about pulling her hair out because of all the scratching. The cat turned out fine but she still feels a little guilty.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:05 PM   #12
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BTW I have no suggestions just good luck wishes.are there cat behaviorists you can call?
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
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BTW I have no suggestions just good luck wishes.are there cat behaviorists you can call?
I wish I had time to get the guy from "the cat from h*ll" in here before the baby gets here!

His sister is biting his nails as I type this. He must have scratched her when he jumped on the tower. She tries to keep him out of trouble!
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:25 PM   #14
dakcp2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TifffanyD View Post
What?! It doesn't seem like that at all! Seems OP is VERY against declawing and looking for help. Which you're not giving... Only guilt and judgement. Geez
No she's not reread the original post. She offers quite a few justifications for why she's not. I truly hope I'm wrong here. For the sake of the cat, Ii really hope I am. And actually I did give a suggestion.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:38 PM   #15
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Have you tried double sided sticky tape. They sell some just for this purpose at pet stores. Kitty tries to scratch couch, drapes, whatever and end up with tape stuck on their fur. Cats hate this! They will usually stay away from the taped area afterwards. Good luck.
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