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Cat Scratching Issues With One Of Our Cats

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by TwitchingTail, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. TwitchingTail

    TwitchingTail Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    3
    0
    Sep 11, 2019
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Hi everyone,
    We have 2 cats which we have had for a few years now and have been having issues with one of them (Thor, our black cat) since day 1. Our other cat (Lily, the white one) has been behaved with scratching since day one and never caused any damage. We got Thor about a year prior to getting Lily, Thor has always been really well behaved around people and never uses his claws on anyone, however furniture and carpet are a different story... see, Thor loves to scratch everything except the scratching post, he loves ripping up carpet and destroyed all of our leather chairs and leather couches. After we got Lily things improved, it's like she managed to push some of her good behaviors on him and he mostly stopped scratching furniture focusing instead on the carpet. We don't know what to do anymore we feel like we have tried everything with him and nothing works, here are a few things we tried and a rough idea of our setup:
    We have a 2 story home and have a cat post on our main floor by our living room, we have another cat post in the middle of our stairs leading to upstairs (on a big flat section) and we have another cat post on our second floor, we also have a few smaller scratch boards which we located in various areas like on the stairs carpet in horizontal and on some other areas vertical, Lily loves them, but Thor only casually uses them (see below).
    What we have tried so far:
    Yelling at him (I know we shouldn't have done this). Mixed results
    Water spray (I know we shouldn't have done this). Little results
    Remotely activated blender located in areas where he scratches the most (carpet stairs): Some results, reduction in scratching but also stress from the blender, as soon as we removed the blender scratching resumed to original frequency
    Felliway dispenser: 0 results even after sustained use
    Nail caps: very little results, the little bugger manages to pull them out even if that meant ripping parts of his nails out, also very time consuming to install and a complete pain to deal with him doing it. We tried to have the vet put them on and did last a little longer but he still found ways to get them out and they eventually fall out anyway, not a sustainable option.
    Spraying and dropping cat nip on scratching posts: This probably had the best results so far, we used this combine with rewarding him with treats, play time and cuddles when we observed good behaviors. He started using the posts however he only added those to his scratching areas and still keep scratching the carpet.

    We really don't know what to do anymore, we love him he's a really sweet cat, super well behaved with people but just very destructive. We live in a brand new house and I already had to repair significant portions of carpet multiple times until I gave up and he destroyed all of our brand new leather furniture which we are now looking at replacing but are very hesitant given his history. I'm at the point where I just want him declawed, but I know that isn't a good option especially that we have another cat.

    Any ideas?


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  2. recurringecho

    recurringecho TCS Member Adult Cat

    100
    114
    Mar 16, 2017
    Yes, please don't declaw him as that will be the equivalent of amputating your fingers at the first joint.

    Is there a particular spot on the carpets that he is scratching? If so, you can try covering the sweet spot with a rug and see if he would like scratching on that instead.

    Also, what material are the scratching posts made of? What size are the horizontal scratching posts? Have you tried getting larger posts or posts made of different material? It could be because he likes the texture, catch, and feel of the carpet and leather more than the material of the current posts.
     

  3. TwitchingTail

    TwitchingTail Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    3
    0
    Sep 11, 2019
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Hi,
    He scratches various areas of the carpet but most are contained to the stairs. We have tried covering the areas with those horizontal cat scratchers but he just starts to scratch beside them somewhere else on the carpet. Our posts are a combination of carpet and ropes vertical and horizontal sections. 2 of them are about 6ft tall and the other one around 4 ft
     

  4. Tobermory

    Tobermory “What greater gift than the love of a cat.” Top Cat

    2,743
    6,579
    Dec 13, 2017
    Oregon
    You mentioned the Feliway diffuser, but have you tried the Feliway spray? I used Feliway spray to discourage Mocha from scratching furniture and rugs when I adopted her two years ago. She was already three years old and couldn’t seem to get the hang of scratching posts. I lightly misted the spots she seemed to prefer daily for awhile and then every 2-3 days for several weeks, and she never scratched in those places.

    The spray didn’t damage or mark my furniture, but I don’t have leather. You’d need to do a test spot for leather. Be sure not to spray near or on his scratching posts (because then he won’t use them!) or around the cats themselves. Here’s the last link that describes the product and how to use it: https://www.feliway.com/us/Products/FELIWAY-CLASSIC-Spray

    Some cats seem to immune to Feliway, but I had great luck with it. Mocha rarely scratches the furniture any more. She did start in on a footstool last week, but I misted it and she hasn’t done it since.

    Feliway does make a product called Feliscratch specifically to encourage cats to use their scratching posts. I tried it with Mocha, but it didn’t work for her. Others have had success with it though.

    The Feliway Classic for the diffuser is for stress reduction. It doesn’t really help with scratching, as you discovered! I used it when I brought Mocha home to help her and my two resident cats adjust to each another. I also used the Feliway Multicat diffuser because Lily was being very aggressive toward Mocha.

    Give the spray a try!
     

  5. recurringecho

    recurringecho TCS Member Adult Cat

    100
    114
    Mar 16, 2017
    Have you tried spraying the places where he has been scratching with diluted citrus essential oils yet? Cats hate the smell of citrus, so it could help with the scratching. If citrus doesn't help, you can also try lavender or cinnamon essential oils.
     

  6. TwitchingTail

    TwitchingTail Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    3
    0
    Sep 11, 2019
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Would that be an issue with carpet soaking in the smell?
     

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