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Can you teach old cats new tricks? Advice needed.

 
 
Mame
 
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:14 pm
There are two cats here - 10 yrs and 14 yrs old. Both have developed the bad, bad, bad kitty habit of scratching the furniture. Both couches in the downstairs living room look like ****. We are renovating the whole house, bit by bit, and the next room is the downstairs living room. Part of that reno is to get new furniture. I'd hate like hell to get beautiful sofas just to have these cats scratch the **** out of them again. So...

Is there a way to teach these cats to stop scratching at their advanced age? We are not here 24/7, so spraying water on them would only work when we're here. What else can we do? Any cat experts here that have advice?

Edit - Oh, and there is a cat scratching post but they never use it, the rats.

Or do we have to put them in an old age cat home?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 13 • Views: 3,192 • Replies: 52
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:15 pm
@Mame,
give them something better to scratch, and reinforce the behavior...

(I just built a feline jungle gym, carpeted, and my couch is safe again)

sorry, I type s l o w...
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:16 pm
@Rockhead,
like....?
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:16 pm
is there any sort of safe room (rec room, laundry room) they can be exiled to, when you're not at home
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:18 pm
@Mame,
see above^^^^

way up there...
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:19 pm
The only thing that kept my cats from doing it was having them declawed. The down side of that is they instantly become indoor cats and you now have lots of cat boxes to empty and cat litter to purchase.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:20 pm
@Rockhead,
stop typing so quickly, i can't read that fast Razz
Mame
 
  0  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:21 pm
@Butrflynet,
They're already indoor cats. But Alex mentioned declawing them. I heard they can get infected, though. But... that would work. Thank you again, BFN.
Mame
 
  0  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:22 pm
@djjd62,
Another great idea, but I don't think Alex would go for his cats to be imprisoned for so many hours at a time. And they do scratch when we're home - even when we're in the room. Little buggers.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  0  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:23 pm
@Rockhead,
You ARE a slow typer! ha ha

They don't even use the scratching post they have - I suggest a kitty condo, but if they're not using this one, why would they use that?
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:25 pm
@Mame,
tai chi's cats were declawed with no problems, but it was done when they were young
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  0  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:27 pm
@Mame,
cuz it's fun and interesting.

I hung a toy off the top level, and let it dangle to the next, and played with her on the deck of it the first few days, so she associated it with affection and pets.

She has to (not really) go up the post to get to the deck, and gives it hell once or twice a day now, just cuz...

they hide and chase on and off of it.

not fancy, but occupies a good sized corner.

(declawing is cruel in MHO)

stinky was declawed before I got him, but he has psychological trauma from it still...
Mame
 
  0  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:35 pm
@Rockhead,
These cats are only interested in FOOD. They won't chase anything or even play with anything. I gave them catnip mice that I MADE MYSELF and they rolled around on them for about 10 minutes and then ignored them. One is FAT and the other is SKINNY. And they're both old and lazy good-for-nothings.


Smile

Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 05:36 pm
@Mame,
so make the level above where they get fed, so the climbing post helps their lazy feline butts get to the food...
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 06:11 pm
@Mame,
Did you already sign the "love me, love my cats" contract?
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 06:12 pm
http://www.afence.com/store/HTMLpics/warnin8.jpg

Just a thought. You don't have to have the voltage up too high....
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 06:29 pm
@Mame,
Sounds as though you shouldn't have cats--you don't really seem to be a cat person.

You wrote:
Quote:
Both have developed the bad, bad, bad kitty habit of scratching the furniture.


Scratching anything, furniture or anything else is not a bad kitty habit...and definitely not a bad, bad, bad kitty habit. It is an instinct...something every cat does. People for whom this is an annoyance SHOULD NOT HAVE CATS.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 06:36 pm
Sounds as though you shouldn't have cats--you don't really seem to be a cat person.

You wrote:
Quote:
Both have developed the bad, bad, bad kitty habit of scratching the furniture.


Scratching anything, furniture or anything else is not a bad kitty habit...and definitely not a bad, bad, bad kitty habit. It is an instinct...something every cat does. People for whom this is an annoyance SHOULD NOT HAVE CATS.

I really do not like the idea of declawing a cat. It is in the nature of cats to claw things...and cats without claws definitely are missing out on a lot of cat enjoyment. I understand that for some people it is the only way to work, but I just hate the idea.

No advice I can give you except keep the old furniture until they die. When they die, buy new furniture and get a few throw pillows for pets.

But I suspect that ain't gonna be the solution you go with...and it looks to me as though these poor cats are gonna pay a price for having selected the wrong person to live with.

By the way, I accidentally clicked the "report" tab. Pure accident. Sorry. Hope it did not get reported. Nothing to report...good post although as you see...I am not happy with what probably will go down for the cats.
Mame
 
  0  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 06:39 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Well, you are right. I am not a cat person. I am, however, living with one. Smile And we are adjusting to each other, the cats and I.

I don't want them declawed. That sounds too painful to me, especially at their ages (I heard it was more painful when they got older). I think a combo of putting them downstairs (3 rooms to roam) when we aren't here, a kitty condo, and spraying them with water when we are here will do the trick.

Oh yeah, and as for the furniture, I think we'll put some old blanket on the back of the couch where they scratch so they won't F'.. it up.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 07:11 pm
@Mame,
Giving them their own 3 rooms when you are away leaves the issue of getting them into those three rooms. I know you've heard the expression "Herding Cats".

 

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