my cat scratches door frames - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 06-17-2008, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have taken in a darling stray queen who is approx 9 months old (I know this because her previous "owner" was a little girl whos parents left the teeny kitten behind when they got evicted. I fed her whenever she was around but she wouldnt let me pet her until a few months ago..). She is a wonderful cat and has become a member of our household. She loves to scratch on trees and unfortunately when she is indoors, trees translates into door frames (but only the ones with no paint). So now I have two door frames that are quite ragged. We covered her primary target with a hanging sisal scratching board but she pushes it aside and continues to scratch the door frame...

I plan to repair the scratch marks on the door frame this weekend and Id like suggestions on what sort of material I can cover them with to discourage scratching... I considered double sided tape but shes quite tenacious so Im not sure how well that would work.. So what the heck can cover the awkward shape of a door frame and sheild it from scratching? (I am not opposed to screwing something into the wall..)

Also, suggestions for a scratching post? We dont have much money so it cant be a fancy super expensive one.. She doesnt scratch our carpet or couches so I dont think she'd be interested in those types of materials.. Maybe she doesnt like the sisal because it swings to and fro a bit?

TIA for any advice, this is my first time with a cat who sleeps in the house and I dont want to mess up.

When she scratches the door frame we put her paws on the sisal cover and she just sort of looks at us like we've gone insane.. I know scratching is a good, social thing for her so I dont want to spray her with water or anything like that, I just want to get her scratching an appropriate surface.
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#2 of 12 Old 06-17-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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It wouldn't look very nice, but you could use tin foil. Cats don't like it at all.

I have a door frame stratcher too and it's a pain! He has torn up the molding by our sliding door pretty badly. We tell him no and then remove him from the area and show him his stratching post (which he will also use). However it doesn't work, so I guess we're just accepting it. I got a post at PetCo that has rope around the base and it was probably under $20 and he will use that. He actually started using that exclusively and then progressed to door frames.

I've found that also keeping his nails trimmed regularly really helps. When his nails are shorter he doesn't try to stratch as much and when he does he doesn't leave marks.
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#3 of 12 Old 06-18-2008, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Tin foil!!! What a great idea, I bet she would hate it! I will get right on that.

Clipping her nails is a bit risky, she doesnt enjoy it and although she hasnt bitten me yet, im pregnant (and paranoid) and dont want to risk the icky cat-mouth germs giving me an infection ya know?
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#4 of 12 Old 06-18-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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what about giving him a piece of similar wood? I think that cats get very attached to textures, and don't like switching from, say, your couch to sisal. But if you offered them some uphoulstery they'd probably be fine.

Now someone needs to tell me how to get Woody to stop scratching floorboards--that's the only thing he wants, specifically a piece of pine in a particular area between two rooms. Completely ignores all other surfaces, and only wants it in that room (where, unfortunately, it would be impractical to put a horizontal scratcher). He won't *touch* vertical poles or toys.
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#5 of 12 Old 06-18-2008, 02:15 AM
 
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Ours likes wood too so we have a log in the living room for her to scratch. Doesn't do much for the decor and it scatters bark around but it's better than her previous target: the kitchen cabinets.
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#6 of 12 Old 06-18-2008, 02:41 AM
 
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We tried logs. We tried three logs. I would have been happy to bring in a young pine tree. Silly cat just wants to claw that one board in that one place.

At least he's the nicest cat on earth.
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#7 of 12 Old 06-18-2008, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hmm, i will try mounting a piece of firewood upright, maybe she will go for it. very tree like..
by the way the tin foil was a success (so far). she was so repelled by it she jumped vertical when she saw it lol. then tried to bat it off of the door frame. so we will see where that takes us as far as preserving whats left of the frame...
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#8 of 12 Old 06-18-2008, 10:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
what about giving him a piece of similar wood? I think that cats get very attached to textures, and don't like switching from, say, your couch to sisal. But if you offered them some uphoulstery they'd probably be fine.

Now someone needs to tell me how to get Woody to stop scratching floorboards--that's the only thing he wants, specifically a piece of pine in a particular area between two rooms. Completely ignores all other surfaces, and only wants it in that room (where, unfortunately, it would be impractical to put a horizontal scratcher). He won't *touch* vertical poles or toys.

Have you tried one of those cheapie cardboard flat scratching boxes you can get someplace like walmart in the pet section or at a pet store. Basically, it is just glorified cardboard, but it lies flat. You then sprinkle/rub catnip on it. So far all of the cats we've had who do not scratch vertically seem to enjoy those. It's even better if you get the large one, the cat really needs to be able to climb on top of it. They run about $9-11 for the large ones.

Here's sort of what I'm talking about (but in small) at petsmart

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2754328

I think the big size at walmart cost only a couple of dollars more.

I also have a sisal scratching mat. Mine is custom made, and is very grippy so stays in place. But, I see they do sell something similar over here.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2755451

Though I think they like the cardboard more, they seem to be able to dig in more with the claws.

To the OP:

As for scratching, they can really ONLY do damage if their claws are really sharp. You need to get the kitty accustomed to having their nails clipped, it's too late to start when she's young (if you do they will have no issues with it). Could you have DH do it? You do not want a kitty with razor sharp claws around, sure it will damage your furniture, but I'm thinking more about the future kiddos too. And, I know what it's like having cats that aren't thrilled with nail trimming. My two recent cats that I adopted are like that, I got them at 4 and 7 years old. I can only clip their nails well in the bath when they're sitting in the sink between shampoos, in particularly my boy Chance. They should have been clipped frequently as kittens and been used to it! Which, I didn't have them as kittens so I can't control that! But they DO get somewhat better with it the more times you do it gently and carefully.

One thing that actually freaked me out a little was when Chance came to be with us, his right front paw nails were clipped so low that she must have gone through the quick on ALL of the claws. After seeing that it kind of made me wonder if that is why he hated it so much, because if she was clipping it so low purposefully that would really hurt.

Tips I've gotten from groomers who clip nails of cats who are not used to it...wrap the cat in a large towel, exposing just the one claw at a time to be clipped, and put a sock over their head (acts as a muzzle).

I've heard recently on infomercials they've been selling the "peticure" which is a filing system for pet nails. I'm wondering if that would be good to use for cats.

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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#9 of 12 Old 06-18-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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My husband and I were laughing at those Peticure things. I could just see our animals hitting the roof when we tried to power file their nails down. I'm sure the vibration would be about like when they file your nails down for a set of fakes. I personally don't like that. I can't imagine the animals would either. I know you kitty doesn't like getting her nails trimmed, but it's important that you do it. The more you do it. The more she'll get used to it. We used to give a treat or two after it was done. After a while they will hold still just to get treats afterward.

We have a kitty that scratches on or door frames too. Our best defense is short nails. Then we bought a card board scratcher. After awhile he switched to that. We did sticky tape when all our babies were younger. It works pretty well. They hate things that stick to their feet, so they won't touch it. Foil works too, but make sure that when it gets old you replace it. My MIL's cats decided it wasn't so scary when it was wrinkled.

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#10 of 12 Old 06-18-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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I would just keep trying to get the cat used to getting it's nails trimmed. I usually sit down on the floor and pull the cat as close to my body as I can and hold them more upright while pulling one leg at a time to trim the nails on. It works pretty well and I've never had too much issue. In the beginning with my female, it was trim one nail, then chase her down for the next. It took me 2 days to get all her nails done because she hated it so much! But now she does fine.

For really difficult cats it helps a lot to have 2 people, one to hold the cat and one to worry about nails. Towels are great too, I always just found them to get in the way and just one more thing to hold on to.
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#11 of 12 Old 06-18-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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SOFT PAWS!!!!!

www.softpaws.com

AKA Soft Claws.

You can also find them (clear) at Petsmart etc. They are wonderful!!! They last an age, and work like a dream. I love them so much.
We only put them on the front paws.

My cats are really good about getting them put on (now). My boy kitty Tennyson used to despise having his feet touched, but he is a sucker for people food. So, I got him used to a good little snackie (a bit of yogurt or deli meat) after his paws were handled. Now after an application he zooms right over to the kitchen and meows.
Gracie is less bribable, so she just gets extra-super-snuggles. She clearly hates the activity but never puts up a fight anymore - she knows she gets mommy time after.

Get the cat used to handling slowly (hold the paw, no clipping, treat), and progress... shouldn't take too long. In the meantime, there are great suggestions for thing to cover the door with.

Mom to two intact boys, born at home. DS1 11/07, DS2 9/10
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#12 of 12 Old 06-18-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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Double-stick tape is a good deterrent.

My can will scratch door frames and doors, but only if a door is closed and she wants in. So I don't close doors at night (that's when she does it).

Fortunately, she also tolerates having her claws clipped. It has to be done just right--I get down on the floor with her on all fours, and kind of crouch around her with my whole body around her. Then it's easy to clip a few claws before she decides that she must get away. So it might take a few sessions, but no one gets hurt.
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