April 26, 2006

Cat scratch fever

I am getting a new couch soon. The hand-me-down I have (black with white pin stripes) is over 20 years old, and looks like it was stolen from the set of Miami Vice. It’s time, don’t you think?

The problem with getting a nice new couch is the cats. My cats are adorably cute, but they are holy terrors who wreak havoc on my couch. Even though they have a perfectly nice three-hundred-and-something-dollar cat tree, they prefer to use the plush furniture to sharpen their claws.

I have tried the double-sided tape. It only feeds Diva Daphne’s addiction for adhesive substances, and she licks and pulls the stuff off the couch leg until it becomes a big ball of stickiness that she bats around.

I taped tinfoil to the couch after hearing that cats are supposed to hate the feeling of foil. But apparently Daphne is not really a cat, because she loves it. She pulls it off and once again, forms a ball, suitable for smacking and carrying around the house. The foil does serve as a nice accessory for when we play fetch. But I digress.

The feline furniture destroyers work as a team. Daphne pulls off the deterrent of the month, and Jasper gets medieval on the innocent sofa. But I have caught Daphne trying to razorize her stubby clipped claws at the side of the sofa too.

My cats will be allowed on this new couch, because I have a lap, and they both believe it belongs to them. I just want to spare my new couch the wrath of their claws. So I’m soliciting my readers for suggestions.

Have you had any luck with Soft Claws? Aside from de-clawing (not an option), do you have other any tried-and-true remedies for keeping my new couch in its original unshredded state?

9 people have roominated about “Cat scratch fever”

  • Alison says:

    Gosh, I can’t help you. I can only sympathize, and ask if we readers can see a photo of the Miami Vice couch.

  • Jenni says:

    I never had any luck with the soft paws on my cats. They kept coming off and getting embedded in the side of the couch! Have you looked into “Sofa Savers?” These might help, if your cats like to scratch a limited area of the couch. You also might want to try pet alarms, which I ordered from Sky Mall. They are motion sensitive and sound a shrill alarm when the cat bumps the couch. It helps to keep our cats off the new furniture too. Good luck!

  • Meredith says:

    Yeah. Leather couches.

    This site offers some sprays. I have never used them but am thinking about purchasing it for my fave vintage orange chair (and my sanity). I am also looking into kitty kat straight jackets to keep them off the damn counters because blood is going to flow if I find any more kitty prints on the counters. They have run of the house, all I ask is for my counters to be cat free.

  • Thomas says:

    The less cowbell the better.

  • Monty says:

    When we got the cats, we decided that it was their house too. Once you make that commitment, everything else is easy. We got a couch with a tight weave, and also have a leather couch. I have worn out the tight weave by sliding around on the same spot. A whole different subject. The furniture isn’t as important to me as the cat that remains, who is now 17. Her sister died at age 15. The couch gave up the ghost before that, and had a lot less personality, and was a lot less fun. Choices.

  • Madmeer says:

    I have this problem too. I’ve tried everything, but like your cats, mine just chew, swat or eat everything. My big kitty has a love for adhesive too! I thought he was just a weird tape junky, but I guess this is semi-normal for cats?

    I tried sprays, squirt bottles, paper, foil, tape, draping blankets (they loved “tent scratching”) etc. None of it has worked.

    Soft paws may be a good bet, only you have to get them done regularly from what I understand. I’ve heard they are effective though.

    The things we sacrifice for feline affection.

  • Karan says:

    A leather couch will only be safe from cats if it’s locked in a room without cats. The best thing to keep a cat off of your couch is a cat chasing dog. It works great at our house? Perhaps you’d like to borrow him?

  • I’ve tried everything. The only thing that semi-works for me is the sticky-paws tape, but sounds like it’s not an option for you. My cats don’t pull it off, they just figure out where it ISNT and scratch there.

    Our cats also scratch our leather office chair (BAD kitties), so it’s not the fabric. One thing I haven’t tried is the bitter-apple spray. I think this keeps them from chewing on things, I don’t know about whether it helps stop scratching.

  • Erryn says:

    I came up with my own concoction that works beutifully. I take a water bottle and fill it half way with vinegar and the rest with water. Then I add 2 – 5 drops of tobasco. I know it sounds crazy but it works and is safe for everyone. Spray the corners of your couch where the cats like to scratch with this mixture. Yes it stinks at first but once it dry’s it goes away. Well goes away for us but cats have stronger sniffers than us so the stinch remains so they do not want to even go near that spot much less sharpen their claws on it. Every couple of days for the first 2 weeks you will have to spray these areas to keep the “smell” up. Then you will notice they just dont go near it but are stil willing to lay on the couch in the places that weren’t sprayed. If they still manage to sink claws in it, thats where the tabasco comes in. They get a taste of it when they clean their paws right after sharpening.

    I hope this helps, I know it works at my house.

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