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FXDWG
March 14th 04, 03:00 PM
We have two one year old occicats, and a brand new living room rug.

They scratched at the old living room rug, but I guess it was made in
a way that it didn't pull, or damage.
The new one, well, let's just say it responds to the cat's scratching
negatively.

We're wondering if anyone has any advice on a way to train our cats
from destroying our new rug.
Any thoughts on things that might discourage them besides a loud,
GetThe F---OffThere! would be helpful.

Thanks!





_____________________________
'00 FXDWG
"A couple of the sounds that I really like are the sounds of a switchblade and a motorbike".

MaryL
March 14th 04, 03:43 PM
"FXDWG" > wrote in message
...
>
> We have two one year old occicats, and a brand new living room rug.
>
> They scratched at the old living room rug, but I guess it was made in
> a way that it didn't pull, or damage.
> The new one, well, let's just say it responds to the cat's scratching
> negatively.
>
> We're wondering if anyone has any advice on a way to train our cats
> from destroying our new rug.
> Any thoughts on things that might discourage them besides a loud,
> GetThe F---OffThere! would be helpful.
>
> Thanks!
>
>

It may take awhile to train your cats because it sounds like you have
permitted them to scratch the rug in the past. They won't understand why
this one is any different and why they suddenly are forbidden to scratch.
That doesn't mean they can't be trained -- it just means that you will need
to be extremely alert in your training efforts and don't get frustrated when
it takes extra time. Incidentally, I am working on the assumption that this
is what I would refer to as carpet and not a throw rug. If it is a throw
rug, then I would immediately be suspicious of the backing -- many cats will
scratch and (even worse) pee on throw rugs that have a rubberized backing;
those materials often contain a fish-oil emulsion that serves as an
attractant.

First, have several scratching posts with a variety of surfaces -- for
example, sisal, carpet, corrugated cardboard, possibly even rough-textured
wood. If your cats seem to particularly like the texture of your carpet,
try to get one that is similar in texture. The scratching posts should be
very sturdy (because a cat may refuse to use one if it topples when the cat
is using it) and as tall as possible (so the cat cat stretch to its full
height). PetSmart has one that is L-shaped with a base the cat stands on
while scratching, and this gives it still more stability. It would be a
good idea to have at least one scratcher that is horizontal. Many pet
stores have an Alpine corrugated cardboard scratcher. It is basically
horizontal but with an upward slope to it that cats seem to like. Position
these scratching posts in various rooms of the house so one will be readily
available no matter where the cats are -- you cannot expect the cats to
learn not to scratch the living room carpet if you permit them to scratch on
other floors. If you don't have a cat tree, that would be a wonderful
investment. It gives the cats lots of exercise, and they also can use it as
a big scratching post.

You will need to be especially vigilant in training your cats because they
are already accustomed to scratching on the carpet. Start by treating the
post like a toy -- tap on it or scratch it lightly with your own fingernails
to attract the attention of your cats. Get a small toy on a string, and
slowly run that up and down the post (but don't leave it lying around when
you are not using it -- cats may ingest string, with sometimes fatal
results). Praise your cats extravagently every time they use the post.
When I said to be especially vigilant, I meant to watch them carefully. As
soon as they show any indication of starting to scratch *anywhere* (not just
the carpet) other than the scratching posts, say *no* and either pick them
up and carry them to the post or walk to the post and start the routine of
tapping on it to get their attention. Don't yell -- just a firm "no," and
follow this up with lots of praise when they start to scratch on the
scratching post. You want this to be an exercise in which you redirect
their attention to the scratching post, *not* something that they associate
with punishment.

As I said, this will take extra time because your cats have to relearn
previous behavior -- but it can be done, and it is worth it. In the
meantime, it would be a good idea to trim your cats' claws more frequently
than usual. This will not entirely prevent damage, but it will reduce it.
Good luck!

MaryL
(take out the litter to reply)

Photos of Duffy and Holly: >'o'<
http://tinyurl.com/8y54 (Introducing Duffy to Holly)
http://tinyurl.com/8y56 (Duffy and Holly "settle in")

MaryL
March 14th 04, 03:43 PM
"FXDWG" > wrote in message
...
>
> We have two one year old occicats, and a brand new living room rug.
>
> They scratched at the old living room rug, but I guess it was made in
> a way that it didn't pull, or damage.
> The new one, well, let's just say it responds to the cat's scratching
> negatively.
>
> We're wondering if anyone has any advice on a way to train our cats
> from destroying our new rug.
> Any thoughts on things that might discourage them besides a loud,
> GetThe F---OffThere! would be helpful.
>
> Thanks!
>
>

It may take awhile to train your cats because it sounds like you have
permitted them to scratch the rug in the past. They won't understand why
this one is any different and why they suddenly are forbidden to scratch.
That doesn't mean they can't be trained -- it just means that you will need
to be extremely alert in your training efforts and don't get frustrated when
it takes extra time. Incidentally, I am working on the assumption that this
is what I would refer to as carpet and not a throw rug. If it is a throw
rug, then I would immediately be suspicious of the backing -- many cats will
scratch and (even worse) pee on throw rugs that have a rubberized backing;
those materials often contain a fish-oil emulsion that serves as an
attractant.

First, have several scratching posts with a variety of surfaces -- for
example, sisal, carpet, corrugated cardboard, possibly even rough-textured
wood. If your cats seem to particularly like the texture of your carpet,
try to get one that is similar in texture. The scratching posts should be
very sturdy (because a cat may refuse to use one if it topples when the cat
is using it) and as tall as possible (so the cat cat stretch to its full
height). PetSmart has one that is L-shaped with a base the cat stands on
while scratching, and this gives it still more stability. It would be a
good idea to have at least one scratcher that is horizontal. Many pet
stores have an Alpine corrugated cardboard scratcher. It is basically
horizontal but with an upward slope to it that cats seem to like. Position
these scratching posts in various rooms of the house so one will be readily
available no matter where the cats are -- you cannot expect the cats to
learn not to scratch the living room carpet if you permit them to scratch on
other floors. If you don't have a cat tree, that would be a wonderful
investment. It gives the cats lots of exercise, and they also can use it as
a big scratching post.

You will need to be especially vigilant in training your cats because they
are already accustomed to scratching on the carpet. Start by treating the
post like a toy -- tap on it or scratch it lightly with your own fingernails
to attract the attention of your cats. Get a small toy on a string, and
slowly run that up and down the post (but don't leave it lying around when
you are not using it -- cats may ingest string, with sometimes fatal
results). Praise your cats extravagently every time they use the post.
When I said to be especially vigilant, I meant to watch them carefully. As
soon as they show any indication of starting to scratch *anywhere* (not just
the carpet) other than the scratching posts, say *no* and either pick them
up and carry them to the post or walk to the post and start the routine of
tapping on it to get their attention. Don't yell -- just a firm "no," and
follow this up with lots of praise when they start to scratch on the
scratching post. You want this to be an exercise in which you redirect
their attention to the scratching post, *not* something that they associate
with punishment.

As I said, this will take extra time because your cats have to relearn
previous behavior -- but it can be done, and it is worth it. In the
meantime, it would be a good idea to trim your cats' claws more frequently
than usual. This will not entirely prevent damage, but it will reduce it.
Good luck!

MaryL
(take out the litter to reply)

Photos of Duffy and Holly: >'o'<
http://tinyurl.com/8y54 (Introducing Duffy to Holly)
http://tinyurl.com/8y56 (Duffy and Holly "settle in")

Jacqueline
March 15th 04, 10:05 AM
On Sun, 14 Mar 2004 15:00:25 GMT, FXDWG > wrote:

>
>We have two one year old occicats, and a brand new living room rug.
>
>They scratched at the old living room rug, but I guess it was made in
>a way that it didn't pull, or damage.
>The new one, well, let's just say it responds to the cat's scratching
>negatively.
>
>We're wondering if anyone has any advice on a way to train our cats
>from destroying our new rug.
>Any thoughts on things that might discourage them besides a loud,
>GetThe F---OffThere! would be helpful.

A squirt of water from pump-action spray bottle in their general
direction soon dissuades them.

Jacqueline
March 15th 04, 10:05 AM
On Sun, 14 Mar 2004 15:00:25 GMT, FXDWG > wrote:

>
>We have two one year old occicats, and a brand new living room rug.
>
>They scratched at the old living room rug, but I guess it was made in
>a way that it didn't pull, or damage.
>The new one, well, let's just say it responds to the cat's scratching
>negatively.
>
>We're wondering if anyone has any advice on a way to train our cats
>from destroying our new rug.
>Any thoughts on things that might discourage them besides a loud,
>GetThe F---OffThere! would be helpful.

A squirt of water from pump-action spray bottle in their general
direction soon dissuades them.