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April 9th 07, 03:18 PM
Hello,
I'm new here, and one of my kitties has a bit of an issue. First
off, I have two cats, a five year old male who's part Main Coon, and
part ??? (we found him and his siblings out in the woods just after
they were born); and a mixed nine year old female who several
different owners until she came to us. The female has only been with
us for 3 years, and she's much smaller than the male, but she's 'in
charge'. Both have been fixed. And they get along with each other,
and interact well, although she bullies him around from time to
time. The female came to us with her front paws declawed; the male
has all his claws, and we trim them regularly.

Both kitties are 'down scratchers', that is they usually will claw
down into things, rather than stretching upwards to scratch. We've
purchased several SuperScratcher+ scratchers which is basically a very
shallow box with corrugated cardboard edge facing upward. We can put
a bit of catnip into/onto it and the kitties go nuts on it. We
figured this was a a good scratcher because (1) they are down
scratchers, and (2) it has a texture/feel that's different than our
carpet, so they should make the connection that scratching happens on
the cardboard scratcher and not on the carpet.

The problem:
Well, this pretty much worked. Every so often the male would dig
into the carpet, but we would scold him and he would immediately go
back to the scratcher. UNTIL about two or three months ago. Now,
we believe that he thinks this is a game: He will dig into the
carpet until we get to scolding him, then he takes off running through
the house. He still uses the cardboard scratcher, however he's
regularly digging into the carpet now. If we move a scratcher to
where he's digging into the carpet, he'll ignore the scratcher and dig
in somewhere closeby. We've tried squirting him with water, but he
just ignores us, stands there, then licks it off. If we try to scold
him, or toss something at him, he just takes off running. We thought
it was a ploy for attention, but we're playing with him (and the
female) just like normal... The female (even without claws) uses the
scratchers when she need to, so there's no bad example from her to
influence him...

Any ideas about how we can curb this behavior?

cybercat
April 9th 07, 05:03 PM
> wrote in message
oups.com...
>

>
> Any ideas about how we can curb this behavior?
>

If you keep his claws trimmed he cannot hurt your rug.

And--shake it up a bit, get him an Alpine Scratcher.
It is at an angle, and my cats go nuts for it. They are
also "down scratchers" for the most part.

http://www.cosmicpet.com/scratchers.htm



--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

Doug Bashford
April 10th 07, 04:01 PM
On 9 Apr 2007 07:18:36 -0700, said about:
cat scratching problems!


> back to the scratcher. UNTIL about two or three months ago. Now,
> we believe that he thinks this is a game: He will dig into the
> carpet until we get to scolding him, then he takes off running through
> the house.

Yest that sounds like a game.
Perhaps you are BOTH guilty of playing it?

> Any ideas about how we can curb this behavior?

First, are you sure you need to? Unless a cat
only does it in one place, your carpet might actually
never be damaged. My cats can do it whenever they
want, which is perhaps once a day, always in a different
place. Zero cumulative damage. Occasional thread pulled out.

If it is a game to your cat, it might even endure
minor punishment to get attention. AND, I have
seen "minor punishment" that looks a whole lot
like "reward" to me. I feel like splapping those people.
They RUIN animals. Sometimes even kill them with
illconcieved kindness. Literal dead pets.

Also, should you die, an ill mannered cat might
not ever be adopted. Good manners are critical
to any pet's health, IMO, not a luxury.

Some cats are chastized with a mere stern voice, others
need more physical guidance. If squirting is laughed at,
aim at the eyes. Or a more powerful squirter.
I find a few drops of detergent added, to really wet
the cat to the skin is effective.
You get the idea. The idea is, be it stern voice,
or hose-down, whatever it takes, the animal needs to
feel punished.

Both dogs and cats become very affectionate shortly after the
rare punishment. (I might punish a grown cat once a year,
cuz they only want to please me, my main job is communication.)
I think that's because that's how they treat the Alpha
animal in the house. With love and respect.

But again, is punishment even needed in your case?
--Doug

--

When one gains a political certainty akin to
a loyal sports fan, one has achieved the final
tranquility of servitude, a joyous slavery.


"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude better than
the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that ye were
our countrymen."
- Samuel Adams, August 1, 1776