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    Dysenchanted's Avatar
    Dysenchanted Posts: 72, Reputation: 34
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    #1

    Sep 5, 2010, 04:17 PM
    Cat won't use scratching post, only scratches our carpet!
    Our cat (1.5 years old) will NOT use a scratching post. We have a sisal (?) mat that she hasn't touched, a corugated cardboard thing that was recommended as being great and she sits on it, confused. We even have a carpet covered post but she doesn't go near it.

    She's starting to really take chunks out of the carpet and it's frustrating because we rent an apartment, it's not even our own house!

    It's not like we don't give her attention. She's loved and played with constantly. We even tried using catnip on the cardboard one and she just rubs her face on it :(

    I've had all sorts of animals over the years and this is the first cat I've had (she's been with us for about 2 months) and I don't know how to deal with this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    maddy308's Avatar
    maddy308 Posts: 56, Reputation: 0
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    #2

    Sep 5, 2010, 04:55 PM

    Try When you see her scratcging your carpet to take her over immeadetly to her scratch post and run her paws up and down the post.
    Dysenchanted's Avatar
    Dysenchanted Posts: 72, Reputation: 34
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    #3

    Sep 5, 2010, 04:57 PM

    We try that every single time we catch her doing it. It never works, she just sits there with a confused look on her face. Sometimes when she knows we saw her doing it, she looks at us then looks at the scratching post like she knows she should go there, but she never does!
    maddy308's Avatar
    maddy308 Posts: 56, Reputation: 0
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    #4

    Sep 5, 2010, 05:14 PM

    Maybe try rubbing catnip on her post, that should attract her to it. You can also try when you catch her using the carpet make sure you tell her no an spray her with a water bottle.
    hheath541's Avatar
    hheath541 Posts: 2,762, Reputation: 584
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    #5

    Sep 5, 2010, 05:28 PM

    They sell sprays that are supposed to deter cats from scratching. You could try one of those.
    Dysenchanted's Avatar
    Dysenchanted Posts: 72, Reputation: 34
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    #6

    Sep 5, 2010, 06:02 PM

    Yeah, I've been thinking about sprays and whatnot but I'm more worried about her not clawing something. I'm kind of worried about clipping her nails so I was hoping that she'd use a post or something like that to scratch on.

    Maddy: Tried the catnip, she just rubs her face on it.
    hheath541's Avatar
    hheath541 Posts: 2,762, Reputation: 584
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    #7

    Sep 5, 2010, 06:11 PM

    Maybe get a cheap area rug for her to scratch on. Spread down some catnip, just to draw her to it, and spray down the areas you don't want her to scratch.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,848, Reputation: 5428
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    #8

    Sep 5, 2010, 06:20 PM

    Cats reach UP as they stand on their hind legs and scratch with their front claws. My cats won't use a flat scratching mat.

    Get a carpet remnant, roll it so the rough (not foam) backing is on the outside, secure it so it doesn't unroll, set it up against something sturdy so it won't flop around or fall down. The cat might like that.

    Like hheath said, you have to be mindful and keep an eye out.
    Dysenchanted's Avatar
    Dysenchanted Posts: 72, Reputation: 34
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    #9

    Sep 5, 2010, 06:30 PM

    Good ideas, thanks you two, I'll have to give it a try! :)
    morgaine300's Avatar
    morgaine300 Posts: 6,561, Reputation: 276
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    #10

    Sep 5, 2010, 07:21 PM

    Just to clear something up, your attention and love is not relevant to this. She's not trying to be bad or get attention or anything. Cats claw - it's natural to them. It's near impossible to keep them from doing it, so all we can do is make an "appropriate" place. My one declawed cat still tries to claw stuff. They will actually claw on something flat, but tend more to do it on something upright.

    You also mentioned her scratching the carpet, so she's scratching flat as well. But I've only ever seen my cats scratch at carpet when a door's in the way -- i.e. not like in the middle of a room just for the sake of scratching. They've always scratched at carpet to (try to) get into a closed door. To actually sharpen claws, they mostly use furniture, speakers, etc, things that are upright.

    Too bad about the catnip. Worked great for my one cat. Sure, she rubbed her face on it too, but she rolled all over the post and scratched on it. She actually likes to curl around the base of it and sleep. (Weird.)

    You have to do two things: keep her from bad areas, AND get her to scratch good areas. Make sure you squirt, do a loud NO! loud clap of the hands, something, when she's in a bad place. If she does happen to use one of the good items, praise her. And you can continue to try to move her to a scratching post and rub her paws on it - it might finally sink in.

    Why are you concerned about clipping her claws? Just lack of experience? You can have a vet, tech, or just anyone with experience show you how. Some cats are easier to do than others. That, however, won't change the scratching in any way - it will just keep her claws from being too long & sharp is all. And they'll grow back quickly. That's really the least of your worries for the moment.

    Just keep trying. Some cats are just more difficult about certain things and it can take patience, and if you feel like screaming, just try doing it into a pillow. LOL.
    Dysenchanted's Avatar
    Dysenchanted Posts: 72, Reputation: 34
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    #11

    Sep 6, 2010, 03:25 AM

    Every time she claws we either clap and/or yell NO! If we're not in the middle of something we'll pick her up and bring her over to the post but she still hasn't learned :(

    Also, she ONLY scratches the carpet, none of the furniture at all. Nothing upright.

    And about the nail clipping, I'm experienced with doing it (done it for years with guinea pigs and rabbits, so I know how to do it) but my cat hates to be held. She loves being pet and if SHE feels like it, she'll sit on you and stuff but when you pick her up she usually squirms out of your arms after about 10 seconds. Basically I just don't know how to do it to a cat who is squirmy. THanks for the advice :)
    lJ.'s Avatar
    lJ. Posts: 446, Reputation: 21
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    #12

    Sep 6, 2010, 03:23 PM

    I had the same problem and then now my cats don't scratch the couch. One thing I tried was putting plastic edges on the edges on the cough, but that didn't work that well. And now next to the couch we have a cardboard flat cat scratcher that they love using so maybe you could buy one- it's not a scratching post, they don't use those really.. but it's just made of cardboard and has bumps on it and they use it all the time.
    Good luck!
    morgaine300's Avatar
    morgaine300 Posts: 6,561, Reputation: 276
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    #13

    Sep 6, 2010, 06:22 PM

    Everything you're describing is typical cat stuff. Some cats are lap cats and some are not. Some are when they feel like it. As a general rule, whatever cats happen to be is always when they feel like it. They're independent, so yeah, it's a little difficult to mold them. Your average cat is not going to just sit in your lap and let you clip its nails.

    When you're lucky, you may get one who will let you clip nails if they are already sitting somewhere and you come to them. Like my current cat with the claws, I can maybe hit one or two or even three or four if I'm lucky, if she happens to jump in my lap, or if she's lying on my office chair. I never can get all 10 at once. Since she does allow me to get a few at a time without restraining her I go this route.

    Cats don't like to be restrained and they don't like being messed with. So anything like that can be difficult with a cat. You just have to learn how to restrain them and not get all squeamish about it. (That's what the vets do, right? Well, that's what the techs do.)

    I had another cat who would no way let me clip nails. So I sat on him. Don't freak. :) I'd come up behind him and kind of squat over him -- I'd be on my knees, which held my weight. And then squat down far enough, just enough to hold him still. And close to the front so he couldn't run forward. And I'd lean over the front of him and get his claws. No, he didn't like it. But by holding him captive like that, I could get it done very quickly - probably like 30 seconds. And then he could go and it would be over with quickly, and I'd try to give him some extra attention after that. It wasn't a huge deal. (And yes, he still loved me.)
    morgaine300's Avatar
    morgaine300 Posts: 6,561, Reputation: 276
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    #14

    Sep 6, 2010, 06:23 PM
    (P.S. This still isn't going to keep your cat from scratching. :))
    maddy308's Avatar
    maddy308 Posts: 56, Reputation: 0
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    #15

    Sep 6, 2010, 07:14 PM

    I wouldn't get a cheap rug for her to scratch like mentioned above. She will keep scratching other carpets. Its like giving a puppy its own shoe to chew on it can confuse it an make it think its OK an make the issue worse
    asking's Avatar
    asking Posts: 2,673, Reputation: 660
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    #16

    Sep 6, 2010, 07:25 PM
    You have to do two things: keep her from bad areas, AND get her to scratch good areas. Make sure you squirt, do a loud NO! loud clap of the hands, something, when she's in a bad place. If she does happen to use one of the good items, praise her. And you can continue to try to move her to a scratching post and rub her paws on it - it might finally sink in.
    I agree with this. Discourage the scratching of the carpet with spray bottle and "no!" and give treats and praise for scratching in the right place. Find a brand of treats the cat really likes. Show the cat how to scratch there. They are smart enough to get this eventually even if they sometimes pretend they don't understand. With animals, don't talk too much. Keep your commands simple. So say "scratch" and no other words and show the cat how. I know, you'll feel like an idiot. :) Be patient and don't give up.
    asking's Avatar
    asking Posts: 2,673, Reputation: 660
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    #17

    Sep 6, 2010, 07:28 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by morgaine300 View Post
    I had another cat who would no way let me clip nails. So I sat on him. Don't freak. :) I'd come up behind him and kinda squat over him -- I'd be on my knees, which held my weight. And then squat down far enough, just enough to hold him still. And close to the front so he couldn't run forward. And I'd lean over the front of him and get his claws. No, he didn't like it. But by holding him captive like that, I could get it done very quickly - probably like 30 seconds. And then he could go and it would be over with quickly, and I'd try to give him some extra attention after that. It wasn't a huge deal. (And yes, he still loved me.)
    I do this. But it also helps if you have a kitten to handle their paws a lot when they are little, get them used to that. When they are adults, they don't freak out as much. Also, give them treats when they are done having their nails clipped. No treats if they escape and run away!
    In that case, try again another day.
    Dysenchanted's Avatar
    Dysenchanted Posts: 72, Reputation: 34
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    #18

    Sep 7, 2010, 03:43 AM

    Thanks guys, all great advice! We've put her scratching thing (the cardboard one) in her favorite spot by the glass door and she's been sitting on it so at least she knows it exists haha.

    I'll just keep being persistent with telling her NO when she scratches and hopefully she'll get it soon :)

    As for the nail clipping, I'll just havve to suck it up and try it lol.
    maddy308's Avatar
    maddy308 Posts: 56, Reputation: 0
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    #19

    Sep 7, 2010, 03:25 PM

    Don't cut too low, when your cat is just learning to gets its nails cut or your just learning just cut the tips that way you won't cut too much off
    morgaine300's Avatar
    morgaine300 Posts: 6,561, Reputation: 276
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    #20

    Sep 7, 2010, 09:26 PM

    Good luck to you! Let us know if things work out.

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