Sunday, December 6, 2015

Blast them claws! Stopping furniture scratching

Cats are sneaky things. Life goes on well for quite awhile. No pissing. No scratching. Then one day you hear it in the other room...the sound of claws. At first you disregard it. It's probably the cat scratching post or one of the cardboard scratches. But no, this doesn't sound quite like that. This sounds like...NO! NOT THE GOOD CHAIR YOU LITTLE MONSTER!

Or the big monster, in this case. Bear.

Bear normally goes outdoors and does his scratching, but since his big tussle with the dumped tom cat (Whom I've tentatively named "Bully" simply because I had to have a name when I called the vet for his neuter appointment), Bear has been less interested in spending lots of time outside. It's also getting colder, so he doesn't venture far off the porch down to his favorite dead tree, where he likes to scratch.

Suddenly, he's after the furniture.

First Law of Scratching. Never hesitate. She who hesitates has no nice furniture.

I had to dig out the StickyPaws from the cat junk drawer.

And off I went, taping up the two places Bear had shown an interest in. One was this antique chair that I specifically love because of the old velvet upholstery. While I certainly could have it reupholstered, that would destroy half the charm of it.

For many years, I owned only wood futon furniture, to avoid the issue entirely. But gradually I got fed up with the severity of the look. After going through lots of cheap Craigslist furniture, I discovered the secret to having an upholstered couch.

Curved arms. Cats like to reach up, and if they can't, they find the spot less attractive. I also keep cardboard scratchers on the floor nearby. They get a bit messy and are relatively expensive, but I use the old ones as fire-starters in the woodstove, and hide any unsightly ones when visitors are scheduled to arrive. Drop-in folks just have to deal with the fact that this is a house where living with cats (in a manner that reduces damage and smells) is the priority.

If all else fails, Bear will get some SoftPaws slapped on him. Luckily he's laid back enough that it probably won't be too hard to put them on.

Maybe I'll put holiday SoftPaws on him. ;)

(Note: I received no request to recommend StickyPaws or SoftPaws nor any reimbursement for doing so).


  1. Ha! I gave up on nice furniture many years ago. Smoky and I have finally reached a compromise though. I have crappy tattered furniture with nice slipcovers. The slipcovers are made from unattractive material (for scratching purposes - they look and feel nice for human purposes). So Smokes gets up under the slipcover where he can reach the "real" upholstery and he's free to scratch to his heart's content. :-)

  2. I have a hard plastic lawn chair, as my primary sitting chair, besides old straight chairs. I don't sit down much except at night. Now someone gave me an Ikea chair, that is wood with a cover you can remove. I like it a lot and when I am not using it, put a scat mat on it. Although the scat mat no longer works (must have a wire broken), the cats are not aware (yet) it doesn't work, and avoid it completely.

    1. Is this the chair you have?

      I have one of those as well. Replacement cushion are REALLY cheap (as cushions go), about $30 dollars as long as you get one in white, red, or black (I think). The other colors are more expensive. So should a cat ever destroy one of yours. I had a white one that just plain got dirty (do not put the covers in the dryer, either) and after four washings, I finally bought a new red one. I'm not much into red, but it was affordable, and not white.

    2. Yes. thats the chair with a white cover. They are prone to stain showing. I have thought about dying it another color, maybe dark blue.

  3. I've never used Soft Paws--always liked the idea, but I doubt Salem would sit still for them to be put on. He does let me trim his nails with little trouble though, so maybe I could.