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Is it possible to prevent cat from scratching things?

(14 Posts)
swinkle Wed 06-Dec-17 19:12:16

We've recently adopted a cat from an elderly neighbour who couldn't look after him anymore. He's been living with us full time for a month or two, had been visiting us every day for a few months before that.

We've never had a cat before and are having a little problem with him scratching the spines of books of books and records. Is there any way of deterring him from doing this? We get up and stop him each time but he keeps on doing it, usually returning to it within a few minutes? We let him scratch the doormat which he likes, we have bought a scratching post too but he has yet to use it. We let him out when he asks, except for at night as we live on a main road, but he doesn't want to a lot. As it's gotten colder he wants to stay in, will stay out for usually less than an hour each day. He's well fed, has access to a litter tray that he uses and that we clean regularly, and we play with him with a laser pointer. Is there any advice a more seasoned cat lover can offer?

Btw, he sleeps in the living room and presumably doesn't do it at night or any other time we're not around as there's been no damage as yet. I suppose there would be if he was just left to it with no one to stop him. And we also have a five month old baby, but this is obviously not new to him. I don't think that he misses his old home as he didn't get much fuss there and spent most of his time around ours anyway (his previous owner knew about this and was happy with it, btw! In fact when he does go visit them we get a text to let us know, and he doesn't seem to go back there a lot anymore when he goes out.)

Here he is, nicking DS bumbo chair smile

Tinselistacky Wed 06-Dec-17 19:14:51

When our dcats started scratching our sofa I sprayed it with Impulse body spray!! Kept the little fuckers off it!

swinkle Wed 06-Dec-17 19:24:17

Ha ha, I love it! grin

shhhfastasleep Wed 06-Dec-17 20:08:38

Buy some scratch posts and put them on the area he is scratching. Not saying our cat doesn't scratch stuff however she has never touched our inviting sofa because we have a tall post next to it. Please don't spray him with anything especially not something toxic to animals.
Cats scratch to stretch their muscles and leave their scent on an area that is significant to the house or the other people who live there.
It is not to be naughty it is to be cat. Which can be annoying but if you offer an alternative it might help. There are also skateboard/low, wide throne shaped things made of cardboard. Cats love them.

Wolfiefan Wed 06-Dec-17 20:12:41

Either don't have things or don't allow cats near things! grin
Put him on scratching post when he starts?
Catnip on the scratching post may entice him to it!

MeadowHay Wed 06-Dec-17 22:20:33

Tbh I don't think there is anything you can do, cats need to scratch. If they're out more then obv they're scratching stuff outside more, if at home more then the reverse. Providing lots of alternative things for them to scratch is a good idea, but I don't think you can really stop them from scratching what they want to scratch when you're not there to interrupt it. I think it's part of owning a cat, especially an indoor cat or one that stays indoors most of the time, that various things in your house will be scratched to hell. You should see the state of my parents' sofas grin. The scratch post is right next to it but they obviously find the sofa more satisfying as generally choose that instead.

SantaStuckInTheChimney Wed 06-Dec-17 22:32:13

Buy some scratch posts and put them on the area he is scratching. Not saying our cat doesn't scratch stuff however she has never touched our inviting sofa because we have a tall post next to it

This definitely doesn't always work. In my experience, if a cat is a clawer, they're a clawer and there's nothing you can do about it. One of my cats completely ignores the scratching posts placed where he claws the carpet.

Keep trying the scratching posts though- it may work for your cat. He's gorgeous btw.

onlyonaTuesday Wed 06-Dec-17 23:04:38

After 2 sofas and three carpets were ruined by the cat we decided on a strict “ no carpet or rugs and no cat on the sofa rule”

Cat hated us even more so he wrecked the blinds and scratched the wallpaper.
He is 16 now and I have given up😀

swinkle Thu 07-Dec-17 07:39:13

Thanks for the replies smile

He very much seems to zero in on the records more than anything, like he gets that we don't want him to do it and keeps going back. He doesn't scratch them in the same way that he scratches the mat or would scratch the post if he used it, it's more like what he does to the door if he wants to go out. I thought it was an attention thing, but we spent all of last night trying to coax him to us for fussing and he kept on going back to the records. Maybe if we act like the scratching post is precious to us and we don't want him to scratch it, he would!

Wolfiefan Thu 07-Dec-17 07:55:05

Could you put a barrier up? Piece of Perspex etc. Maybe wedge it in place with scratching post. If they're old records the sleeves may smell weird to the cat.

HardAsSnails Thu 07-Dec-17 08:31:51

If he likes the feel of scratching books etc I'd get him cardboard scratchers not sisal, you can get flat, angled and vertical cardboard scratchers. For vertical scratching make sure it's tall enough for him to stretch up at it.

Davros Thu 07-Dec-17 08:55:50

Get a cardboard scratching box. Dr Mewler loves hers and more or less stopped scratching the furniture when we got it, I wish I'd bought one sooner. They are cheap, can be turned over for extra life and easy to replace. I think they're much better than scratching posts.

swinkle Thu 07-Dec-17 10:29:07

Ok, I'll look into cardboard scratching things, thanks!

IceFall Thu 07-Dec-17 10:55:34

Mine loves the cardboard scratchers, seems to be really satisfying for him so def worth a go.

Also could you put up a barrier of foil or something on the records?

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