Need advice on new kitties

I lost my 14 yr old tortie yesterday. It was pretty sudden, but I’m telling myself she had 14 good years of love. And it has opened up a spot for a couple of rescues.

All of my kitties have been declawed. This is something I don’t want to do anymore. But, I am afraid of getting kitties that want to claw on my furniture. So, I’m coming to the all knowing Cothers out there to give me some suggestions. I already have kitty condos in every room. I can get scratching posts, pads, etc. How do I get them to go to those items to scratch?

How often do they need their claws clipped? Is this something that I could do?

My house is so empty without a kitty. :frowning_face:

1 Like

I’m so sorry for your loss. Big hugs. :heart:

If you have a kitty condo, and it has scratching posts on it, you likely should be all set. I wish I could say there is one all-encompassing way to make them scratch a specific object, but I think you just have to find out what textile or surface it is that particular kitty likes. I have never seen my head kitty scratch on any of the three scratching posts we have, but she will rip up cardboard if I leave it around for her (once a month, she gets the Chewy box and shreds it). The other two love their scratching posts.

Most cats are pretty good at keeping their claws in check - they bite them as part of their grooming. If you find one is getting too long, just use nail clippers and clip the tip. I taught all of mine to tolerate this early on by playing with their paws often (including extending their nails out) and giving them treats after each clip. Now I give a treat after each paw.

2 Likes

If the kitty condos only have carpet to scratch on, I’d recommend getting something made with burlap or sisal. Every cat I’ve known has preferred “natural” materials over carpeting.

But what all of mine really love are the heavy triangles with corrugated cardboard on all three sides. They’re usually less than $30 and last a long time, since you can keep rotating the sides around. There are cheaper versions that fold up, but they tend to scoot around as the cat scratches, so I recommend springing for the pricier model that has a solid core. The only downside to them is the little pieces of cardboard on the floor that have to be swept up on a daily. But it’s a small price to pay if it spares the furniture!

3 Likes

In addition to finding something your cats like to scratch, you also need to discourage them from scratching inappropriate things like your furniture or carpet. Two products that have helped me are Feliway and Sticky Paws. I spray Feliway on the place where the cat is scratching, and that usually stops it. If not, I put Sticky Paws (https://pioneerpet.com/sticky-paws/) on the area, and that has always stopped the scratching. Sticky Paws comes in various sizes, so you should be able to find one that works for you.

Will your new kittens be indoor/outdoor cats, or indoor only? I have two cats that prefer to be outdoors, and they like to scratch the trees. I’ve never had a problem with either of them scratching anything in the house. On the other hand, I have one cat who prefers to spend most of her time indoors, and she will look for things in the house to scratch. If your cats can spend time outdoors, that might be all you need to prevent scratching in the house.

Consider whether your cats prefer to scratch vertically or horizontally, and provide places to scratch that satisfy their preference.

Like others have said, corrugated cardboard is cheap, and cats like it. Over the years I’ve had a dozen cats, and all the ones that scratched indoors really liked the cardboard.

I never clip my cats’ claws, but that’s because they go outside and I don’t want to hamper their ability to defend themselves or climb a tree to get away from a threat.

1 Like

I only have one cat tower, two cats inside in winter and one during summer. I had other scratchers, but they were never used. :expressionless: I get after my cats for bad behavior. They’ll get chased right out of the room and get no attention if they claw furniture. It was a short lived fear that they’ll damage furniture and walls. 12+ years with 3 different cats and no problems. Never trim nails either. I’d say maybe once a year or less do I have to yell at a cat for trying to claw something. Worse years are the young years, they get lazy and less destructive as they age. Though, I haven’t had stereotypical cats. None knock stuff off tables, none want to be way up high. They like belly rubs, play fetch, learn tricks. :woman_shrugging:t4:
My only problem with cats is how horribly picky they get with food…

1 Like

I’m so sorry about your sweet tortie girl. It’s so hard to lose them. :cry:

I have had a lot of cats for a lot of years and I’ve never really had one that scratches the furniture. I have one now that tries to claw the couch very rarely, but when he does it I yell at him and he doesn’t try it again for a long time. I have 2 of those Turbo Scratcher things (with the cardboard insert) and most of my cats scratch on the cardboard. I have one cat that likes to scratch on the area rug, but I this doesn’t really bother me because the rug is old and already trashed.

Regarding clipping the claws, just keep an eye on them. Occasionally, claws can get long and sharp and start growing into the foot. You might be able to trim them yourself or you might not. It depends on the cat. If they need trimming, you can try trimming just 1 or 2 claws when the cat is sleepy. That’s usually what I do. Or you can have the vet trim them if you are taking the cat to the vet for another reason.

I’m so sorry you lost your cat. Losing a pet is so hard.

I highly recommend, in addition to kitty trees with sisal on them, a cardboard thing called a Cat Scratch Lounger. My cats love those things, vastly preferring them to chairs and couches. We have either trees or the loungers in every room, and it has pretty much eliminated my cat’s urge to work out on the furniture.

I’m so sorry about your tortie girl. Got a soft spot in my heart for them.

As far as trimming toenails, it can be done at home. Just start by getting them used to having their little feet handled, keep it brief and fun and eventually you will able to trim their claws yourself. I use those cardboard scratchers and my cats love them. They can really get their claws in and shred away. I also use slip covers on my furniture and when those get too ratty, out they go.

Similar to others who have posted, I have never really had an issue with my cats scratching what they shouldn’t, and I am certified cat lady (lots of cats past & present).

I have quite a few small (size of a big placemat) sisal mats strewn about, plus two nice tall scratching posts with sisal rope. They like to stretch, so I try to have at least one tall or angled option for them.

Scratching posts with carpet may encourage scratching of other carpets…the ones on your floors. Burlap, jute, sisal have been preferred by my cats, and look nicer, IMHO. I just know sisal floor coverings for me would never be an option, since they’ve essentially been trained to use it freely for their pleasure. The cardboard scratchers are also a favorite.

I show them what I want them to scratch, I sort of rub it with their paw, & from there they kind of figure it all out themselves. When I have had a kitten (which I try to avoid - omygodstop), I may have to redirect them just a few times at most.

I try to put the mats in places where they would be when the urge to scratch hits. For example, when I get home one of mine gets excited & likes to scratch, so there is a mat floating around in the entry way. They congregate in the kitchen when I am cooking, so I have small mats or cardboard scratchers in quantities equal to my cat numbers (kitties like to lie on the mats/cardboard in “loaf” pose - this way they don’t have to share). They all play raceway down the long hallway, so there is a tall post on one end & a mat on the other.

I haven’t had an issue, as I said, but if you do encounter a problem scratcher (my friend inherited one), that is resistant to normal positive efforts, there are still things you can do. Double sided tape on the corner of the couch she likes, or other stuff that doesn’t feel good, as a deterrent.

Soft paws are also an option. They are soft gel nail caps and come in fun colors.

I keep my cats nails trimmed. They are 100% inside cats and I hate feeling sharps when they sit or climb on me. You should at least watch the dewclaws on the front. They can curl back in and create problems

YAY kitties!!

I’m so sorry about your loss. I’ve got a 13 year old tortie and I know at this point every year isn’t guaranteed. I’ve always considered torties to be “top shelf” cats.

Everyone has already given basically all of the input that I’d give. The texture of the furniture makes a difference. The only thing that’s very been inviting to my cat, furniture wise, was a heavily textured cloth couch from the early 80’s. I’ve never had mine touch any of my leather stuff.

The only other thing I’d like to add is that the location of scratching material can matter. They aren’t just sharpening their claws; they’re also leaving a scent. So they’d prefer to leave that in a well traveled area. Scratchers off in corners get less us, where as a favorite cat tree will be frequented.

I got my girl a seagrass wicker basket and have it on the floor of the living room. Greatest cat scratcher ever invented, and looks nice, too.

Thank you so much for all of the suggestions.

3 of the kitty condos I have do have sisal posts as well as carpeted ones. I will definitely get some of the cardboard scratchers. No worries about pieces of cardboard laying around. I tend to bring shavings home from the barn. And never fear, I’m used to toys being everywhere. LOL.

These will be inside only kitties. I do have a 3 season porch that they can go out into and get some fresh air and sun and still be within screens or sliding glass doors in the colder months.

I did find a triangle scratcher at Chewy’s that I might try. I have to call them and see if I can send back the dry and canned food that I just received. The box is sitting unopened in my hall way bringing back memories of Roxie. :frowning_face:

I’m going this morning to look at some 10 week old kittens. Eek. I have never had them that young. The youngest I have adopted so far was 7 months. What’s a couple of months? But, they sound very well adjusted and friendly. Gotta love rescues.

6 Likes

Yay! If it’s the PetFusion Vertical Scratcher for $40, that’s the one I have and it’s great— very heavy duty.

We expect kitten pictures post haste! :grin:

2 Likes

Sorry for your loss.

Chewy is likely to credit you and suggest donating to a rescue.

For a cheap kitten toy, fold in the ends of a cardboard toilet paper roll (after you’ve used all the paper, of course) and put some kibbles or cat treats inside. Kittens love to bat it around and hear it rattle, and they get a treat if they open the ends.

Can’t wait to see pics of the new kittens!

1 Like

I have one ratty chair they are permitted to claw and they are good about that. I also have sisal wrapped towers, the triangle cardboard, and successfully used double stick “cat deterrent” tape on some tempting chairs and such until they stopped considering them lol. I taught all of mine to tolerate me handling every inch of them for trimming toe nails, so that’s easy when it’s needed. Meanwhile they stole my new collapsible dish pan I bought for camping…

8 Likes

Not the best pictures. Hopefully it will show. 12 week old females. One is black and white the other is all black with a little white patch on her chest.

image

2 Likes

Pic is very tiny and will not expand. I’m sure they are cute but…not unless I have a magnifying glass.

A second “thumbs up” for the cat scratch lounger. My crew loves their lounger (as you can see)

2 Likes

I think I have it this time. This one is Rosie.

This one is Annie. The rescue foster told me Annie likes to lick you. Well, she is actually suckling on me. I am working on getting that stopped. I snuggle with her or redirect her to play.

They seem to be getting better about using the scratching posts. I did get one cardboard lounger that they are starting to use a little. I may get a bigger, nicer one. I have ordered the triangle scratcher from Chewy and it is on the way.

They are having a ball exploring the house and finding 30 years worth of toys. :grinning:

14 Likes

Oh Gremlin would LOVE that lounger. Maybe Santa Paws at Christmas?