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User Topic: *Cough* Cat people, where are your boundries?
Exit Wounds
Member # 32811
DOH!  Posted: 3:59 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

Ok, OK, OK,

sooo...I have annoyed my dog mom's and dad's long enough today...So I am switching sides to my cat mommies and daddies.

Sooo...problem is such:

Please stick with me on this one.

I have two cats. Both totally indoor cats not declawed. I had a nice enough couch. I bought it used but it was nice. Well, it took them all of 6 months to turn it into yesterday's trash.

Gaby Baby suggestted soft paws, the stuff you put on the cats claws. That is certainly an option. BUT! I have a male fixed cat that pees at will.

Now I have figured out how to deal w/ my dog and his "issues"

My cats are a different story!

How do you keep your cats from destroying your couches? I finally broke down and bought new ones and they will be delivered this Friday.

Also if you do have a fixed male cat that just pees just b/c he can (yes vet checked) what do you do?

Do you live with this?
Do you lock him in a comfy room w/ toys?

What about the scratching? Do you keep them out of your living room? Or do you just live with messed up couches?!

Soo my wonderful SI friends, how do you deal w/ your cat issues? Where are your boundries?

[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 9:16 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

Posts: 2486 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: With my dad...and my dog...
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 4:17 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

Ok the peeing issue can be difficult to fix. I would limit his free range of the home when you can't keep an eye on him. Lock him in a confined area with a CLEAN litter box otherwise. Like a large bathroom bedroom or basement. I had one male who was very particular bout his box. I had to clean it daily otherwise he would find other places to pee. Keep laundry blankets, and so forth up off the floors and out of corners too. Add a second box for him as well.

To keep them from scratching up the new stuff? I'm dealing with this issue right now myself. Brand new leather couch and a 1.5 year old kitty who is all cat and has those crazy spells where she tears through the house at a million miles an hour with no particular destination. She is a rescue and we had to promise to not declaw her So I trim her nails about every 3 days. She doesn't care for this but does tolerate it. If I catch when she is sleepy. We have the new couch covered with quilts and blankets as well. She did get a few marks on it I'm the first day but no more since.

She has a scratcher thingy that she uses to "sharpen" her paws so she does not do it to the furniture. That was rubbed down with blankets from her litter mates and catnip. The shelter gave it to us when we got her.

Good luck!

Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8718 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
Member # 31528
Default  Posted: 4:21 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

I have a 2yr old cat and a 3month old foster kitty. Neither scratch the furniture, but I think it's because of what I have for them. In the family room there are 2 big cat trees, 3 small cat trees, 1 scratcher thing (real descriptive) , 3 tunnels, a tent, 80 bazillion toys, an ottoman that has a kitty entrance for them to hide in, and a bookcase that looks like steps for them to climb. They have so many options that they leave the furniture alone.

(Each cat tree has scratching posts).

*standing up* Hi, my name is jo2love and I buy too much cat stuff.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 4:22 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)]

Posts: 35929 | Registered: Mar 2011
Member # 31528
Default  Posted: 4:24 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

Forgot to add. I am a failure at keeping them from walking across the laptop. They change the brightness of the screen, make the keyboard not work till rebooted, turn airplane mode on, etc...

Posts: 35929 | Registered: Mar 2011
Exit Wounds
Member # 32811
Default  Posted: 4:25 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

jo2love, you really need to pay more attention to those poor kitties...

Posts: 2486 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: With my dad...and my dog...
Member # 33523
Default  Posted: 4:27 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

Re: scratching. If I'm not around to supervise, they are locked out of the living room. I have a squirt bottle at hand so when they act up, they get wet. They know when they see it what is going to happen & bad behaviour stops.

Re: peeing. Is this a new development? If yes, I'd have the vet check him out. Sometimes the way that cats show that they are sick is by peeing/pooping outside the box. If medical conditions are excluded, you can add an extra box, make sure it's clean, and make sure he isn't mad at you. Cats can be real passive aggressive. They'll let you know that they're pissed.

Me: MH 40s; Him: MH 40s (I had RA)
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Posts: 767 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Vulcania
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 4:27 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

*standing up* Hi, my name is jo2love and I buy too much cat stuff.

Most cats don't like to be sprayed with water upon bad behavior. You really just have to squirt them a couple of times, then they'll start behaving. There are also sprays for furniture that are meant to deter the behavior (they use scents). As jo mentioned, lots of toys of their own works well, too.

Posts: 11754 | Registered: Mar 2008
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 4:28 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

I have scratched up couches. I have a kitty condo with a scratching post and two single scratching posts. Just one of the three cats is a furniture scratcher.

It's frustrating. I tried catnip on the scratching posts and 'scratch-off' spray on the furniture. She still scratches. I cut her nails when she lets me.

I'm resigned to always having couches with the corners shredded. It makes me sad.

I don't do toys because I find that they all wind up under the furniture on the first day.

Maybe I'll buy 10 more scratching posts .

Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."

Posts: 38085 | Registered: Sep 2007
Member # 31528
Default  Posted: 4:35 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

jo2love, you really need to pay more attention to those poor kitties

Ebay has brand new cat trees at reasonable prices. I bought small ones for my sisters' cats for Christmas. Normally they are $60 each plus tax. I paid $19 for 1 and $20 for the other. Both had free shipping.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 4:35 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)]

Posts: 35929 | Registered: Mar 2011
Member # 12802
Default  Posted: 4:37 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

aluminum foil. tape it to the areas you don't want the cats scratching or jumping on (tented up a bit on flat surfaces so it makes that annoying sound when stepped on). It's worked for us in our potted plants where ours were digging, as well as with one of our old cats years ago that loved to scratch the corners and back of the couch.

[This message edited by unfound at 4:38 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)]

From time to time, I do consider that I might be mad. Like any self-respecting lunatic, however, I am always quick to dismiss any doubts about my sanity. DK

Posts: 14861 | Registered: Nov 2006 | From: mercury's underboob
Member # 31528
Default  Posted: 4:41 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

I gave one of these to my older sister. We put it on the floor right near the spot her cat loved to scratch on the couch. It seems to have helped her. It costs about $8.

Posts: 35929 | Registered: Mar 2011
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 4:41 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

Double stick tape works well, too Place it on the corners where they scratch and they'll stop because they don't like sticky stuff on their paws.

We have a floor-to-ceiling cat tree looking out a window in the loft. We live at the top of a hill, so I'm sure our cats feel like they're lording over the neighborhood- and they LOVE that!

Posts: 11754 | Registered: Mar 2008
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 5:09 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

Experiment with different scratcher types and orientations. Cats are picky. Mine loves the type like jo2love posted and won't even bother with a vertical or carpet scratching post, and I hate the cardboard ones because they are a mess

“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Posts: 3459 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 5:27 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

I use a spray bottle, too, but also give my cat a treat every time she scratches the cat posts. She'll meow, run to it, look right at me, and scratch to get a treat. I also don't leave her unattended for long periods in the rooms with good furniture.
I fully agree with all the suggestions about the peeing, especially seeing the vet. UTIs are so common especially in male cats.
And that often leads to litter box problems. If he has been peeing in random places, you MUST clean those places thoroughly to get rid of residual scent.

Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3669 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Member # 15088
Default  Posted: 5:50 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

Sticky paws double sided tape!



~Feel your emotions, but control your behavior~ Unknown

Posts: 2190 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Oregon
looking forward
Member # 25238
Default  Posted: 6:04 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

What about the scratching? Do you keep them out of your living room?

I actually trained our cats to not enter the living room. They would sit at the doorway.
Then, H rescued a little kitty a few years ago and Max loves to run into the living room and screeches to a halt in the far corner. He then flops over and meows. We can't figure him out, but he makes us LAUGH! This in turn led to me lacking the discipline to discipline! He is just too cute and funny.
Now the other two cats are allowed to come in to the living room (my domain)and cat nap. They don't bother scratching at the furniture.
They save that for the old beat-up couch in H's domain.
They do have a scratching post which H has re-covered a few times. It is well-used. The spray bottle of water has been effective, too.

Peeing? Our oldest cat is usually an outdoor cat (neutered), but he was injured a couple of weeks ago. He has been inside and today I noticed that he "decorated" the bottom portion of my kitchen oven. I got out the Lysol and cleaned up. There are sprays and other commercial products out there, but we have never bothered. Cats don't like citrus odours, and Febreze has worked on the hall table legs.
Keeping the litter box(es) clean is essential! Cats can be very, very picky!

Memory and hope; one looks backward, and the other forward; one is of today, the other of tomorrow.
"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain." (Joseph Campbell)

Posts: 2855 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: Where a river runs through it
Member # 33699
Default  Posted: 6:33 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

This is a real problem for me. My momma cat is a rescue. She never learned how to use the litter box quite right. She does fair but she also pees everywhere and on anything that is left on the floor.

When she was a kitten, we got the plastic bags for the litter box trying to keep it a little cleaner. Well this just taught her to pee on any plastic bag she found on the floor. Then she graduated to peeing on just about everything that was left on the floor. I just threw away all the Christmas stockings because they were christened.

The boy cat (one of her kittens) - she was fixed after having a litter - will pee occasionally but he is not as bad as the momma. I will admit that I am not real good about keeping their litter box clean. I guess I really need to step up my dilligence on this.

Both cats are horrible on scratching up the furniture. Every chair and couch is torn up on the corners. One thing that I have seen that seems to work - GF's mother puts clear tape on the corners of her chairs and couches and it has stopped the cat from scraching. EW - try that on your new couches. Maybe it will help to keep them looking nice.

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"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - Aubrie

Posts: 3432 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Georgia
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 7:54 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

We put double-sided tape stuff (sold at pet store) that the cats don't like when we got our new furniture. That helped alot and now they don't even try to scratch where the tape was.

We also found a can of spray (might have been called Boundaries if I'm not mistaken). It has an odor that the cats HATE! They wouldn't even come in the room the first time we sprayed the chair (we may have used a tad too much ).

Indian wisdom says our lives are rivers. We are born somewhere small and quiet and we move toward a place we cannot see, but only imagine. From Tending Roses

Posts: 6568 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 5:48 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)

My mother always says "catch them early!" which can either mean teach them not to scratch when they're young or teach them not to scratch a NEW piece of furniture, make it "not theirs".

Our old lady cat is not a scratcher - until a new piece of furniture is brought in, and then her first move upon inspecting it is to use it as a scratching post.

Knowing that she will inspect it, what we do is "unbox" the furniture and more or less stay in the room with it that afternoon and evening - scratching post (we use the tower of wound up rope variety) directly across the room. Old lady cat will approach new couch, sniff, oh so caaaasually stretch her old lady back by extending her paws upward and just happen to rest them on the couch, also just happening to have her claws extended....and this is when we do the "ah ah ah!" noise and immediately unhook her and bring her in position over to the scratching post.

We have to do this many times that day and evening -she'll keep trying for it, like 10 or 20 times that first day and it's a huge pain in the ass. She might even try it the next day or so, and no matter how tired we are we still leap in and "ah ah ah" and redirect. Then she admits to herself that the couch isn't hers and leaves it alone forever. More or less. Sometimes there's still the slight devious inclination to stretch her poor little old back while extending her paws coincidentally while she's near the couch arm, looking over at us to communicate her innocent intentions. We squash her charade with a look. We're really mean and selfish that way.

Posts: 3196 | Registered: Mar 2005
Exit Wounds
Member # 32811
Default  Posted: 8:03 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)

OMG you guys are hilarious! I just looove all your stories. I can clearly see that the cats run the show here

Thank you all for your response, your advice and your wonderful stories you shared with me! I truly get a kick out of reading this stuff.



Cats can be real passive aggressive.


We squash her charade with a look. We're really mean and selfish that way

There is so much more funnies I would like to post but you guys just have to read this thread for yourselves

OMG! I am laughing my butt off.

[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 9:31 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

Posts: 2486 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: With my dad...and my dog...
Member # 39560
Default  Posted: 8:52 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)

My comments replicate what many people have already said but I'd also add that any scratching post you may have needs to be large, stable and tall enough that it doesn't get knocked over when a cat stands on hind legs to stretch out and scratch. If it's too short or unstable, they won't use it because it will (or has already) fall over. Once that happens, forget it, they won't return to it.

You may also have to experiment with their preferred scratching of mine prefers the carpet(on the cat furniture post) and wood only. the other likes sisal-cord so their other piece of furniture has sisal cord. It's a good thing my kitties aren't spoiled

As far as the litter box...if vet checked and all is okay, then try setting up another litter box as suggested. Ensure any setup are kept clean...I clean their 2 boxes twice a day (scoopable litter) without fail. I've, luckily, never had problems with them going in other places.

Me: 45, him: 54
together 18 years
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Posts: 252 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Northeast
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 9:35 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)

Oh and another note if you set up two litterboxes, put them in different areas of the house. Sometimes when cats are fighting for dominance the path to the litterbox becomes a prime attack spot and the weaker cat might not want to cross the bully cat's path.

“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Posts: 3459 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
Member # 8795
Default  Posted: 10:34 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)

Yet another confirmation of the "make sure scratching surfaces are tall enough - they should be tall enough that your cat can stand on his hind legs, completely stretch his front legs up the post, and still have a little room above it. Horizontal scratchers (like the cardboard scratchers) can be shorter, but even so, if they aren't big enough, most cats won't use them. I have a double-wide inclined cardboard scratcher. (Yeah, it's not hard to make the same kind of thing... I just bought because it was easier.)

And, as others have said, try different types of scratching materials. Different cats have different preferences. Most people swear by sisal, but I've yet to have a cat that liked scratching the sisal. No, all mine have preferred the plain-old carpet covered - probably because those make the most mess once they start really getting shredded.

Speaking of messes - I haven't had to deal with the peeing issue (well, except for a cat that died a few years ago, but his were known health issues that made walking and standing difficult for him). But if it is an issue where the cat does not like to use a dirty box, you might consider one of the automated boxes. I had a LitterMaid years ago, and it was ok, and not much more expensive to use than a regular box (I just emptied and re-used the plastic containers where the box dumps the waste.)

Now we have a Cat Genie - it uses plastic pellets, a cleansing solution, and water to wash the pellets after each use. It's a mixed bag. We prefer it because the box is always clean for the cats, and we don't have to scoop. On the down side - the pellets get tracked more than regular litter does, and it's difficult to deal with that. And there are some known issues with the boxes - mainly with the water sensor - that means you sometimes have to fiddle with the thing frequently. And, of course, it's kind of expensive. Even with all of that, we've found it's the best solution for us.

Having a box that is always clean, though, might be an answer.... but if he just still likes "marking", even though he is fixed, there might not be much you can do except keep him confined when you aren't there to see him.

Two final suggestions for the scratching - citrus-scented Febreeze. Most cats hate the smell of citrus, so if you spray the couch with a citrus scent frequently, that may help. Also, it might only take a couple of weeks to "train" them out of using it... you might be able to use the Febreeze for a short time just to discourage them.

And the second suggestion - I've recommended these before (and I don't have any relationship to the company, we just found they worked well): Jumpo trainers ( They are basically two hard plastic squares connected with a very short bungee. You set them (similar to a mouse trap, except they only make noise), and the slightest touch makes them go off. They are LOUD. If you can arrange these such that the cats will set them off any time they try to scratch, that might work. I've found them to be VERY effective. The ones we have are bright green, and we don't even have to set them anymore. If the cats even see that color of green, they won't go anywhere near it.

[This message edited by osxgirl at 10:35 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

Posts: 2405 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: Maryland
Member # 40229
Default  Posted: 2:08 PM, December 18th (Wednesday)

I've trained all of my cats not to scratch anything but the scratching posts and the cat tower.
It takes a bit of time...lots of positive reinforcement, and Mommy making a fool of herself showing them what they can scratch. Yeah, I looked pretty retarded bending over and "scratching" the posts and tower and repeatedly saying good girl or good boy for Mommy. My friends think I'm nuts, but no tape, no stinky spray, no crazy furniture costs. I did have to keep blankets and quilts on furniture until the whole training "took". It took each cat no more than 3 months. I got buns of steel from so much squating and bending over!
You do have to continue the positive verbal reinforcement of good kitty kitty though!
Oh, and my oldest cat thought that running to the scratching post after doing something very naughty was her get out of jail free pass! So if she got into the toilte paper or had a skein of yarn strewn all over the house, or jumped on top of the kitchen cabinets and broke an urn, she would run like crazy to the scratching post for her good kitty/girl!

I don't need further confirmation of what a fuckwit he is. I already have plenty, thanks very much. -SBB
D: 7/2/2014

Posts: 2335 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: AZ
Exit Wounds
Member # 32811
Default  Posted: 2:17 PM, December 18th (Wednesday)


I looked pretty retarded bending over and "scratching" the posts and tower and repeatedly saying good girl or good boy for Mommy.

OMG! You guys! This is pure entertainment!

Posts: 2486 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: With my dad...and my dog...
Member # 8795
Default  Posted: 2:26 PM, December 18th (Wednesday)

You want entertainment? My DH finds it quite amusing when I set up the Jumpo trainers.

Did I mention that the slightest touch sets them off?

That they are really LOUD when they are set off?

And by the way - I startle easily and really hate loud noises.

It is nearly impossible to set those things up without them going off at least once or twice. I'm sure I jumped higher than the cats do.

Posts: 2405 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: Maryland
Topic Posts: 26