How many sofas have your cats ruined?

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luckypenguin
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How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by luckypenguin »

My cat is just awful (I hope he doesn't know I said that), he destroys couch after couch. They already make fun of me at the furniture store that I need to buy furniture in bulk, because I am a regular customer of theirs. What does this cat's behavior mean? Am I a bad owner? Is something bothering him? And most importantly, how to deal with it.
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Mollycat
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by Mollycat »

You need to "think cat" and offer a much more attractive alternative. A cat needs to strop to keep their claws in trim, so barring a cat from scratching furniture is only going to displace the behaviour onto something else. The best possible thing is scratching posts, placed where the cat thinks they need to be.

In answer to your question, I am on my 9th cat and have never had a problem with furniture getting ruined.
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Ruth B
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by Ruth B »

I will add that when buying a scratching post you need to think sturdy. Many posts are great for kittens, but by the time they get to three or four months old they can pull a lot of smaller posts over if they put their full weight and strength into looking after their claws. If a post doesnt' feel secure, the cat won't use it. Two I've found work well are the cardboard horizontal boards as long as they are large enough for the cat to get on when stropping his claws as he is then pulling against his own weight and strength. The other type is one that screws to the wall, large sturdy the right height, and going no where, we've recently had to replace one, and it just screws into the same holes.
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Kay
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by Kay »

Throwing in my twopenny's worth, I have found that most of my cats have preferred stropping on wood rather than the sisal covered poles - a large cat tree I have had on the patio for years has 4 untouched sisal poles and two bare wooden ones that are half their original thickness.
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by alanc »

Following on from Kay's remarks, mine have always preferred to strop their claws on the garden shed.
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susand
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by susand »

Resized sofa photo .jpg
Resized sofa photo .jpg (38.22 KiB) Viewed 194 times

This is how a sofa should look. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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fjm
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by fjm »

Yep. And once the sofa looks like that you no longer have to worry about it. Doesn't affect its ability to support a sitting human and if you need to tart things up temporarily an artfully draped throw takes care of it.
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by Mollycat »

susand wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:35 pm Resized sofa photo .jpg


This is how a sofa should look. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Genius, love it!

Ikea does a range of furniture with cat things incorporated. Incredibly ugly, but the thought's there I suppose.
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susand
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by susand »

I was in someone’s house once and noticed that they’d wound sisal rope around the legs of their reclaimed farmhouse kitchen table. It was done very neatly and covered about 3/4 of each leg. It actually looked quite smart and rather trendy (although as the proud owner of the sofa in the photo above, i perhaps shouldn’t be commenting on what is smart and trendy ;) ).
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fjm
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by fjm »

Your sofa is shabby chic, which is always in fashion!
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susand
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by susand »

Yeah, that’s it, absolutely! :lol:
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Ruth B
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by Ruth B »

I didn't want to say anything as I don't really want to tempt fate, but I've never had a sofa ruined by a cat. This isn't due to any fancy training for the cats, or amazing products to prevent it happening, it is purely due to small living room meaning I can't fit in the big padded sofas.

We have an Ercol sofa and chair I inherited from my parents, about 50 years old and been re-polished, and cushions and webbing replaced once, mainly used by guests. The other sofa is a lot newer, but was relatively cheap, i wanted something for myself that was higher backed to support my shoulders and head when sat in it, with enough room for a cat to sit beside me. so a cheap conservatory style sofa was all that would fit in the space. Bamboo and woven sea grass for the frame with cushions separate. I looked at the woven sea grass and decided the sofa was cheap enough that it didn't matter if the cats shredded that, as I rather expected they would. It obviously just never took any cats fancy, I've had it several years and replaced the seating foam once already and thinking I will have to do it again soon. but the bamboo and sea grass is still untouched.

My husband has an old futon that a friend gave us that he refuses to let me replace with a proper chair, but he did accept a new mattress to go on it a few years ago.

As you can guess our lounge is not one of these nice, clean, minimalistic ones, particularly as there is currently a litter tray in there as Teddy hasn't quite converted to using the other ones yet, but for us it is home and it is still comfy.
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by archybows »

I was never able to overcome this problem. I am already a regular customer at the furniture store. I've even come to terms with the fact that now I can only buy furniture on sale [Advertising link removed by Forum Admin], because it makes no sense to spend money on expensive furniture. And tried sprays, and scolded, the only thing left is to take me to a cat psychologist)))
Last edited by Lisa-D on Tue Sep 27, 2022 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Removed advertising link
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susand
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by susand »

Ha, ha. The psychologist will tell you it is normal behaviour and they can’t prevent normal behaviour! You just have to find something your cat likes scratching more than your sofa. Upstairs I have a wicker chair and my cat really loves having a good scratch on that, so I have mentally gifted it to him. He can shred it to pieces and I don’t mind - because if he wants a scratch when he is upstairs he goes directly to that wicker chair and doesn’t bother with anything else, so it saves the rest of the bedroom furniture from attack.

Sadly, if he’s downstairs, he doesn’t love the wicker chair so much that he’ll go all the way upstairs to use it if he gets the urge to scratch, so my sofa and chairs in the living room are ruined. When I buy new living room furniture I might buy another wicker chair as well for downstairs, just for him.
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by Mollycat »

It's more than normal behaviour, it's a physical need just the same as washing or eating. It's keeping claws and all associated tendons ligaments and muscles in top condition. It's stripping off the old dead layer of claw to reveal the razor sharp new layer underneath and keeping the retracting mechanism strong. It's a vital function of catness!

It's up to us owners to give them the means to do that as much as food, water and beds. My home is tiny (50 square metres) but I manage to squeeze in 2 cat trees, a post and a flat scratcher as well as 2 litter trays and now 2 sets of steps as she is older and can't climb or jump so well, because all of this is important to her mental and physical well-being as an indoor cat. Placing the things she is allowed to scratch in the right position for her and not for my convenience ensures she uses them all. It's a simple matter of respecting and meeting her needs, I brought her into my home and it's up to me to make sure it's her home with everything she needs. Scratch posts are just as important as veterinary care.
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by fjm »

Tilly-cat was very impressed by my neighbours' kindness in putting up two lovely 7 foot posts on the edge of their garden for her scratching convenience. I think they may have been less impressed at how quickly their posh new gate posts stopped looking pristine... As Mollycat says, cats need to strop their claws if the nails and ligaments are to remain healthy. Furniture provides everything they like - solid, unmoving, a slightly giving surface that retains the scent from the glands in their paws well and snags the old claw casings. Perhaps the solution is to make fabric covered panels for the favoured sofa arms, or very substantial arm caps that could be fixed in place, if the shaggy look does not appeal!
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Ruth B
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by Ruth B »

I will admit that while i haven't lost any sofas, my stairs carpet is a lost cause, for some reason every cat likes the bottom step, some will use the cardboard scratcher as well, but the carpet on the bottom step is always popular. Its already got a couple of patches in where they had scratched holes in it. My husband tells them off when he sees them doing it, I don't bother as I believe there is no point, and i know they happily scratch there when he isn't around, even if i am.

The other thing I'm eyeing up and wondering what to do with, is a an old pallet. During the Summer we had some garden stones delivered, the cut up wire cage was taken when I put it up on Freecycle, but no one wanted the pallet, so I thought i'd leave it in the garden until late October and then leave it beside the house, someone might take it for a bonfire. however i have noticed that for Saturn it is a great ladder up onto the fence, he goes over the fence anyway, it just is an easier route for him. Freyja on the other hand has decided it is the best scratcher ever, it is long and heavy enough that there is no movement to it and she can claw to her hearts content. It is blocking access to one water butt so I'm now trying to work out how I can rearrange things in the garden so I keep the pallet for her and can still access the water butts. Even in the summer we have had, I've only needed the one butt so maybe it can even stay where it is for the time being.
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Kay
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by Kay »

This thread has suddenly jogged my failing memory of the most covetable scratcher my then cats discovered many moons ago

It was one of those Moroccan leather pouffes - I don't know if it was the texture of the leather which attracted them, or the smell of long dead goat it was almost certainly made from - a smell which made me secretly rather relieved when the multitude of scratches and the long strips of leather hanging off it sealed its fate
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Re: How many sofas have your cats ruined?

Post by Mollycat »

When I was a child we had Ellie, a naughty tortie. She had her own chair, because one day a 6ft tall and 4ft wide visitor sat in it and went straight through it, and after that it was only strong enough for Ellie's tiny weight.

I don't recall any furniture shredding even when I was a child, though. Nor counter-surfing, something I can't stand and thankfully none of mine has ever done either.
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