The Vine: April 16, 2014
I have a new roommate who brought a cat with him and she is now the apple of my eye, the stars, the moon, the assumed owner of our apartment.
Kitty is an impeccably behaved sweetheart.
The apartment is all hardwood floors, save the kitchen and bathroom. It appears that some spots in each room are a bit scratched up, probably from moving furniture. The problem is that the cat has taken to scratching these spots up further. She's really going to town on the one in the living room. My roommate put her small scratching post over that area but she was not fooled. (Kitty doesn't scratch anything else, by the way — not the furniture, not me, nuthin'. Toldja she's a good cat.)
I've put clear tape over the scratched-up spot in the living room in order to deter her; we'll see if that works. In the meantime, is there something more effective that I can do? Perhaps the ol' spray-bottle-of-water trick? An olfactory discouragement? Shall we resort to an indoor electric fence? Steer us in the right direction, please.
Kitty and the Scratchers
Clear tape is a good idea, particularly if it's sticky side out. You could cut up a cardboard box, cover it with sticky-side-out tape, and use that to cover the spot; better yet, rearrange some furniture temporarily so the cat can't get to that spot at all. Putting the scratching post on top of it isn't so much "not fooling" her as it is not really setting it up as an alternative. She's still going to associate that spot with scratching, in other words.
Other options include tin foil, which many cats hate; spritzing the spot with bitter apple (more for chewing, but some people report success with that); getting a Feliway plug-in and pairing that with a rearranged room and relocated alternatives for scratching; and covering the area with one of those horizontal upcycled-cardboard scratch "boards." Mabel loves hers, though I must disclose that she loves it IN ADDITION TO loving tuning up the arms of the sofa, not instead of. Sigh.
You can also sit nearby for a day or two with a water pistol and fire on her whenever she's scratching at the area, but replacing an old habit with a new/better one has better long-term results (and doesn't damage the floor with water). Readers, feel free to chime in on what's worked for you in the past.
Tags: cats roommates