Wednesday, January 13, 2010

As Writing Isn't for the Weak Hearted, Training...

our cats that our furniture isn't beautified scratching posts just for them isn't easy, either.

We've tried spraying our furniture with perfume (an idea given courtesy of one of my sisters) only to cough and sputter due to a much too overpowering scent. As nice as it may be sprayed on a human body, let me tell you, it is not nice to inhale once sprayed over several pieces of furniture. And our house is open concept. Can't imagine what it would have been like if done in a closed room. Anyway, after nearly dying of massive headaches and raw-throat appeal, that didn't work, either.

In the interest of being humane to my pets and any other creature that roams this earth, I really don't want to send them for de-clawing, so if anyone has any great suggestions as to how to get these silly cats to use the scratching posts given to them rather than our furniture for their obvious need, I'd love to hear it, or read it, as the case may be in blogland.

Praying you all are inspired with something grand today that makes you smile lots!!!

(P.S. My daughters still haven't sent me any pics to upload of our dear equine Penny. Haven't forgotten, still working on getting it to show off their beautiful filly. Oh, and here's a line that hubby said the other night that really cracked me up "We need to save our pennies for Penny." Hee Hee! But boy is he right on that!)

Jan.14th update.

Thanks all for your great suggestions! Keep them coming as I head out to get tape that won't destroy my leather, more tinfoil, and more scratching posts. I'm good with the catnip for smothering on the posts as Santa seemed to have a huge supply of that this year. Thanks too, to all who comment with or without suggestions for this problem of mine. I love reading all your comments! Thanks so much!

Now, onto the pics. Meet Penny. Isn't she beautiful!

Penny and Sabrina.

Penny and Alisha.

Aren't they all beautiful together?

Surrendering to Him,



Georgiana Daniels said...

I do so wish I had advice for you. Unfortunately, my experiences with cats have been...well...let's just say the last one we had chewed through our window blinds and couch cushions until I gave him a home in the country.

Hopefully someone else will know what to do!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Sorry, Eileen, I don't have any advice for you on that one. I'd love to see pictures of Penny, though.

And by the way, I have an award for you on my blog today!

Tana said...

I can't wait to see the pretty pony! SOrry, no advice about the cats. have a great day. :)

Natalie said...

Unfortunately I'm allergic to cats so I don't know much about them (I'd love some advice about how to teach dogs not to throw up on CARPET though). I'm pretty convinced that having pets means accepting our houses will never be perfect (or even close.) :)

Joanne said...

Eileen, our cat is declawed, and has been for several years now. She is suffering no ill effects from it and is a perfectly happy animal. The way I see it, you are, I'm sure, giving your cats a paradise in which to spend their lives, stress-free, comfortable, well fed and rested, which does compensate for the initial adjustment of being declawed. So my only advice is to maybe consider that?

Linda Kage said...

Yes, I'm going to be just as disappointing as everyone else. I'm not a cat-owner, have no idea how to deal with the claws.


I've heard that some people spray water or a mix of lemon juice and water on their animals when they need to be punished.

Robyn Campbell said...

No advice. I never could get them to stop doing that. You may just have to live with it. Have you tried the emery board for cats they've been advertising? Dunno, just thinking here.

You guys got a horse. GREAT. Now is said pony big enough for said Eileen? *grin*

And no-stirrup work is the way to go. Ivy has strong legs. because of it. Her horse shows start in February. YAY! *she rubs her hands in anticipation*

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, my, honestly, I wasn't expecting so few suggestions, but thanks for stopping by. I always love hearing from you all! :)

Joanne, my sister tells me the same thing, just go get them removed, but that's costly too and our vet is really against doing so. But my leather couches are really paying the price of not getting it done, unfortunately.

Linda, we do spray them with water when we can catch them, but they must be doing this at night when we slumber because I never hear them at work on those couches during the day and I'm home all day!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Cindy, I saw the lovely award. Thanks so much. Putting it on my sidebar now. Just love it!!

Anonymous said...

I would not be happy sucking those fumes. YUK! My cat is an outdoor or cellar cat since my daughter is allergic. :O)

Patti Lacy said...

Oh, I love all pet lovers though our one attempt at a "kitty" was, um, a disaster.

You are SO "write" about our profession not being for the weak-hearted. Beautiful post, as usual!


Erica Vetsch said...

Here's one suggestion that is odor free and fairly cheap.

For a little while, tape or pin some sheets of aluminum foil over the areas on the furniture that the cats like to scratch the most.

They tend not to like the feel and sound of foil, and it might deter them.

Also, you could put some doublesided tape on it to futher discourage them.


Susan R. Mills said...

I've never owned a cat in my life because I'm allergic. So sorry, but I don't have any advice. Good luck.

Tamika: said...

My only suggestion was going to be the scratching posts you said don't work!

Wow- sorry hon.

Janna Leadbetter said...

I don't know anything about cats! But I hope you find something that works. :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Someone once told me that keeping a spray bottle with water handy works great. When kitty engages in a behavior you deem unacceptable, a quick squirt will send them running.

Does it work? It's worth a try.

Susan :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm allergic to cats, so no advice to give. I heard the declawing process was very icky for them. Hope you find a solution!

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Eileen,

I have one wing chair the cats think is a great scratch post (much the worse for wear!). But what I tried was putting the scratch post in front of that particular area where they go, and then when they go back to that spot, the post is there. It works as long as no one moves the post!

Good luck.


Krista Phillips said...

I vote for the declawed...

I'd declaw my dog if I could (her nails get sharper than anything!) *grin*

Anita said...

My mother puts a muslin type fabric (square like a sheet) over her sofa so the dog won't leave her odor, etc. on it. When company comes, she swoops it off in a second, and then puts it back on when the guests are gone.
Would a temporary cover help your leather sofa? Mayby kitty would go to the scratching post if all of her favorites were covered for a week or two.

Sorry, that's all I got. :)

Jessica Nelson said...

Hmmm, I love my kitties but they're outdoor ones. I've heard the spraywater thing works. And the aluminum foil/tape thing sounds great too. Anything cats don't like would probably work.
I'm sorry to hear about it! I don't like the idea of declawing either and hope you find a solution. If you think they'll never ever live outside, then surgery might be the most practical (if painful) thing. Good luck!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I wish I had our cat declawed when he was younger. He has shredded...and I mean totally shredded...the carpet at each and every doorway in our house. We would close a door, not knowing he was in there, and then he would try and claw his way out! Oh My Goodness!!!! It's bad. And I've been mad. But we are selling our house (as is!) and will have to get rid of the cat when we move. (I hate to smile about that, but it will be a relief to me.)

Hope you find a good solution!

Lillian Robinson said...

I've had cats my whole life. Many at the same time. My opinion of cats: You cannot train a cat to not do stuff. You can only train them to not do it when they hear you coming.

I'm assuming you've put catnip on the scratching post to draw them to it.

A squirt gun is great when you're around. You can cut their nails with fingernail clippers or the dog-style nail trimmers. Sometimes it makes them scratch less.

There are different types of scratching posts. Do you have a log that they can scratch? Outdoor cats prefer scratching on trees rather than doormats, etc. If you don't have wood, ask a friend that has a fireplace.

Bottom line: If your cats prefer the leather sofa to the post, there may not be anything left to do but declaw. I have had several cats declawed. One, right after my daughter was awakened in the middle of the night and ended up with a large scratch right next to her eye!

If your cats are strickly indoor cats, it is fine to declaw them. (But only the front claws.)

kanishk said...

I'd love to see pictures of Penny,

Work from home India

Faith said...

We stopped our cat from destroying the furniture by putting the scratching posts RIGHT in front of the place where they were scratching on the furniture. Since the sisal rope gives a better stretch to her joints, she took to the posts within just a few days! But I had to place the scratching posts literally butted up against where she normally scratching. Sprinkling the scratching post with CATNIP helped a lot too!

I'm with your vet when it comes to declawing. Declawing actually amputates the first joint on each kitty finger... as I'm sure your vet has told you! I know I couldn't go through life as happily without the first joint on each of my fingers, and I would never want to do such a thing to an animal.

I'd recommend trying the catnip thing for sure :) You can get containers of dried flakes from the pet store!

Terri Tiffany said...

Declaw them!! I always did. I love love the horse pictures. That was always my dream--to learn to ride and have one. SO glad you could do it for your girls:)

Laurie Justus Pace said...

Just found your blog through Laura Frantz... I love LOVE the pictures of the horses as I am an equine artist. I look forward to reading your blog.

Unknown said...

Until recently we had two cats. A little over a year ago, one (a sweet black longhair named Ramses 12) died of a venerable old age and we're down to one. Both tried sharpening their claws on our furniture. What we did was, whenever they set their claws in that unmistakable pose, we picked up the cats and set them outside. After repeating the procedure enough times, they got the feline equivalent of the idea. We are always good to our cats and just occasionally show our displeasure (when really merited) by our tone of voice, which they seem to understand.

I hope that helps. Please check out my new release, Angela 1: Starting Over, the first of three set in a coastal Texas high school. In the upcoming second book, I introduce Angela's new cat, a black longhair named Thelonius. To find out more about the first book, please click on my name and follow the link to my website. Thanks!

Jody Hedlund said...

Oh, Eileen!! The pictures are beautiful and your daughters are gorgeous!! You are doing the right thing to focus on being with them a little more! They won't be with your for too much longer.

And thanks for your responding email a couple of days ago updating me on all of your progress. I'm so glad that you're continuing to keep working!! Each little step forward will bring you that much closer and you will get there eventually!


Sarah Forgrave said...

Unfortunately I'm not a cat person, so I don't have any suggestions on that arena.

Those are beautiful pictures! This is random, but my mom is a professional photographer, and she always talked about how much work it is to get a horse's ears to perk forward. Looks like Penny cooperated nicely. :-)

Kara said...

What beautiful pics! I hope the cat situation is solved, I've never had an indoor cat so I am no help:(