It’s been some time! Issues have been occurring! I purchased a home! (Therefore the radio silence for what looks like an eon… at the very least for me.) I’ll dive proper into the meaty bits of our matter at present—our furry little destructo-bots—however cling round till the top if you’d like an replace on life in Why Cat HQ (aka my home).
With the extremely nerve-racking buying and renovating of our little fixer got here the sudden realization that I now personal issues that I’d want my cats not destroy. Like, a sofa that’s not from craigslist. Or houseplants that aren’t hand-me-downs precariously clinging to life. I’m a full-on grown grownup, y’all. I’ve houseplants and upholstered furnishings. And heathen fur youngsters.
On the subject of cat claws…
We’re about to get obnoxiously preachy for only a second, so be happy to skip proper over if I’m preaching to the cat choir. Or for those who simply don’t really feel like being preached at in the present day. As soon as every week at church is sort of sufficient, you say? I get it.
Cats scratching can’t be helped. It’s an inescapable a part of dwelling with cats, as integral to the expertise as cleansing out litter packing containers and getting your face stepped on as you sleep. To those that assume they will remedy the difficulty as soon as and for all with the dreaded declawing, let’s speak. Declawing isn’t about as dangerous as having your fingernails ripped out. It’s worse! In declawing, a cats’ distal phalanges, or the top bones of their toes, are amputated, corresponding to having your fingertips chopped off behind your first knuckle. The restoration course of is lengthy and extremely painful, and lots of cats endure from phantom pains for the remainder of their lives. Others lash out and develop into biters, as they lack claws and really feel unable to defend themselves in worrying conditions.
You possibly can in all probability guess my private stance on the matter. Basically, I’ve a really pronounced distaste for people who really feel the necessity to hurt or in any other case
“modify” an animal to raised go well with their lives. I firmly consider that we’re solely guardians of the creatures in our care—we don’t personal them, they usually definitely don’t exist solely for our pleasure. We hardly need to have animals as our companions, however I feel we should always spend day by day endeavoring to earn the privilege.
Earlier than we get into prevention, we now have to first settle for cat scratching as an unavoidable conduct that almost each cat will interact in—it’s cathartic and therapeutic and enjoyable for them, all on the similar time.
The primary factor you are able to do to stop inappropriate scratching is to offer loads of applicable options—not only one scratching publish shoved in again room. Attempt to range your scratchers by materials and orientation, since some cats favor sisal and others favor cardboard. Some take pleasure in tall vertical scratchers, whereas others are extra horizontally-inclined. Hey, if you wish to encourage good conduct, the options must be legitimately interesting!
On the minimal, hold one in each room you frequent, and ideally in close-ish proximity to the furnishings you’re making an attempt to guard. My cats wish to stretch out and scratch as they comply with me from room to room, so I ensure that an interesting, officially-sanctioned scratching spot is all the time readily inside attain once they enter a room.
From there, there are a couple of tips you’ll be able to make use of to guard your furnishings and discourage cat infringement. The simplest—however maybe barely ugly—technique includes heavy obligation packing tape. Every time I convey a brand new and engaging piece of upholstered furnishings into the home, I wrap the corners with clear packing tape, like so:
The most effective a part of that is how delicate it’s (you type of should squint on the edges of the sofa to see the tape in motion). In the event you wrap your corners neatly and with sturdy packing tape (heavy obligation is greatest), it lays clean and undisturbed for months.
It’s nice to do that as quickly as you usher in a brand new piece of furnishings. In case your cats by no means get to affiliate the furnishings with scratchiness, it’ll be simpler so that you can keep that established order.
After a number of months (the longer, the higher), of tape-wrapped corners, you’ll be able to take away the plastic little by little with out your cats being the wiser. Attempt to not freak out for those who take away it too early and your cats have a slip-up. Simply snip any unfastened strings and re-wrap! A couple of unfastened threads in your sofa doesn’t portend the top of days.
Professional tip: Cats naturally gravitate to upholstery with chunkier weaves. In the event you’re looking for cat-proof furnishings, run your fingernails throughout the material. In the event you really feel a lot of little ridges and resistance, your cats will probably be extra vulnerable to scratch it. An awesome materials that the majority cat claws can’t get buy in is velvet. I’ve one velvet chair in my livingroom that the cats utterly ignore.
For extra everlasting safety and appealing-scratching-alternative in a single, I’ve had unimaginable success with this little contraption:
Couch-Scratcher Nook Protector
Ours tucks beneath the leg of the mattress and protects my valuable non-craigslist upholstery. This type of scratcher is the simplest when the world is just too interesting on your cats to withstand, like protruding corners, or tight areas the place a standard publish would take up an excessive amount of area.
My cats are completely obsessive about it. It’s been the perfect spot for them to smear up towards, scratch, and hump in blissful adoration. And because it is available in a variety of furniture-friendly colours, it has the additional advantage of not making my eyes bleed. Which is essential.
Take it away, Pips.
(It additionally is available in squared corners:)
Right here’s one other heavyweight favourite in my home—one which lots of you’re in all probability already accustomed to. It takes up a bit more room, however serves as an awesome family “Scratch Central” and may take a beating from even probably the most avid scratch connoisseur:
SmartCat Final Scratching Submit
For these on a finances, I’m an enormous fan of IKEA’s self-wrap sisal cat scratchers. I feel they’re presently solely $6, and you need to use them to transform any desk leg or stair railing into a fast and straightforward scratcher. They’re additionally implausible for laying over the tops of couches (one other fashionable scratching spot), windowsills, or strewing about in random rooms the place you merely can’t cram one other stick of cat furnishings.
Right here’s Pippin graciously modeling certainly one of his:
Having these laying round in all of your cat’s normal haunts is a particularly efficient furnishings scratching deterrent. When given the selection, cats will virtually all the time slightly sink their talons into good tough sisal over a linen sofa.
Keep in mind, curbing destruction requires a two-pronged strategy: Prevention (tape up your corners!) and Redirection (have interesting options inside paw’s attain).
What about crops?
Ah, sure. You’re not alone. My cats wish to eat my crops too. Fortuitously prevention on this regard is just a little easier.
Particularly, simply elevate your houseplants out of the attain of your little turds. Meaning plant stands and windowsills are your pal. Numerous plant stands.
Smaller crops could be perched on a windowsill with a barrier defending delicate leaves from a kitty’s fiendish maws. I like to go away sufficient area on the sills for the cats to climb up and look out the window, however all the time with a large, heavy barrier on the finish of every row of crops.
Jars of marimo moss balls work nice for this function (and are virtually as cute and fluffy as our fur-burgers themselves).
If you wish to enterprise into correct plant/cat aficionado territory, familarize your self with hanging crops—the last word in cat-proof greenery. I’m an enormous fan of air crops in hanging terrariums, trailing ivy and pothos, and kokedamas.
In case you’ve learn this far, permit me to punish you with a quick replace on life within the new home. The cats have adjusted swimmingly to their new digs, as cats do. They’re fairly taken with stairs, and have added a stair-storming sequence to their nightly cat rodeo repertoire.
Within the vertical area division, I’ve taken aside our cat tower and repurposed the items right into a collection of wall-mounted cat cabinets, with a candy little honeycomb hideaway at its base:
The DIY was tremendous easy. Just some shelf brackets from House Depot and we have been in enterprise!
In additional thrilling information, I feel I’ve lastly cracked the cat toilet conundrum and customary probably the most good and easy litterbox (that isn’t an electric-powered machine) that ever existed. It’s primarily my earlier sifting litterbox hack, with a number of key upgrades.
We nixed the “Breeze Litterbox” system completely (the aspect partitions have been laughably low, and even when surrounded by a big plastic tub, Pippin was nonetheless managing to pee over the edges and onto our partitions). Our present setup options giant plastic storage bins nested inside one another, with the inside bin’s flooring minimize out and changed with 1/four″ galvanized hardware material. A tray slides into the underside of the outer bin to catch sifted litter:
I really feel like that is lastly perhaps completely the END of our years-long journey looking for the last word, fuss-free, mess-free, easy-cleaning litter field answer.
This was not precisely a easy DIY construct. It concerned numerous Dremel slicing and a ridiculous quantity of scorching glue to safe the metal mesh to the underside of the sifting bin. However for those who’d wish to see a step-by-step DIY, simply holler within the feedback.
Whew. How’s that for a complete replace? Something I missed? Aside from you guys? (I missed you guys!)
Cats nonetheless too intelligent for their very own good? Discover ways to outsmart a mischievous cat
Take a look at a couple of of my favourite cat-centric DIYs
Now that your cats are leaving your valuable furnishings alone, let’s deal with that fur infestation