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Feline Friday: Screen Scratching Maniac

Cats claw. They’re just wired that way. And they’ll find all kinds of unique targets if they don’t feel satisfied with the usual fare.

Today’s blog has two Ask Amy videos, both with advice and information about your kitty claw-maniacs. How have you managed your cat “nailing” your valuables? I’m fortunate that Seren-kitty hasn’t done too much damage, although in her younger days she used my pant legs as moveable scratch objects. Of course, she’s now a senior citizen kitty.


This month as a special “thank you” to all my furry-fantastic-followers, I’ll give away a paw-tographed copy of Complete Care for Your Aging Cat and Complete Care for Your Aging Dog. To get in the running, simply post a comment in the blog about your special pet (old fogey or not) and I’ll draw two names at the end of the month. You can use these award-winning updated books as a resource for yourself or wrap up for a pet-friendly holiday gift to a fur-loving friend. And as an EXTRA-special incentive–and to encourage all of y’all to mentor each other and spread the blogging/twitter/Facebook love–the two winners get to name one purr-son who gives them wags of support and deserves a book, too!

#AskAmy Sweet Tweets

Folks who “follow” me on Twitter @amyshojai and @About_Puppies are the most awesome Sweet Tweets around–they love #cats and #dogs and #pets, many #amwriting. We’ve become a great community including those in the #MyWANA social network twibe hosted by the awesome @KristenLambTX.  So I’m stealing borrowing Kristen’s methods and creating my own hashtag. Just follow and include the #AskAmy in your tweets if’n you’re interested in pithy links to articles, books, blogs, experts, fictioning and sparkle-icity!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

9 responses »

  1. I’ve been lucky with Simba – the only place she scratches is in the windowsills. So we put carpet in them.

    I agree with the vet in the first video discouraging the declawing. My parents had one of theirs declawed when we had an already-declawed cat dropped off on us, and they were afraid the existing cat would hurt the new one and have an unfair advantage. Their vet at the time failed to warn them what the procedure actually entailed (nobody told us they actually remove BONE). Mom’s cat walked on his knees for at least a week. She was absolutely horrified. I do believe that was about the time they decided to change vets…

    If they absolutely can’t find something else to do, get Soft Paws. But there’s plenty of things to try first. Biggest thing is to find what texture kitty likes to claw. Simba seems to like that nice leftover Berber carpet that dad gave me from scraps where they carpeted one of their rooms in the past (actually I think that might have been leftover dorm carpet). Anubis (even though he has no front claws – not our doing) prefers sisal. He also likes the EmeryCat cardboard/sandpaper thing my gram gave us for Simba (who of course ignores it). They both like the back of the rolled-up carpet thats waiting to be laid in the bedroom where a prior foster doggie ripped up some of the flooring. If there’s a particular piece of furniture kitty is destroying more often, you can always try making a homemade scratching post covered with material of a similar texture, and make sure the cat knows THAT is the OK spot to claw, and the furniture is not OK. Kind of like one of the foster doggies who kept trying to steal the cat toys, Once I figured out she wanted a soft plush toy, I got her one and she left all the cat’s toys alone. If you find the right texture your cat wants to scratch on, once you show her that’s where she scratches, she will be more likely to listen when you tell her “no” for attacking the furniture.

    For the screen scratching I had to take another route, because it wasn’t my cat doing the scratching. See, where I live now used to be the home of one of my uncles. My grandfather’s old cat used to belong to said uncle, so he still tried to come in over here quite a bit. I didn’t want any fuss being raised between the cats, and I wasn’t sure what he might be carrying since he was outside a lot and may have picked up something my cat wasn’t vaccinated for, so I never let him in (at least… not on purpose… he did sneak in once when we were bringing in groceries). So he always clawed at the screen trying to beg to come in. I ended up keeping a spray bottle nearby and giving him a little spritz of water every time he clawed.

    • Yep, I love the Soft Paws ( for claw maniacs. You can get them from your vet or pet products stores and they aren’t too tough to apply. Just keeping cat claws trimmed helps a bunch.

      • I love that last I knew my local shelter (shameless plug for the Humane Society of Delaware County ) started giving them away with their go-home packages for kitty adoptions. 🙂 They’ve been one of the best shelters in the state for a LONG time, and within the past year they’ve managed to make some expansions and apparently made it even better. Still need to get the chance to go check it out with all the cool new stuff.

  2. With my first cat we went the Soft Paws route also. I used to tell people that my Callie was getting her nails done or that they were press on nails for cats:)

  3. During our morning park jaunts, people say “What a gorgeous dog!” (Unless they fear big dogs… ;)) In the evening people have said, “What a sweet old dog.” My heart aches, though I know it’s due to her slower pace and, at times, achey joints…

    • August, with our first shepherd we had the same types of comments. Everyone knew him–we lived in an apartment for 9 years with him. They didn’t know our name but they knew the dog. *s* And yes, the slower pace was bitter sweet. I gained weight, too, because he wasn’t pushing our walk to a faster pace.

      But a slower walk takes longer, gives more time to (literally!) smell the roses and other good doggie stuff. My old dog taught me to appreciate taking time, live in the moment, and stop the rush-rush-rush of day to day.

      I love my young Magical-Dawg. But I miss my old guy, desperately.

  4. Pingback: Good Solutions for Cat Scratching | Little Big Cat

  5. Pingback: Feline Friday: Scratching the Surface–DON’T DeClaw! « Amy Shojai's Blog

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