one of my cats claws up furniture. I've tried a huge list of fixes, with no luck. I'm considering that he's bored. I'm on my last thread here, and the options are maybe now he goes outside and hope that being less bored helps, or that he gets declawed, which I'm totally against. help me with more creative ideas?
I have two cats Jango
who are both neutered males, around 4 years old. They're great cats, I love them both more than you're probably supposed to love your cats. They're named for Jango and Boba Fett, from star wars :)
Both cats were adopted, Jango was a stray and Boba (who I commonly call Bobes or Bobaka) was being put outside permanently at a farm if no one took him, since a new baby was having allergies. both were about 7 months old when I got them and came with a small slew of problems, a lot of which we either worked out or lived with.
when I got the cats, I lived with my exboyfriend in a small apartment and we had a HORRIBLE couch (the one in the picture of Bobes.) it was a disaster. the cats quickly took to scratching it, which I tried my best to prevent, but exboyfriend didn't care at all and never followed up on chasing them off/spraying them, or encouraging them to scratch elsewhere for the year we lived together. they wrecked that couch. I realize that I am part and party to the cause of this problem.
I moved into my own place and took the cats. This would be about 2 years ago now. bought nice leather furniture. built a gigantic hilarious gate in the hallway to keep the cats away from it unless they were being supervised so I could get them used to the idea that furniture is not for scratching. between the long hard road of spraying and scatting and wrapping things in aluminum foil and plastic wrap and providing a never ending train of options for scratching posts and surfaces close to the problem areas, I've mostly untrained them that the couches are fair game. Jango is completely happy to use posts, and boba has some sisal floor scratchers he likes, and a sisal moon-shaped thing.
here's the kicker though, boba will scratch the furniture when I'm not at home. no matter what. I've got the no-scratch spray, I've taped aluminum foil to all the corners, I've rubbed them in lemon oil and garlic and I've bought those little shocky mats and taped them to the corners. he'll stop, but as soon as the foil/shocky mat goes away, he's back to scratching them. sometimes right in front of me if he's not getting enough attention, he figures. he's wrecked these couches. slowly, slowly, as the problem is much better than it was, but not solved. (I also moved, so can't just build the gate again, it would leave like.. no room for cats here. and one of the cats is fine.)
boba was an inside/outside cat on the farm, which makes sense, but I'm not really keen on the idea of him being an inside/outside cat in the city. I put him out on a harness and long lead for a few hours whenever I can and it's not snowy or really cold (canada), but he's pretty much cooped up at nights or if I'm busy, and all winter. I think the scratching may be boredom related, as he'd REALLY like to go outside. he meows at the doors/windows a lot. the cats have tons of toys, and I play with them, laser or the bird, they play alone, etc, I think they're well-entertained cats.
do you feel like this is my only option? I worry about bobaka and cars, since he's from the farm there wasn't any traffic, and there is some (though not TONS) in my 'hood. I also worry about dogs (there's lots) and coyotes (seen em). but I realize these are the risks of outdoors. I guess (I GUESS!) but it's horrible, that my other option is to declaw him, even though I feel absolutely repulsed by the idea, or to just accept that he's a furniture ruiner for life and just not buy nice couches.
I'm just looking for general opinion and experiences with this kind of thing. more creative ideas of running him off the couches would be great too! opinions on i/o city cats and declawing are also helpful. I just feel like I need some perspective and help on my very mischievous cat who doesn't understand how much his little bored habit is vexing me.