Does anyone know of a way to first: stop the kitty from sharpening his nails on my new stuff, and second: how to keep the older one off of the couch so I'm not cleaning up fur every day. Both cats are brushed daily, but also shed daily in addition. There's probably an answer somewhere in ThriftyFun, but your assistance to my problem will be appreciated ten fold. Thank you.
Pretty throws could work on the couch, maybe just draped over one cushion. Or even a cat bed. You'll have to keep putting them in the right spot for awhile and spray them when they go to an unprotected area. Wipe off the furniture with a damp sponge to collect a lot of the fur. As far as the scratching, put lots of posts around. There are sprays for furniture that can discourage them from scratching but I haven't found any that work really well. I keep my couch against the wall with tables, etc. on each side. They can only get close to the front. Put something under the seat cushions that will drape down and cover the front/bottom of the couch. I'd start doing some of this while you still have the old furniture, if it's not too late. Other than the suggestions we've all given, the only other option is having them declawed. There's a lot of controversy over this, but we brought them into our homes, and we'll never be able to get rid of their natural instincts. That's asking too much. So declaw if nothing else works for you and remember that we've already domesticated them so much that a little more isn't that bad.
I rescued 3 kitties one time and started immediately using a spray bottle of water to train them. Once in awhile, one will try to claw furniture but a good NO! will send them running. They still stay off the kitchen counters.
I bought medium weight clear vinyl that comes by the yard at the fabric store home dec. department. I cut pieces to fit the sides of my couch and along the front skirt where the cat likes to scratch. I attached it with small screw pins also from the fabric store. The cat cannot do any damage to the vinyl and people cannot see it unless you tell them it is there. I cannot see it myself. I thought my daughter had removed it one day but then I saw that it actually was there. It is much better than having a shredded couch.
I put throw blankets on all the couches to catch the hair, ugly but effective. I tuck them into the cracks and also put some over the backs since they like to lay up there too. That takes care of the hair, when someone is coming over I quickly pull them all off and throw them in the washing machine to wash before putting back (or the basement if they're relatively clean). It does look sort of ugly, but saves a lot of work.
I bought most of them at thrift shops, they're funky but cool. The scratching I am pretty lucky, maybe because I have scratching posts and cardboard scratching pads all over the house for the three of them.
Or: maybe because, most of my furniture is leather so not so satisfying as cloth? Not that they don't accidentally scratch it once in awhile. Your couches will be new so the cats won't sense their scent on them yet, you could probably train them to some extent as long as you start immediately.
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