This post is sponsored by Ceva Animal Health, the maker of FELISCRATCH by FELIWAY®.
I mentioned in my 4th of July pet post that I adopted some more cats recently. Thanks to my friends who know we have space on the farm and like to send me notices of a nearby shelter closing down, knowing I have zero self-control! We brought in three ladies who we call Smoky, Penelope and Twinkle. Twinkle here was named in part because she likes to tinkle everywhere in the house. Particularly in our living room, she pees and poops and scratches and claws. It didn’t take long for me to realize that she would be the death of my go-to hangout spot in no time flat. This cat was ruining my couch.
While we know that Smoky was rescued from a hoarder’s home, we have no history on this little girl. We promptly took her to the vet to make sure there were no underlying bladder issues, and they reassured us that our littlest cat was in perfect health physically. She simply seemed immature and stressed. And really, really pissed off at our couch.
I think part of it has to do with the fact that the couch is my favorite hangout spot. Any given weeknight when we’re home, I can be found in this spot catching up on Netflix and Instagram. Perhaps Twinkle is jealous of the time I spend with my couch. I’m not sure. In any case, something had to be done.
We’ve successfully used FELIWAY® CLASSIC Diffusers to calm our cats around our house with an odorless pheromone that provides a signal of security and comfort, it mimics the natural feline facial pheromone. I decided to do a target application in this area, cleaning the couch thoroughly and then spraying the travel spray version FELIWAY CLASSIC Spray directly on the couch where she keeps marking her territory.
With daily applications, purposeful attention given to her out here to let her know that this environment is a fun area for the family, and lots of space so she doesn’t feel overwhelmed, she’s really started to warm up to us and stop ruining our couch. She does still seem intent on asserting her ownership over this dude, plopping smack dab in his lap anytime we’re hanging out together on the couch. It cracks me up, because Nate was SO NOT a cat person before I came along. Obviously, he’s warmed up to the idea over time.
As for the scratching issue, we bought one of those absurdly gigantic scratch posts and treated it with FELISCRATCH by FELIWAY® to redirect all of the cats there for their scratching needs. We applied it to their scratching post daily for a week, skipped the next week, and then applied at the beginning of the next two weeks. That helped the cats accept that this – and NOT the couch – is their designated scratching area. I think it helped that we scooted this over towards the couch, too.
Smoky was our biggest scratcher of the bunch, and even she approves! She has weird fur that comes out in big tufts, and she has completely claimed one level of this thing as her own by distributing her fur all over. Fortunately there are four levels and multiple box areas/hiding spaces on our tower, which seems to work well for our cats as they all get their own nook.
Even though it causes some temporary issues for me to deal with around the house, I love that my cats have spunky personalities and ways of expressing their needs. I’m happy to have the ability to respond to them appropriately and give them a comfortable home. If you’re having similar struggles, check out FELISCRATCH’s website Save the Couches for some more ideas and helpful diversionary tactics!
Have you ever adopted a cat? Was there a difficult adjustment period?