Prince and Pauper

Oscar has been a prince in so many ways – he’s sweet-natured, curious and smart, doesn’t get snippy at anything, is even-tempered, a good eater and litter box user. When he first came inside he tried to bite when he felt unsure or threatened. Later, he developed a sometime pyjama-swipe, attention-getting behaviour. He’s past both of these – with a little gentle guidance.

The one thing that eludes Oscar (and me too) is the scratching-post training. You’ve got me here. I’ve bought him a number of things to try with little (if any) success. The great thing is that he does not try to scratch any furniture. The downside is that he likes to scratch on rugs – like the wall-to-wall berber or my expensive wool rug (now rolled up and put away in another room).

His scratching behaviours are natural, but he won’t get on board with using a scratching post. There are vertical, horizontal, and combined scratchers. I’ve used catnip on all varieties I’ve tried  – but he only licks catnip and won’t scratch on it. I show him how to scratch by doing it myself. Nuala has demonstrated scratching for him (wave and cardboard flats). Here’s the story of the trial-and-error. If you have (inexpensive) suggestions, let me know. I’m at my wit’s end.

  1. The carpet tile. Oscar has a number of carpet tiles in ‘his room’. The problem is that they just pull up (they have rubber backing and are not adhered to the floor) when he tries to scratch on them. He doesn’t love these.
  2. The on-the-door scratcher. This can be hung on the doorknob so the kitty can scratch vertically. When this didn’t interest him, I put it horizontally for him to try. Nothing.
  3. Sniffed a log (actual wood). Didn’t interest him.
  4. The wave scratcher. I love this. My cats love this. It’s a combined vertical and horizontal since the kitty can use it from a number of positions. Oscar loves hiding under the curve of this, loves licking catnip from it, but won’t scratch it. Yesterday he surprised me by scratching on it 1x but tipped it over since he was just sitting beside it.
  5. Cardboard. I put cardboard at the door entrance to my bedroom where Oscar has destroyed about 2 square inches of carpet. He only did this when he was trying to get into my bedroom, so it was not malicious. But poor me… I’m stuck with ruined broadloom and no way to fix it. Anyway, he scratched up the cardboard and seemed to love this. So I gave him 3 great pieces of flat cut-up boxes to scratch on. Nope!
  6. The post scratcher. Great sisal round scratching surface that kitties love. Not kitties named Oscar: hasn’t tried it once.
  7. The corrugated horizontal scratcher. So I now know he’s a horizontal scratcher. I bought him a corrugated scratcher that has (apparently) a great texture to scratch on. Nuala likes it. Oscar won’t use it.

Not buying anything else – I have more than enough bills at the moment. Between Oscar’s trips to the vet, the scratchers, and Mouci’s vet visits and hyperthyroid meds, I’m definitely the pauper these days. A reality of stepping up and rescue – it costs money.

Oscar you might be a prince, but I’m the pauper.

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Nope!

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Nope!

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not yet!

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Nope!

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