When Good Cats Go Bad

Joey is a skittish little cat. Cute as can be but a little bit of a weirdo. The slightest noise can send him dashing off to the depths of the closet, not to be seen again for hours.
Good cats

One of the biggest questions people have before they get a cat is, will my good cats go bad and destroy my furniture? The short answer is, maybe. But a lot of that depends on you.

Let me tell you a little story about my boy, Joey. I rescued him off the streets of Lake Worth, and when I brought him home he was such a good boy. For years he kept his claws to himself.

Joey is a skittish little cat. Cute as can be but a little bit of a weirdo. The slightest noise can send him dashing off to the depths of the closet, not to be seen again for hours. As fate would have it, one day our air conditioner broke. It was going to be a week or so before we could get it fixed so we brought out the fan. That’s when all hell broke loose.

Not long after that, we began noticing scratches on our leather furniture. As the week drew on, we noticed more scratches on our furniture that had never been there before. We had no idea which cat was responsible, we just knew we were ready to kill whichever one it was.  

Using our super investigative powers, we determined that it was in fact, Joey. Then, using our super critical thinking skills we deduced that joey did NOT in fact like the fan in the bedroom. As punishment, he decided to destroy our furniture. But alas, we removed the fan and the destruction came to an immediate end.

Humans are stupid. Fast forward 10 years and a newish leather sofa. We now have a nice sunroom that houses the bird cages, my workspace, and said leather sofa. And of course, I forgot to mention the big, loud, air filter that up to this point had not been an issue.

Good Cats Bad Cats

Long story short, to drown out the rest of the house noises for the birds so they can sleep better, we moved said air filter to the middle of the room at night. A couple of nights later I heard what sounded like a cat using my newish leather sofa as a scratching post! I sprung up to find Joey running toward me. (Clearly, he heard me coming.)

I thought, Oh NO! We are NOT doing this again! Then I realized the stupid thing I had done. Moving that air filter blocked my good cats path to his favorite spot and he was very angry, prompting him to become bad cat!

Since he’s a cat and can’t speak, he got my attention by speaking a language we both understood. By making me angry, he got my attention and let me know that he was angry. Boy, did he ever get my attention! I moved that air filter back to its’ happy place and figured the birds would just have to deal until I figured something else out.

The bottom line is there are a lot of ways to keep cats from destroying your furniture (all of which we have discussed here numerous times). Sometimes it takes putting your critical thinking skills to use to figure out the source of their unhappiness. Once you “fix” the problem, the scratching should stop!

It’s been a couple of weeks since Joey and I found a happy medium for the air filter. I’m delighted to report the destruction immediately stopped. He’s back to keeping his claws to himself and the places that are designated cat scratching areas. Sweet success!

By Shelly Allen

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