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C2006-21

Dear Christopher Cat

When I’m away from home, Tucker, my 2-year-old declawed cat, chews the upholstered furniture in my living room. He is hyperactive, especially during the evening.

Tucker is an indoor cat, and I have no other pets. Does he chew the furniture to get my attention? How can I stop the chewing?

Christopher Responds

I suspect Tucker is bored. I know I would be, if I didn’t have my seven animal siblings.

Decades ago, when Mom set out to adopt her first cat, a friend advised her to adopt two.

“Two cats will play with each other,” the friend said, “but one cat will play with -– and maybe wreck -– your stuff.”
So Mom brought two cats home that day, and our family has comprised multiple cats and dogs ever since.

While you’re checking the shelters for a second cat, preferably a youngster with lots of energy, try these strategies to keep Tucker from chewing your upholstered furniture:

  • Tire him out with aerobic play. My favorite exercises are chasing a laser beam and playing with a toy that looks like a feather on a fishing pole.
  • Buy a motion detector attached to a canister of compressed air, and set it near the living room furniture.
    When the unit detects Tucker’s presence, it will ring and then “hiss” its pressurized air at him. The SSSCat brand provides 200 blasts of air, and refill canisters are available.
  • Cover the area Tucker chews with aluminum foil or wide double-stick tape. We cats hate both.
  • Finally, buy Tucker a variety of cat-safe chew toys.

 

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