No Scratching!

I’m here to tell you a secret. It’s pretty shocking. Are you ready?

Lola is a monster.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit there. But she’s definitely a pest! And she’s not the only one. Sampson can be very pesty too. Elvis is alright, most of the time.

Now as cat lovers, you may be wondering why on earth I’m saying such awful things about my beloved furry friends. First of all I would reassure you that I am saying them in a loving manner – with fond irritation. And second of all, because it is true.

"Me? Oh, I'm sweet and lovable!"
“Me? Oh, I’m sweet and lovable!”

Lola and Sampson both have the bad habit of scratching at closed doors. Most of the time that’s little more than an annoyance, but at night time… Well, we humans do need to sleep at night.

For the last couple of years it hasn’t been a problem. At night we have two doors between us and the cats, which means even if they scratch at a door, they’re not scratching at our door, and we’re able to get our beauty sleep!

But… we’re going to be moving (cross-country, again!) in the next few months. And it seems there’s very little choice of flats, meaning we may end up having to take one that – sit down, this might shock you! – doesn’t let us have two doors between us and the cats at night.

I know. This is nightmare fuel right here.

In all seriousness, it is a concern. I work as a nanny, and taking care of two toddlers after barely any sleep really doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

The solution, it seems, is to try and teach them to not scratch at the door. But how? We tried just ignoring them in the past, in the hopes that they’d get bored of doing it, but it never worked.

Then I remembered reading somewhere that cats hate the feel of sticky back plastic (contact paper). I’d read the suggestion of putting it sticky side up on kitchen surfaces to teach cats not to walk on them. And I wondered if the same solution could work for us in this case.

It's not about to win any interior design awards, but it does the job!
It’s not about to win any interior design awards, but it does the job!

I happened to have a roll of blue sticky back plastic that I’d bought for crafting a while ago, mistakenly thinking I’d picked up a clear one. As I didn’t have any other use for it I figured I may as well use it for this experiment.

It was easy enough to do, though took a little while. I measured at cut the sticky back plastic, removed the backing and used masking tape to stick the panels onto the door. (Remember, it needs to be sticky side out.) I did both sides of the living room door as well as the outside of the bedroom door. I actually ran out of the blue and had to use some clear as well, but I’m sure the cats aren’t interested in the colour!

Husband was skeptical but… There hasn’t been a single scratching incident since I put the plastic up! We’ve not yet tried leaving them “loose” at night, but we’re building up to it.

No more scratching, what heaven! Now… if only there was as easy a solution to stop Lola from yelling behind the door…


Lady Joyful

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31 thoughts on “No Scratching!

  1. The Catholic Cat says:

    I have a pretty girl who scratches the door I think just to get my attention! I bought some double sided sticky tape made to use on doors and furniture. Got it on Amazon and it works like a dream. In fact some of it has peeled off, but she has not noticed it yet!! Good job!

  2. bethanyk says:

    Our house has always been ” decorated” for the animals !! Dog beds everywhere, toys, balls, towel tossed here or there so they dont slip on the wood floor. I love ideas that work!

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Oh yes, our too. We have cat trees, litter trays, countless food bowls and a water fountain, beds and blankets and toys… This is one of the more unusual decorating choices though, that’s for sure. It’s definitely great that it works though! Thanks for commenting 🙂

        • Lady Joyful says:

          Oh yeah, I’ve seen similar things! Seems like a lot of fun. Maybe when(/if) we buy our own place we’ll do something like that. I don’t think our housing company would appreciate us doing it here… 😉

  3. franhunne4u says:

    The howling at night time was a problem here, too. For a while I had to stop my cats coming into the bedroom and the tom made a strong point of what he saw as his right. I took the water-spray-bottle, when he started howling, I quickly opened the door and sprayed him. Two nights … then it was all gone.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      We may consider that if it does become an issue once we risk trying them being only one door away. I think we tried a water spray bottle before but weren’t very consistent about it because I always felt so mean doing it! But if it works… well, might have to try again 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  4. helentastic67 says:

    I’ve never been able to banish Jamima from the bedroom. The door is wedged open so she can come and go as she pleases. Her preasence pressed against my legs is a comfort to me as well as her. And yes, cats are just like toddlers despite the denial from my friends who are parents of toddlers. Broken sleep seems standard.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      I fully understand that. All my life I’ve had cats, and I always used to let them in the bedroom with me. I loved having them cuddle up with me at night. But then Lola started acting up – she seemed to think it was a game to yell all night. Broken sleep is one thing, but not getting any sleep at all… It just wasn’t sustainable. I wish it would be, but unfortunately not. Every cat is different, and I’m glad it works for you and Jamima. Thanks for commenting.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Glad you like the tip 🙂 Unfortunately letting them in doesn’t help much – Lola thinks yelling is a game and will keep doing it even if she’s in with us (which is why we had to start keeping them out of the room at night), and Sampson insists on being petted all night long which also makes sleep difficult! Thanks for commenting 🙂

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Thankfully we don’t have carpet, and this solution has stopped them scratching the doors! Sorry to hear yours keep you up! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  5. cahall63 says:

    I’ve heard of the “sticky side out” trick before, and I’m glad it’s working for you.

    We have three cats (mother, daughter, granddaughter), and yes, each one of has her unique brand of crazy.

    Fortunately for us, two of them like to be outside at night, and the third sleeps with my daughter. We normally don’t have night time issues, although I have had that experience with other cats.

    When she is inside and awake, the youngest will ignore scratching pads and posts in favor of the corners and undersides of chairs. She is also extremely vocal, and has a kind of “nails on chalkboard” voice. The oldest likes to chew on our hair or nuzzle on our clothes while drooling. Yeah, it’s gross. The middle cat, appropriately named “Bookworm” likes to lay on, and subsequently shred, reading material.

    The thing is, even with their extremely annoying idiosyncrasies, their are all very sweet-natured loving cats. Even if they weren’t (and I’ve had some that weren’t), what can we do? They are family.:)

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Oh so very true! They sound like a fun bunch. Your youngest sounds a lot like our Lola with the yelling… Drives my husband crazy sometimes 😉 Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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