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Old 15-12-2009, 09:55   #1
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Kittens / Cats + Ultraleather = ???

Hi all;

We have two new arrivals - 4 month old kittens. We also need desperately to replace our cushions on the boat. The foam is shot and the covering is worn through and looking mighty shabby.

Before the kittens arrived, We had decided to use ultraleather for the cover material. It is basicaly high quality vinyl. Does anyone know how cats might do with this material? The current stuff is woven, and they think every piece is a scratching post.

If not ultraleather, what is the best material with cats onboard?

Chris
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Old 15-12-2009, 10:19   #2
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Get the cats a scratching post and tech them it is not OK to claw cushions.
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Old 15-12-2009, 12:20   #3
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We have ultraleather and never had a problem with the cat using it on purpose. One hole was poked by a wayward claw in a rough sea and the cat was trying to hold on. We have a carpet like material on the bulkheads and the cat liked to use that. We finally found a cardboard scratching pad that the cat actually prefers now. We did of course have to convince the cat that 9 lives were not going to last long if it kept using the walls. I know that people will have a problem with cardboard on board, but it does work. Catnip enhancement helps to encourage use when starting.
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Old 15-12-2009, 12:28   #4
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Cats like to scratch a surface which gives their paws a little purchase, so they generally won't scratch leather or vinyl except as a last resort. So your ultraleather should be fine, so long as you offer them an alternative. A scratching post is great, but you have to secure it well as they like a nice firm surface, not one which wobbles about when they touch it.

Incidentally a good way to "teach" them not to scratch your furniture is to squirt them with a water pistol when you see them doing it. And then hide the pistol quickly before they see you. You have to hit them while they're actually scratching (afterwards is no help at all) and avoid them seeing that it was you who squirted them. If they don't see where the water came from, they'll think "scratching = nasty squirt of water so I'll stop". If they see you, they'll think "scratching when you're about = nasty squirt of water from you, so I'll stop doing it when you're about so I'll only tear the furniture to shreds while you're out"
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Old 15-12-2009, 12:43   #5
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Nail clippers...

When the kittens become cats may be possible to clip the tiniest amount from the point of the claws, just to stop them growing too long.

It is essential to allow the claws to be sharp enough to get a grip on anything they can if they lose their balance.

Is it possible to use a thick rough material (maybe thin carpet) to cover your lounge so the cats can keep their balance without causing damage?
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Old 15-12-2009, 13:49   #6
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Our cat never molested the ultraleather.

Except once. She was angry with us for taking her sailing in rough weather, so she peed on a cushion to let us know it. Being ultraleather, it just wiped off clean.
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Old 15-12-2009, 14:03   #7
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We have a scratching thingy, but I think I will put a piece of carpet onto the compression post/bulkhead. They will learn that the cushions are not for scratching eventually, but I don't want them "learning" on new stuff. We won't have the new cushions for a month or so - hopefully by then we will have trained them.

Capt Paul and Paradix - You confirmed my suspicion that they might not even try to scratch it, but would plant their claws if the motion warrants it.
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Old 16-12-2009, 16:51   #8
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i place rope over all the table leg type appointments onboard and any posts ---around the mast for a few feet so he can stand up and scratch--i taught my kat to use these and these only for claws and scratching---yes--he does goof off occasionally--but not badly--he saves his GOOOOD scratching and clawing for any lines wrapped around any posts he finds........try that and see how they do--lots of praise--they are very social animals--i would pick bubba off the cushion he was scratching on and place him onto the line i had wrapped on the mast or table leg...works and they do get the hint fast....
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:43   #9
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Our maiden voyage with the kitt-'ahns went really well. I am witzgall's wife; I wanted to bring their wave scratching apparatus which is comprised of both carpet and sisal, but alas Mr. Witzgall nixed it due to room...it is actually quite small and would fit nicely in the quarter berth...once under way it was apparent they needed it - thus his post ;0)

We were concerned that our kittens wouldn't be good seafarers since our last cat who died in April of cancer would get motion sick from the time we brought her home from the shelter at eight weeks. She would get every type of sick there was in the car. I tried taking her for short car trips when she was still young etc...nothing worked.

Our latest adoptees did extraordinarily well. We sailed a bit on the first day in 20 knots and had some interesting maneuvers when our new-to-us roller furling had an override and we were sailing with a backwinded sail...they were cozy down below asleep.

We thought long and hard before adopting these guys because we wanted pets we could bring sailing...we were not going to do it but since I have had animals my entire life, going six months with out them was the most depressing 6 months of my life.

They are super boys and look forward to sharing our boat with them!
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:44   #10
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P.S. Thanks for all of your super ideas and posts!
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:54   #11
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All true, except I posted this before we went sailing with the kitties... ;>

We now have a nice roll of ultraleather sitting at home. We will take the cushions to the upholsterer soon. No more exposed foam!!!

we got the material at www.newtoto.com. They shipped very quickly and the product looks as advertised. They were having a 20% of sale with the code decsale - not sure if they removed it yet.

Chris
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Old 27-06-2016, 11:52   #12
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Re: Kittens / Cats + Ultraleather = ???

(I love that these posts still exist!)

So, how did the Ultraleather and the (now grown) cats fair? I have just moved aboard and our 14 YO Bengal isn't too happy about her new digs. She has IBS and sometimes doesn't make it to the litter box- alas many laundry trips with all the towel coverings. I'm hoping the Ultraleather will help the cleanup as her condition cannot improve.

Thanks for any update!
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