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February 21, 2013

High cost of veterinary procedures

(Continued)

NORMAN —

She doesn’t seem to know what a scratching post is. She has learned to keep her claws in; however, she scratches the furniture. She doesn’t like catnip. The first scratching post was half rug, half sisal. She just sniffs at it.

The second one is all rug with two round treelike supports and a platform on top. She loves to sit on the platform, but she won’t use the post for scratching. I have pretended to scratch it myself, but she just watches. I sprayed it with Febreze to neutralize any scent. All she does is paw at it with claws withdrawn.

The vet says she is healthy. He says she will use the posts eventually, but she hasn’t in the two months I’ve had her.

— S.W., Odenton, Md.

Dear S.W.: I applaud you for adopting an older cat. It concerns me that elderly people so often get a kitten or puppy who will probably outlive them and can be more demanding.

Get some Velcro strips and stick some plastic sheets or strips of duct tape and cover those areas on your furniture where she scratches.

One very good sisal scratch post that is tall and sturdy is the PurrFect Post. Call 800-989-2542 or visit PurrFectPost.com for details. Some cats like horizontal scratchboards, some like scratching posts made of corrugated cardboard — check these out at your local pet store.

Continue clawing the post with your fingernails while your cat watches, and then hold her up against it as far as she will reach upward. Push her front paws into the post, then stroke and massage up and down her back. My two cats love this. Get rid of the Febreze.

Your cat also may enjoy chasing a bunch of feathers or strip of fur tied to a long string on the end of a cane. I call it “going fishing for cats,” and my cats love it, especially at night.

Send all mail to animaldocfox@gmail.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns. Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxVet.com.

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