Tag Archives: Tally

Tally's scratching posts

Kittens need to scratch. Here’s how to help them scratch the right things!

We recently adopted a kitten, Talley, and it’s been a joy to see her whip our dogs into shape, herd Teresa and me, and turn our house into a feline wonderland.

Kittens are born with claws, and they need them for many reasons. They use them to stretch, to climb and clamber, to defend themselves, and for enrichment. Indoor cats may be safer than those who go outside, but their lives can be boring and unhealthy if their humans aren’t dedicated to providing them with opportunities for mental and physical challenge and good old-fashioned fun.

None of which means we want Talley to claw our couch. And we imagine you don’t want your kitten to grow to shred yours, either.

Tally was the lucky recipient of a big pile of “happy adoption” gifts from our friends at Petmate (I don’t work for them and this post isn’t sponsored), including several scratching posts. She loves them. They let her perch up high, play, stretch, and shed the extra layers from her claws. And because I’m blessed to have a daughter who is a brilliant trainer, we knew just what to do to encourage Tally to use her scratching posts instead of our furniture.

“Teach her to use scratching posts by luring her over with toys and catnip,” Mikkel told us. “And reward her with treats and play for scratching in the right areas. Have posts located in prime areas like living room spaces or the bedroom, or places the cat has already scratched.  If she scratches in an inappropriate spot, distract and redirect her to the proper area.”

“Don’t punish or you’ll heighten anxiety and make it harder to help her longterm,” she added.

Talley may have us wrapped around her little paw, but we know good advice when we hear it!


Tally Becker, world’s cutest kitten, joins the Almost Heaven Ranch family!

In the past, Teresa and I made a committment to adopting those cats who didn’t have a chance at the local shelter — the feral, the unfriendly, those who just didn’t like people — to be barn cats at our Almost Heaven Ranch. Caring for them wasn’t always easy, but we always took care of their medical needs and gave them the safest, happiest, most enriched lives possible.

Then one day, Teresa was at the local shelter dropping something off and heard about a kitten who had suffered a broken leg after his mother, a feral outdoor cat, was shot and killed by a so-called human.

She swept him up and took him to the vet (I was out of town), where they treated his injury and then added him to the litter of another hard-luck cat mom. This girl had been found with her kittens locked in the closet of an abandoned home, with a sofa pushed up against the closet door. I despair of the human race when I hear stories like this.

Once the babies were weaned, all but three had been adopted. We brought those three back to our home, where our son, Lex, adopted two of them and we decided to make the third, Tally, our first housecat.

Tally wasn’t originally going to be part of our family. We had planned on adopting the first little orange cat with the broken leg. But it was obvious that this sweet gray tabby was meant to be part of our family — and she’s now got not only Teresa and me, but our dogs QT Pi and Quixote, wrapped around her tiny paw, too! (We haven’t introduced her to our big dogs, and probably won’t. Gracie has disabilities that make it difficult for her to get around, and Quill’N had lived her life on a chain before we adopted her, and we honestly don’t trust her around a cat.)

In this video, she’s playing with a Jackson Galaxy toy we bought her, along with 2,397,121 other toys, beds, scratching posts, and other cat accessories she’ll hever have to live without!

Love you, Tally!