It's called a water gun.... I'm working at home today (a whole minute away from work so it's not that impressive) and Pixel was being a major brat. She's in heat so she's been yowling for the last 2 days straight. That's really annoying, but oh well she can't help it, but for some reason she decided that today was the day to use my living room couches as scratching posts. Nevermind that she has a room full of toys and a Morticia to play with... no no no, she must use the nice leather couches in my living room to sharpen her claws with.
I had caught her hoping onto them and preparing to stretch/scratch 3 times when I finally had enough and I remembered that I had recently finsihed unpacking the toy box in my office (and I do mean toys as in hot wheels and G.I. Joes and Transformers etc... but that's for another post). The important thing about this unpacking is that in addition to finding my old dart and disc guns (some folks will probably have a smirk of recognition on their faces right about now), I also found my old water gun. Not a super soaker mind you, just your average everyday high capacity long range not-excessively wet, accurate water gun.... The water gun that I had bought about 4 or 5 years ago for the express purpose of controlling unrully kittens.
Pixel knows she's faster and more agile than me (heck somedays I'd be willing to be a three-toed sloth would be). Sometimes I'm pretty sure that she acts up because she knows that at most I'll chase her and knock her off her illegal perch (e.g. the kitchen counters, or my stereo shelves). Same thing with the couches. I'll call her in my stern "bad ____, no biscuit" voice and she knows that she has enough time to skee-daddle before I can reach her.
Not this time. On her fourth attempt to perforate my couches, I stayed sitting at the kitchen table and gave her a warning name call ("Pix-el!") and when she didn't jump off I reached for the loaded water gun and "ka-pow" I had a soggy and very confused kitty who was not thinking about using my couch as a scratching post anymore. She was completely shocked and dumbfounded and she disappeared to her room for a few minutes. After a while she had collected herself and she must have been convinced that it was a once in a lifetime thing. She hopped up and was about to start sharpening ye olde claws when, out of nowhere "Ka-pow!" It was a Kodak moment. Soggy kitty sitting on the couch with her claws in scratching post position and wondering why it's raining indoors. She once again disappeared into her room and when she finally returned to the living room she just curled up on the couch without making any effort to scratch it. She did the perfunctory cat-like "Well I wasn't going to do that anyways" thing and has been behaving for the last hour or so.
The moral of this story is that cats hate being wet. This can be used to great effect in cat training. Just stay away from the books and the electronic stuff (which in this house means a lot of areas are off limits for the gun).