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cat scratch(ing post) fever

When I got my cat, my friends Tony and Farida gave me the old scratching post that they had for their two cats, which they didn't want anymore. After a few years, I felt that it was pretty worn out, all the fuzziness from its carpeted covering pretty much gone. But I didn't know what to do with it: could I just toss it in the garbage? It's just large enough that it seemed like it would qualify as "furniture" and be something that I'm not supposed to just toss in a dumpster, but maybe have to bring to a facility for proper disposal. I also kind of didn't want to throw it out as it seemed wasteful, but I didn't know if I could just re-carpet it or otherwise re-use it somehow. And naturally I didn't get around to doing research on those questions. Instead, I decided to buy a new scratching post, and just left the old one sitting in my living room.

The new one that I bought is taller, and has a carpet-covered doo-bob hanging from the top by an elastic cord, to be a cat toy. It also has another one fixed to the base with coarse twine in a knot on top, again to give the cat something to play with. Nimiel has of course pretty much ignored both of these toy options the entire time. She has used the post for scratching, and one thing I find curious is that when we're playing chase, her first move is always to run to the post and start scratching at it—I wonder if she's pretending to climb a tree for safety, though I'd think if that was what she was doing then she'd simply jump up to balance on the top of the post. Anyhow, it's been a good scratching post despite her lack of interest in the extra toy features.

However, over just a couple years of use, she's already torn up the carpet on one side enough so that there are lots of dangling threads. And lately she's been over at the post a lot, simply biting and chewing at the carpet, basically trying to eat these dangling threads. That's bad for her; she certainly doesn't need to be eating carpet thread, and my understanding is that it's bad for cats to eat thread-like material because it can get tangled up in their bowels and be a serious medical problem. I've temporarily forestalled this simply by putting the scratching post on its side, so she can't easily get at the ripped-up area, and that does seem to have deterred her for a bit. However, obviously I have to find a permanent solution. Once again, I don't really want to throw out the post if I don't have to, but I can't leave it in this condition. I don't know whether I can easily strip the carpet off of it and replace it, or whether I should just throw it away, and again if I have to throw it out I don't know how to dispose of it (though that shouldn't be too hard to find out); I presume I can't just give it away, either, if for no other reason than I don't want it for my cat in this condition so it's not a good idea to give it to someone else for their cat. Anyone have suggestions or advice?

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