Stopping Your Cat From Scratching
You love your cat. You also love your furniture. Sooner or later these loves will collide when your cat starts using your favorite comfy chair to sharpen his claws. Because it’s an instinctive behavior, stopping your cat from scratching is a futile task, though smart owners develop strategies to deter their kitty from shredding their favorite furnishings.
Cats scratch. It’s instinctual and serves a variety of purposes. It keeps claws sharp by removing the outer layer from their claws. Cats’ paws contain scent glands, so scratching helps them mark their territory, both as a visual and olfactory marker. Many cats just like the stretch their claws, front legs and back receive when they scratch. Because of this, you’re going to be about as likely to teach your cat to talk as to teach him not to scratch.
Rather than futilely trying to squash the behavior, redirect it to appropriate locations. We always suggest a variety of strategies:
- Provide alternatives: Offer your kitty a scratching post to exercise her instincts. Spread a variety of textures of posts around the house, as cats’ preferences can be hard to determine.
- Clip Those Claws: Make trimming kitty’s claws a regular part of your grooming schedule. It’ll keep dead material from collecting on claws and curtail the desire to scratch.
- Deter Kitty From Hotspots: Remove the temptation to attack furnishings by covering them with double-sided sticky tape, sandpaper or with herbal sprays that mask scents. Just to drive home the point, place scratching posts nearby to provide approved scratching locations.
- Cap the Claws: Adhesive claw caps may be applied to claws that prevent kitty from shredding your furniture. They’re usually good for about a month to a month and a half, so you’ll need to stay on top of replacing them.
Despite what it may seem, your cat isn’t out to destroy your speakers, carpet and furniture. She’s just doing what comes naturally. Redirect that instinct and your home – and your cat – will be much happier than if you focus on stopping your cat from scratching.