All cats scratch, but some can be particularly destructive, causing owners a great deal of annoyance and raising the question of whether it’s viable to share a house with a certain cat. Scratching is one of the most common reasons cats are declawed, abandoned, or given to shelters. When it comes to cats, owners of good furniture and thick, plush carpets sometimes find themselves in a conundrum. Few of us want to live with torn and frayed couch arms and draperies, or carpet threads pulled up, but we also don’t want to give up our cats.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
Scratching is a natural behavior for cats for a variety of reasons:
- They do it to get rid of the dead outer layer of their claws.
- They use smell glands on their paws to assert their dominance by creating both a visible and a scent imprint.
- They must stretch their bodies and flex their claws and toes.
- To use one’s energy.
Scratching is a natural habit for cats, and they are extremely driven to do so. Trying to stop them from scratching is impracticable. Instead of correcting scratching issues, the idea is to divert scratching to appropriate items.
What to do?
When it comes to scratching, the best approach is to educate your cat where and what to scratch rather than trying to stop her from scratching.
The instructions below will assist you in getting your cat to scratch where you would like her to:
- Scratching posts of various grades and surfaces should be available. Use cardboard, carpets, hardwood, jute, and upholstery as scratching posts for your cat. Horizontal posts are preferred by certain cats. Others may choose slanted or vertical poles. For raking, some people prefer a vertical grain, whereas, for picking, they prefer a horizontal grain. Once you’ve determined your cat’s scratching preferences, place extra scratching posts in strategic spots. Remember that all cats desire a strong post that won’t fall over.
- Motivate your cat to examine her scratching posts by strewing catnip on them, hanging toys from them, and positioning them in places where she may be tempted to hop on them.
- To deter inappropriate scratching, remove or conceal other tempting items. Turn the speakers in such a way that they face the wall. Place plastic, double-sided adhesive tape, sandpaper, or an upside-down vinyl carpet runner on any furniture or the floor where your cat could scratch it. As “legal” alternatives, scratching poles can be put adjacent to these things.
- Trim your cat’s nails regularly.
- Consider putting plastic covers on your cat’s claws so that if he scratches something in your house, he won’t cause any harm. The glue on these caps sticks to the claws. They’re just there for four to six weeks.
- If you discover your cat clawing an improper thing, clap your hands or splash him with water to startle him. This should only be used as a last option since your cat may learn to link you with the shocking occurrence and become afraid of you.
Scratching is an instinct for cats since it aids in the maintenance of their main line of defense and the development of strong sinewy muscles and connective tissue. Destructive scratching does not have to be an issue if you realize and appreciate the desire to itch and give your furnishings acceptable alternatives.