Prevent Your Cats from Destructive Scratching
All cats scratch, and it is almost impossible to prevent them from doing so. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats and there are several reasons on why they do. They scratch to clean out their claws and remove any dead layer or skin that is found between their claws. They scratch to mark their territory and leave their scent behind. They scratch while doing their morning stretches.
However, when cats are scratching items such as your couch or table, that’s when it becomes a problem. Here are several ways to prevent your cat from destructive scratching.
1. Provide scratching posts around the house! Scratching is a behavior that all cats instinctively do. Scratching posts are essential in any home. They’ll have to scratch something in the house. Buy additional posts if necessary.
2. Add catnip to make the scratching posts more enticing. This can work If you have a cat who goes crazy over catnip. Sprinkle some dried catnip to the cat scratcher to direct their attention to the scratcher instead of household items.
3. Discover which kind of scratching posts they like. There are a variety of scratching posts to choose from at the pet store. Would they prefer a carpeted cat perch or a cardboard scratcher? You might have to play around to see what their favorites are.
4. Location is key. Strategically place the scratchers in areas where scratching commonly occurs. Your cat scratches after naps or when you come home? Place one next their sleeping area and one near the front door. When the cats instinctively want to scratch, the scratcher will conveniently be right next to them!
5. Your cat loves scratching that one particular couch? Wrap it up with double-sided tape or aluminum foil. Cats hate the feeling of sticky surfaces. This will discourage them to scratch and drive less attention to that area. Deterrent sprays can also be used on furniture to leave an unpleasant smell for the cat.
6. Trim your cat’s claws regularly. The sharper your cats claws are, the more damage they can do on your furniture. Keep them dull and trim them every few weeks. Read here on how to properly trim your cat’s claws.
7. Use positive reinforcement. When you see your cat scratching in areas where they are supposed to, simply praise them for doing so. Acknowledging correct behavior can encourage them to repeat the action.
Remember, scratching is one of their natural, instinctive behaviors! As much as you dislike your cat’s destructive scratching, please be patient with them and find a solution that works for both you and your cat. Do not declaw your cat. Cats need their claws to help them safely land on the floor, to climb and jump, and to play. They are essential for your cat to live a healthy, normal life.