Have you ever caught your cat scratching on your carpet or sofa? Kitties have many adorable habits, but their nail-care regimens aren’t always a hit with their humans. We can help! Read on as a local Crown Point, IN vet discusses Fluffy’s scratching habit.
Why Cats Scratch
Although kitties do seem to have an uncanny knack of scratching up things that will show it the most, Fluffy really isn’t trying to ruin your belongings. Cats have a very strong instinct to take care of their claws, and with good reason: in the wild, they use those sharp little nails for hunting and defense. This is important to understand, because many people think their pets are being ‘bad’ when they scratch things.
If you want your cat to stop shredding your furniture, you’ll need to give her an appropriate manicure station. Cat towers are great, but you can also get a scratching post or board. Be sure to get something sturdy: our feline friends often become wary of wobbly posts. It’s also important to pick something tall enough to allow your furry pal to stretch out to her full length. This is actually one reason many kitties ignore expensive scratching posts: many of them are just too short for Fluffy’s taste.
Curbing Bad Habits
Because scratching is instinctive, you should never punish your cat for scratching improperly. Your kitty won’t understand that she did something wrong, and may not even associate your reaction with her behavior. Instead, you’ll need to more or less trick Fluffy into behaving. When your feline buddy scratches inappropriately, squirt her with water or rattle a jar of change to startle her. If your furry friend is scratching a sofa or chair, putting clear tape down in the spot she is using may discourage her. You’ll also want to reinforce good behavior, so if you see your furball using her scratching post, compliment her, pet her, and maybe even give her a treat or a toy.
Another option is to clip your kitty’s claws. We only advise this for indoor furballs: if Fluffy goes outside, she’ll need her claws for defense. If you’re nervous about giving your cat a manicure, just call us to schedule a quick peticure.
Do you have questions about your cat’s health, behavior, diet, or care? Contact us, your Crown Point, IN animal clinic, today!