Cats and Scratching

Cats and Scratching

Is your furball tearing up your furniture? Scratching is a common complaint among cat owners. In this article, a local Sayville, NY veterinarian discusses Fluffy’s manicure habits.

Why Cats Scratch

Scratching is actually a deep-rooted, instinctive behavior in our feline friends. In the wild, cats depend on those sharp little claws for survival. Those nails help Fluffy catch her dinner, climb to safety, and are her main defense from predators and other animals. Therefore, our feline friends learned long ago to take good care of their claws. Trees provide the perfect manicure stations for cats that live outside. Housepets often go for the next best thing, which, unfortunately, just might be your couch.

Encouraging Good Scratching Habits

If you want to get your cat to stop tearing up your furniture, you’ll need to provide proper outlets. Cat towers are a great option for this. They are quite sturdy, and also provide your furball with a high vantage point, gym, and lounging area. You can also use a scratching post or board. Whatever option you choose, make sure it’s steady enough so that it won’t topple over. If Fluffy pulls her post down on top of herself, she may not want to use it again! You may need to bribe your cat into using her tower or post. Make it tempting by sprinkling catnip around it, or putting lots of toys nearby. Cats appreciate compliments, so be sure to praise your kitty for scratching politely!

Discourage Improper Scratching

Never punish your cat for scratching. Because it’s an instinctive behavior, Fluffy won’t understand what she did wrong. You may end up with an anxious, nervous, or angry cat! Try putting clear, two sided tape on the corner of a couch or chair she is scratching. Another trick you can try is squirting her with water.

Other Options

If you aren’t having much luck getting your kitty to leave your furniture alone, consider clipping her claws. This is a painless and temporary solution that will dull your furball’s nails. If you’re nervous about doing it yourself, call us to schedule a quick manicure session. You can also try using claw caps, which are rather like fake nails for kitties.

Do you have any questions about your cat’s health, care, or behavior? Please feel free to contact us, your local Sayville, NY veterinary clinic, anytime. We are always happy to help!

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