A feline friend is a great companion to have. They are loving, instinctive, and independent creatures that make for great pets. However, part of their instincts is scratching, and cats have sharp claws that they use as their primary defense mechanism. There is nothing that can be done about a cat’s need to scratch, but there are ways to keep them from scratching your furniture.
Cats scratch as a way to exercise their muscles, sharpen their claws, and mark their territory. In the wild, cats scratch things like the bark of the tree, so they lean towards similar things in the home. Scratching posts are made of materials that resemble trees, which makes your cat want to scratch them. You want the scratching post to be sturdy and at least as tall as your cat when they stand up. If your cat scratches horizontal surfaces such as carpet, a flat, horizontal scratching post is probably best. If they stand up to scratch things, invest in a vertical scratching post. An alternative to the scratching post is to put some double sided tape over your furniture and other areas they like to scratch. Cats don’t like the feeling of the tape on their nails so it will deter them from scratching those areas.
Placement Of Posts
You want to place the scratching posts strategically. This means placing the posts near the objects that your cat scratches or is likely to scratch the most. If your cat scratches your couch a lot, place a scratching post right next to the couch so that you can easily redirect their behavior. It is also a good idea to invest in multiple scratching posts, especially if there are multiple areas of the home that your cat scratches.
Patience & Training
Though cats typically can’t be trained as easily as dogs, it is possible to condition them to use scratching posts versus furniture. If your cat starts to scratch the furniture, simply move them and place them in front of a scratching post instead. Using catnip on the post will likely attract your cat to it as well. Every time they use the post, praise them with a rub or a cat treat. Dangling toys over top of a scratching post can also help to direct their attention to it. When it comes to training your cat to use scratching posts, make sure you are patient and consistent!
Call Catonsville Cat Clinic Today!
For 20 years, the Catonsville Cat Clinic has been providing quality veterinary care to the cats of Catonsville and beyond! Dr. Pam Nesbitt, who purchased the practice in July of 2011, runs the Catonsville Cat Clinic with compassion in mind. A team of professionals with an advanced level of veterinary medicine is at your service to make sure your cat is healthy and happy. So stop on by; we’d love to get to know you and your cat!
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