Teach Your Cat Better Scratching Habits

Is your cat using your sofa as a scratching post? Kitties certainly are very cute, but their nail-care routines aren’t always very popular among their human friends. Here, a LaPorte, IN vet offers tips on teaching your furry little diva better manicure habits.

Understanding Fluffy’s Need To Scratch

The urge to scratch is a very strong and instinctive urge in our feline friends. In the wild, cats rely on their claws for hunting and defense. They also use them to help them climb to shelter and safety. It’s no wonder Fluffy is so driven to take good care of her nails!

Provide Proper Alternatives

Make sure your cat has suitable scratching options. A cat tower is a great choice for this, as your pet will also gain a lookout spot, napping place, and jungle gym. You can also use scratching posts or boards. Be sure to pick something sturdy, so it doesn’t wobble or topple over on your feline pal. If Fluffy’s manicure station tilts when she uses it, she may become uneasy about using it.

Curb Bad Petiquette

Because scratching is a natural instinct, you should never punish your kitty for doing it . . . even if she is using your sofa as a nail-care station. Fluffy won’t understand that she did something wrong, and may feel angry, anxious, or confused. What you want to do is redirect your furry pal towards a more appropriate scratching post. When you see your cat scratching inappropriately, make a loud noise or squirt her with water. These things won’t hurt your kitty, but they will annoy her and interrupt her pawdicure. Also, offer your feline friend toys, treats, catnip, and attention near her scratching post, and praise her for using it. Cats love compliments!

Tricks

Is your cat scratching the side of a couch or chair? Put clear, two-sided tape down where she is scratching. Fluffy will hate the sticky feeling, and may look for another manicure station. You can also try blocking your kitty’s access to her favorite scratching spots by putting a plant or statue there. If you’re not having any luck, consider clipping your pet’s claws. Just like a human manicure, this is painless and temporary. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your LaPorte, IN pet hospital today!