Does your kitty sometimes scratch up your sofa? Our feline pals are very cute, but they aren’t purrfect. Fluffy’s manicure habits can be quite frustrating at times. Read on as a Los Gatos, CA vet offers tips on teaching your cat better scratching habits.
Your cat isn’t out to deliberately ruin your things. Cats actually need to scratch, to keep their claws healthy. In the wild, our feline friends use their nails for hunting, defense, and climbing to safety, so keeping them sharp is crucial to their survival. Even if you’re annoyed at Fluffy, you should never punish her for scratching improperly. She’s only following her instincts!
Your kitty will need a good scratching post. The post should be tall enough to let your cute pet stretch out to her full length while she is doing her nails. Make sure it’s sturdy: if Fluffy’s post wobbles—or worse, topples over on her—she may become frightened of it. You can also make a scratching post by attaching a piece of carpet to a smooth board and just nailing it to the wall. Voila!
Our feline overlords do like to boss us around, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn what they are and are not allowed to do. Offer your kitty toys, treats, and praise for using her scratching post. If you notice your cat using your couch or armchair as a nail care station, make a loud noise or squirt her with water. These things won’t hurt Fluffy, but they will most likely annoy her, which may be enough to break the habit. You can also try putting clear, two-sided tape on your pet’s scratching spots. This works well with corners, and the sides of upholstered furniture.
No luck? You can now get products that encourage cats to scratch in specific areas. Nail caps—which are essentially press-on claws for kitties—are another option. These cover the sharp tips of your cat’s claws, stopping her from damaging your belongings. If your furry friend always stays indoors, you can also just clip your furball’s claws every few weeks. This will keep them short enough to stop her from scratching your furniture. Ask your vet for more information.
Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your Los Gatos, CA vet clinic, today!