Felines are the perfect pets in very sense of the word, but they have one huge drawback, “Scratching”. But what can you do? You love your cat way too much to give it up and kick it out. How can you teach your cat to stop scratching the new furniture that you so lovingly bought?
Your first need to understand the dynamic of “Why cats scratch”.
First things first why do they need to scratch? Well! There are various reasons:
- It’s their exercise routine, scratching provides the stretch to the muscles of your feline. This is needed for the cat to relax and build muscle.
- The paws of the feline have scent glands and when they scratch, they are basically marking their territory by releasing their odor. This is their way of communicating with other felines, but even if you have one cat, you will still have to endure scratching. It’s in their natural instinct.
- They also scratch to keep their claws health and in proper condition. The outside nail of the claw needs to be filed periodically to maintain and keep the claw healthy. Scratching delivers this purpose.
- Its another way to relieve stress and feel good. If not this, they will adopt some other habit to get rid of the stress. In other words, scratching makes them happy
Tips to Stop your cat from clawing the furniture:
These are the best if you want your cat to stop scratching the furniture. The placement of the scratching posts is very critical. Observe the places that your cat likes to scratch and place the post there. In a couple of days your cat will get familiar with the post and will probably start scratching it and leave the furniture alone. This is also termed as the “yes” technique. If your cat doesn’t take immediate liking to the post then help her through. Make a routine to sit with your cat near the post and make scratching motions with your fingers on the post. This will help your cat understand the pole’s purpose. To encourage and motivate, praise him if he does it with you.
When the feline has its own furniture, it will leave yours alone. But before you invest a good amount of money on cat furniture make sure you know what your pet prefers. Experiment with small stuff like cardboard boxes and such. After you are certain that it likes the idea of personal space and furniture than only invest in cat furniture like condos and poles. These can get a bit expensive so make sure this is the right solution for your cat.
Taking the pleasure away:
Like the “yes” technique there is also a “no” technique where you take away the pleasure of scratching by replacing the fun scratch-able parts with something that’s not so fun to scratch like:
- Cover the part they scratch with foil.
- Stick adhesive to the spot which will make the scratching unpleasant.
- Cover the furniture with clear plastic protector.
The no technique works well when the cats is provided an alternate, if not then the cat can get stressed out and can get aggressive or upset.
People may thing why not declaw and get rid of the nails that scratch. You should never do that. Declawing takes have 1/3rd of the cat’s paw. Its painful and as good as crippling your cat. Declawing can interfere with the cat’s health and its balance. Declawing is banned and is strongly discouraged by vets. Declawed cats can get very aggressive and start biting. Also, a declawed cat can start to act out like urinating outside the litter box specially on carpets and furniture.