Stop your cat from scratching the furniture!
What’s the first thing you worry about when you get a new cat? Well after the litter box. It’s scratching; cat’s love to scratch. In fact, they need to scratch and if you’re not careful, there goes the furniture! However, all is not lost. You need to understand why your cat scratches and encourage it to scratch a scratching post rather than your furniture.
Cats use scratching as a way to stretch, to exercise and to tone their muscles. They also like to dig their claws in and clean them using the post. They have scent glands in their paws so they scratch and scent to mark their territory. And finally, they scratch and claw because it feels so good!!
This is their natural behavior and should be encouraged and supported. Physical punishment of a cat does not work and although a stern word will often deter them while you’re there when you’re gone……
Tips To Stop Kitty From Scratching Your Furniture
So for a happy and stress-free household with intact furniture try the following:
Tip 1. Buy a scratching post BEFORE you get the cat. Once a cat has established a behavior it’s very hard to break.
Tip 2. Buy more than one post and place them in the areas that the cat will use most often. Place one near where the cat will sleep. Cats like to stretch when they wake up – who doesn’t!
Tip 3. Place a post in the main family area. Your cat wants to be part of the family and after a hard hour or so sleeping in your lap its time to stretch. I hope there’s a post nearby or there goes the furniture!
Tip 4. Buy a stable post. If the post falls over, even once, that’s it. It’s very unlikely the cat will ever use that post again.
Tip 5. Buy a course destructible post. Cat’s love rough surfaces and will happily pull and tear at their post. Some form of nylon backed carpet is good, as is sisal rope, both of which a cat can really dig its claws into. If you currently have a cat which is scratching and clawing the furniture then try for a post made from similar material.
Tip 6. Buy a big enough post. The cat should be able to be fully stretched, so look at a minimum size of 3 feet. Cats like to dig in their front claws and arch their back to stretch their front legs – difficult to do if the post is too short. This is why kitty might go for your favorite couch or table, human furniture is an ideal height!
Tip 7. Encourage the cat to scratch the post. Don’t show it how to scratch – it already knows!! Try rubbing catnip on the post, or tie toys and string on the post. Play with the cat around the post so that it gets used to clawing the post. Trailing wool or string up the spot will encourage clawing and is my favourite method!
Tip 8. Play with your cat. Keep it entertained, especially around the posts and it will be less likely to take it out on your furniture! Have fun, enjoy your cat and you will be rewarded with years of pleasure
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- Cat’s Destructive Behavior
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- How To Look After Your Cat’s Claws
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