Cats are cuddly, cute pets to have. But they have this tendency to destroy expensive furniture or leave a mark on your skin with their claws. What can you do if you have a scratching cat?
Why Do Cats Scratch
Before learning what you can do if your cat is a “scratcher,” you need to know why it has this destructive behavior. The shortest answer why cats scratch is… it’s their nature to do so. No matter how well behaved and house trained a cat is, it is part of its nature to scratch. So don’t feel too bad if your cat scratches; it doesn’t mean you failed as a pet owner.
What Can You Do
There are things you can do to minimize the destruction or divert the attention of your cat. You may not be able to totally stop the behavior; at least you can save your stuff and your skin from your cat’s claws.
1. Deploy the Scratching Post
Although you can’t stop your cat scratching, you can divert your cat’s claws away from your valuables into a scratching post. Offer a few scratching posts to your cat with different texture: wool, wood, cardboard, upholstery, fabric, fiber rope, are cat’s favorites. Try vertical and horizontal grains for your cats to choose too. Catnip or cat toys should lure your cat to the posts.
2. Trim the Claws
Trimming your cat’s claws is a quick way to save some of your expensive stuff. But still it wouldn’t save your skin from scars in case your cat decides to use your leg as an alternative scratching post. You can only trim so much before you can do damage to your cat’s nails, and the remaining nails would still be sharp enough to damage delicate stuff. Like an expensive leather bag, for example.
3. Cap the Claws
The quickest, safest way you can cap your cats scratching without the use of scratching post is to cap your cat’s claws with Soft Paws. Vets recommend these nifty, hip cat nail caps that don’t harm cats and save your belongings and your skin from kitty’s scratching menace.
What Not To Do
No matter how bad cat scratching could become, it’s not enough reason to embark on tactics that harm cats. You should never do the following:
1. Declaw Your Cat
Declawing cats is in humane. It harms not only your cat’s body parts – declawing harms your cat’s psyche too. It’s not true what they say that declawing only takes out the nails to stop it from growing again. Declawing involves entirely amputating your cat’s finger and toe tips. And claws play a crucial part of your cat’s survival mechanism; the moment your cat notice it’s missing its claws, all sorts of psychological issues arise – a problem worse than cat scratching itself.
2. Punish Your Cat
Punishing your cat every time it leaves a mark on your sofa or your bag can be detrimental to their psychological wellbeing. Cat’s scratch to mark their territory or release built up energy. Stopping this natural behavior by punishment will confuse the cat making your pet aloof and scared of you and of your place itself.
3. Force Your Cat to the Scratching Post
If your cat refuses to use the scratching posts at first, don’t take your pet’s hands and drag them on the posts. This will discourage the cat to use the scratching posts even more. Instead, associate the scratching posts to something fun for your cats. The next time you play with your cats, have a scratching post or two nearby and use the scratching posts as cat toys.
These are just some tips to stop your cat scratching. You know your cat better than anyone else, so you’re at the best position to stop your cat’s scratching. Just be patient about it because the behavior can be mitigated.