Curbing Destructive Scratching Q & A
Why do cats scratch?
- To mark their territory with scent and scratch marks
- To maintain and sharpen their claws
- To stretch and strengthen their muscles
Selecting the proper scratching post is important
- There are many coverings you can find on a scratching post: sisal rope, corrugated cardboard, wood, carpet
- Sisal rope and corrugated cardboard are favorites of many cats, while claws may get caught in carpet loops
Where should scratching posts be placed?
- Close to current areas of damage
- In areas where other marking behaviors are noted, like cheek & tail rubbing, or spraying.
- In an area that the cat enjoys being in
What are some of the ways you can encourage a cat to use the scratching post?
- Verbal praise and food treat
- Proper location
- Don’t force cat to use it
What are some of the ways you can discourage a cat from scratching on furniture, etc.?
Physical punishment will not work and may cause aggressive behavior in your cat. Instead, try:
- Double sided tape to hold foil or crinkly plastic on the area being damaged
- Motion activated air sprayers like “Sssscat”, and noise makers like “Tattle Tale Vibration Alarms”
- Scented sprays, like “Pet Organics No Scratch”
How frequently should claws be trimmed?
- Every 4-6 weeks, depending on the cat
- As soon as possible, from kitten-hood on into adulthood
Consider Soft Paws / Claws which cover & soften your cat’s claws
- They last approximately 6 weeks
- Have them applied by your veterinarian or learn to do them yourself!