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Teaching Your Cat Better Scratching Petiquette

November 15, 2019

Do you often find your feline buddy using your sofa or carpet as a manicure station? Fluffy is adorable, but she has certainly ruined her share of furniture. We can help! Read on as a local Spring Valley, CA vet discusses teaching your kitty better nail-care habits.

Scratching Post

First and foremost, you’ll need to give your feline pal a good scratching post. Make sure that your pet’s manicure station is sturdy, and doesn’t wobble. Fluffy will become wary of her scratching post if it topples over on her! Cat towers are a great option here. They also offer kitties napping spots, vantage points, and jungle gyms. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this. You can actually upcycle an old stepladder, bookshelf, or metal storage rack. Just add some wide planks to the steps or shelves, and then use carpet or sisal rope as a covering.

Training

We know, the term ‘training cats’ seems like a bit of a misnomer. Many furballs train their humans, rather than it being the other way around. Perhaps trickery is a better term. Regardless, there are some ways for you to encourage good behavior and discourage bad habits. If you see Fluffy scratching something she shouldn’t, say ‘No’ or ‘Bad kitty’ in a firm tone. You can also try squirting her with water or making a loud noise. Then, when Fluffy uses her nail-care station, reward her with treats, praise, and catnip. Don’t forget to tell your furry little diva that she’s a good kitty. Cats love getting compliments!

Obstacles

There are some ways to make your pet’s favorite scratching spots less appealing to her. If your furball is scratching the corner of a wall or sofa, put two-sided tape up in that spot. Fluffy will hate the sticky feeling! You can also block your cat’s access to certain areas. Put a plant beside the chair your kitty was scratching, or put a rubber mat down on that spot of carpet she likes.

Last Resorts

If nothing you’ve tried is working, consider clipping Fluffy’s claws. This is both temporary and painless. We don’t recommend this for outdoor cats, though, as they need their nails for defense. Claw caps are another option. Ask your vet for more information.

Please reach out to us, your local Spring Valley, CA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here for you!


Posted in Behavior, Cat Care