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How to Prevent your Cat Scratching the Furniture
Thursday September 1st 2016
It’s only natural for cats to scratch, but when they decide to use your indoor furniture for this activity, it can become very destructive. Attempting to stop your cat from scratching altogether is an impossible mission, which will ultimately leave both you and your cat frustrated. Instead, here are some ideas for alternative solutions which should solve the problem.
Firstly, it’s important to understand the reasons behind why your cat is scratching in the first place. There are many causes behind this behaviour, and understanding them can help you to find the right solution.
-Marking their territory: Scratching is a good way for cats to leave their mark. Their paws actually have scent glands which leave a particular smell on whatever object they are scratching, therefore marking their territory.
-Sharpening their claws: For cats, it’s their natural instinct to want to keep their claws sharp for purposes such as hunting and climbing, and scratching is their way of doing this.
-Exercise and play: Scratching is actually a great workout for your cat, pulling and working the muscles of their front quarters. It also often a great source of entertainment and enjoyment.
As it’s not beneficial to either party to try and prevent this behaviour altogether, the trick is to divert their attention elsewhere instead. The best way to do this is to invest in a suitable scratching post which your cat will favour over your furniture. The scratching post should be tall enough to allow them to fully stretch out when scratching, and also have a heavy base to prevent it from falling when being used.
Once you have an appropriate scratching post in your home, the next step is to encourage your cat to use it. The initial placement of the scratching post is important, you will need it to be in a communal area, preferably in the same location where they sleep and eat so that they begin to associate the post with positive rewards.
It’s also important to remember that your cat will have marked their previous favourite spots with their scent, and this might cause them to go back to these areas over their new scratching post. You can prevent this by applying some form of pet odour cleaner to the areas you’re hoping to distract them away from.
If you have a kitten, this process is a lot easier, as you can start them off with good habits from the beginning. Use the same methods described above from the get-go, and if your kitten does show an interest in your furniture, simply pick them up and place them in front of the scratching post instead. The good news is, cats are creatures of habit, so starting off with this early on should encourage the behaviour throughout the rest of their lives.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.