Does your cat think of your sofa as her own personal manicure station? Fluffy has many wonderful qualities, but she also has a few bad habits, such as scratching. Actually, scratching is one of the most common complaints from cat owners. We are here to help! Below, a Scottsdale, AZ veterinarian offers advice on teaching kitties proper manicure habits.
Why Cats Scratch
Fluffy isn’t deliberately ruining your things: she’s just following her own instinctual urges. Those sharp little claws are crucial to kitties’ survival in the wild: cats use their nails to hunt, defend themselves, and climb to shelter or safety. Even though your feline friend is just hunting catnip mice, and only has to defend herself against the occasional moth, she’ll still be driven to take care of her claws.
Creating Fluffy’s Manicure Station
If you want your cat to stop scratching your furniture, you’ll need to offer her some suitable options. A cat tower is a great choice, because it’s the next-best thing to Fluffy’s natural scratching posts: trees. You can also give your furry friend a scratching board or tower. Choose something that is tall enough for your kitty to stretch out to her full length. Also, be sure to pick something sturdy, as your feline buddy may become wary of her cat tower if it wobbles.
Teaching Good Habits
To encourage good behavior in your feline friend, reward her with treats, praise, and/or toys when she uses her scratching post. You’ll also want to discourage bad petiquette. If you see Fluffy scratching the sofa, clap your hands, bang two pots together, or squirt her with water. You may also need to make her old scratching spots less appealing. If your furball is scratching your couch, put clear, two-sided tape down in the areas she is scratching.
If you still aren’t having any luck, consider clipping your cat’s claws. This is painless and temporary, and will keep Fluffy from destroying your belongings. Or, ask your vet about using claw caps, which are kind of like fake nails for kitties that you would glue on over Fluffy’s claws. (Note: we only recommend these things for indoor kitties: cats that go outside need their claws for defense.)
Do you have questions about cat care? Do you need to schedule a peticure for Fluffy? Call us, your Scottsdale, AZ animal hospital, today!