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Teaching Your Cat Proper Scratching Habits

Has your cat been using your sofa as a manicure station? Fluffy is certainly adorable, but she doesn’t always impress her humans with her nail care regimen. We can help! Read on as a Salisbury, NC vet discusses kitty scratching habits.

Why Cats Scratch

Before addressing Fluffy’s scratching, it’s important for you to understand why kitties scratch. Your pet isn’t trying to ruin your things, even if she does look suspiciously pleased with herself. In the wild, cats use their claws for hunting, climbing to shelter, and defending themselves. Therefore, they have a very strong instinctive urge to keep those little claws sharp. This is also why you should never punish your pet for scratching. You can clap your hands or tell your furball ‘No’ in a disapproving tone, but anything more than that will likely just frighten or confuse her.

Scratching Post

Don’t bother trying to stop Fluffy from scratching. Since this is an instinctive behavior, you probably won’t have much luck there. Instead, try to teach your cat to use an appropriate nail-care station. Cat towers are great for this. For one thing, they’re the closest thing your furball will find to a real tree in your home. They also offer napping spots and kitty lookout points. You can also get a scratching post or board. Just be sure to choose something sturdy. Your feline buddy may become wary of something that wobbles!

Breaking Bad Habits

There are some things you can do to make Fluffy’s favorite spots less appealing to her. If your cat is scratching the corner of a wall or sofa, use clear, two-sided tape up on it. Your furry little diva will hate the sticky feeling! If she’s scratching your carpet, put a mat down in that area. If you catch your kitty misbehaving, squirt her with water or make a loud noise. This won’t hurt your pet, but it will startle her. Cats absolutely hate being startled, so this may just do the trick.

Encouraging Good Petiquette

Always reward your feline pal for good behavior. Put toys, treats, and catnip around Fluffy’s scratching post, and reward her with attention and compliments for using it. Cats love being praised! Your kitty will get the hint eventually.

Please contact us, your Salisbury, NC vet clinic, if there’s ever anything we can help you with. We’re dedicated to offering great care!

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