How to Teach Your Cat Proper Scratching Habits

Does your feline friend have a habit of scratching on your couch or carpet? Scratching is a very common complaint among people who own cats, or rather, people who are owned by cats. In this article, a Shawnee veterinarian offers tips on how to teach Fluffy proper scratching ‘petiquette’.

Reasons For Scratching

The need to scratch is a very deep-rooted instinct in our feline buddies. In the wild, those sharp little claws are crucial to cats’ survival. They allowed Kitty to defend herself, hunt her dinner, and climb to safety to escape predators or reach shelter. It’s no surprise that Fluffy is so diligent about taking care of her nails! You probably won’t have much luck getting your furball to stop scratching. You’re better off directing her to a proper scratching option, like a cat tower.

Scratching Options

There are many suitable choices for feline manicure stations. Cat towers are an excellent option, as they are the next best thing to an actual tree. You can also get Fluffy a scratching post or scratching board. Just be sure that whatever you choose is sturdy enough so that it won’t topple over on her and long enough to let her stretch to her full length.

Training Your Furball

To get Fluffy to use her scratching post or cat tower, make it tempting for her by sprinkling some catnip around it. Make sure to praise and pet your furry pal when she uses it. If your kitty has never used one before, you may want to initially place it in or near an area she likes to scratch, like by her favorite corner of the couch. Once she’s gotten used to it, you can move it to a better spot.

Discouraging Improper Scratching

Never punish your kitty for scratching. It’s an instinctual urge, and your furball won’t understand why she’s being punished. Instead, discourage her from scratching improperly. One way to do this is to use two-sided clear tape. If she’s scratching a couch corner, put it there. It won’t show, but she won’t like the stickiness. Squirting Fluffy with a water bottle or startling her with a loud noise may also help.

Do you have questions about taking care of your feline pal? Call us anytime! As your local Shawnee veterinary clinic, we are here to serve all of your veterinary care needs.

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