While cats are relatively low-maintenance pets, especially compared to dogs, they’re not without their own unique struggles. Among all the pain points that cats may have, there’s one that most owners would agree is the worst: scratching.
Yup, cats just love to rip your couches and carpets to shreds. If you’re concerned about keeping those things in pristine condition, this can be maddening. But as veterinary experts, we can assure you that scratching is essential for cats to keep themselves happy and healthy. So, how do you allow a cat to scratch as much as they need, without damaging your possessions and rugs? Here are some suggestions:
- Fill Your Home With Cat-Friendly Scratching Spots: Cats are naturally drawn to materials such as carpet and fabric to do their scratching; it’s resistant enough for them to tug and pull, but fragile enough for them to be able to work with. Consider putting cat-friendly scratching points in your home. Though, try to avoid carpet-covered cat furniture, because it’s hard for the cat to internalize that only certain carpets are fair game.
- Reward Good Behavior and Punish Bad Behavior: Much like dogs, cats can form positive and negative associations with certain actions. Whenever they’re scratching at one of their posts, reward them with treats, catnip, or warm affection. When they scratch furniture, consider clapping or making a loud noise. A light spray of water is also extremely effective. However, ONLY use punishment techniques if you can catch them in the act! If you spray a cat after they’re already done scratching, they won’t understand what they’re being punished for.
- Use Anti-Scratching Materials: There are various products and materials you can use to discourage a cat from scratching certain surfaces. Sticky Paws is a type of double-sided tape that will fluster your cat real quickly, and there are also everyday items such as aluminum foil to cover their favorite spots. It’s not very sightly, but these techniques can be used as temporary measures while your cat learns.
- Do NOT Declaw Your Cat: Did you know that New York just became the first state to ban declawing? There’s a reason for this. Cats rely on their claws for everything, and getting rid of them severely affects their quality of life. A good comparison could be chopping off all the fingers on your hand. Yes, you still have a hand, but it’s not good for much anymore. Unlike dogs, cats depend on their claws extensively. Instead of considering declawing.
Garden Grove Veterinary Clinic Services
The reason why we want to educate people about cat scratching is that it’s directly related to the health of your cat — and we’re all about that! Our vet technicians are devoted to keeping your pets happy and healthy, and if you want your cat to thrive, it’s important to remember that scratching is a necessary activity. As long as you can have some control over where and when they do it, it can be a win-win situation.
Does your cat have any other needs? We encourage you contact VetCare Pet Clinic. We serve everyone in Garden Grove and the surrounding regions, and we’d love to see your pet. Hope to hear from you soon!