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Teaching Your Cat Better Scratching Habits

April 15, 2020
Is your feline friend using your sofa as a manicure station? If so, you’re not the only one. Scratching is a common complaint among people owned by cats. It can be frustrating to realize that Fluffy is damaging your furniture! However, you can teach your furry little diva better nail-care habits. A Coral Springs, FL vet offers some tips on how to do that in this article.

Avoid Punishment

Scratching is a natural behavior for cats. After all, they depend on their nails in the wild. You should never punish your pet for scratching improperly. She’s just following her instincts! Plus, you want your kitty to form bad associations with scratching improperly, not with you. If you catch Fluffy in the act, just say ‘No!’ or ‘Don’t scratch that!’ in a firm, disapproving tone. You can also clap your hands or make a loud noise. Anything more than that may just scare and/or confuse her. 

Offer Proper Scratching Posts

Fluffy will need a proper scratching post. Cat towers are an excellent option, as they also provide kitties with jungle gyms and napping spots. You can also get a scratching post or board. Just be sure to choose something sturdy. Cats are often wary of wobbly furniture. Also, choose a piece that is tall enough to allow Fluffy to stretch as she is doing her nails.

Discourage Bad Habits

If your feline pal is using the side of a chair or sofa, block it off with a plant or end table. You can also try putting clear, two-sided tape down. It won’t show, but the sticky feeling will annoy Fluffy. This may be enough to make her look elsewhere. 

Sweeten the Deal

When you see Fluffy using her scratching post, immediately pet her, praise her, and offer her a treat or even some catnip. Kitties love compliments! You can taper off once your furball has gotten the point, but don’t stop entirely. It’s important to reinforce good habits regularly.

Other Options

No luck? If Fluffy is an indoor-only pet, you can clip her claws. (Outdoor cats need their claws for defense.) Another option is to use claw caps, which are basically press-on nails for kitties. Ask your vet for more information.

Please reach out to us, your Coral Springs, FL vet clinic, for all of your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help! 

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