Cats are very cute little pets. However, they aren’t perfect. One habit kitties have—scratching—can be very frustrating. We can help! Read on as a Fredericksburg, TX vet offers some advice on teaching Fluffy good scratching habits.
It can be frustrating to realize that your cute little furball is slowly destroying your couch or tearing up your carpet. However, it’s important to realize that scratching is both instinctive and necessary for cats. In the wild, Fluffy depends on her claws. She uses them for hunting, defense, and climbing to safety. (She also uses them to leave her scent markers on trees, but that’s another topic.)
If you want to teach your furball proper scratching habits, you’ll need to offer her a suitable scratching post. Cat towers are, of course, the ultimate option, as they also provide Fluffy with a lookout point, a napping spot, and, if needed, a place to get away from Fido. You can also use a scratching post or board. The main thing is to choose something that won’t wobble. Ideally, it should be tall enough for your kitty to stretch as she is doing her nails.
Fluffy may not be as trainable as a dog, but she is capable of learning the do’s and don’ts of being a good kitty. Always reward your furry buddy for scratching properly. If your furball doesn’t care for catnip, treats, attention, and praise will work. It’s also important to curb bad petiquette. If you see your little buddy scratching inappropriately, immediately tell her ‘No.’ You can also squirt her with water or make a loud noise. These things won’t hurt your cat, but they will startle and annoy her. That may be enough to make her form a bad association with improper scratching. Never punish your feline pal, though. As mentioned above, scratching is a normal behavior for cats. Your kitty won’t know what she did wrong, so reprimanding her could make her scared of you.
If you’re not having any luck, ask your vet about clipping Fluffy’s claws. This is temporary and painless, and it will keep your furry little diva from destroying your things. This isn’t recommended for outdoor cats, however. They need their claws for self-defense!
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