Let’s say you have a cat. Now that cat is of course one of the cutest things to walk to face of the earth and could never do any wrong. Except when said cuddly kitten takes its claws to your couch. Or your chair. Or your curtains… You get the picture.
Mary Burch, pet behavioral expert, columnist, and author of Citizen Canine: 10 Essential Skills Every Well-Mannered Dog Should Know, explains why your adorable little Mittens is tearing up your home, and how you can prevent the destruction without having to leave kitty in the cold.
With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Burch is a source of serious credibility when it comes to animal behavior. And in the case of the cat versus the cushion, she has some wisdom to impart to those of us that are dealing with this issue.
Burch explains that it is in a cat’s nature to scratch for several reasons:
— Exercise. It feels good when they reach up to scratch.
— Relax. The kneading motion is soothing.
— File their nails. This is the most typical reason for scratching as it removes old layers of the nails.
— Mark their territory. Cats have scent glands between their paws that release scent on the furniture.
Instead, there are several safer options to choose from:
— Keep the cat’s nails trimmed.
— Evaluate what kind of fabric the cat likes. For example, if your cat seems to like the woven fabric of your couch, you could cover the couch with a different kind of fabric.
— Make the cat’s favorite scratching areas annoying to her. While you are trying to deter the behavior, try putting double-sided tape on the places the cat scratches. There is a product called “Sticky Paws” that works great.
— Make the scratching post more desirable by choosing a different material. Many cats prefer a scratching post made of sisal fabric (not rope).
— Choose the best location for the scratcher. If you already have a sisal post, try placing it right beside the furniture where the cat likes to scratch. This may look a little strange, but it’s temporary. When the cat starts to use the post, very slowly, over a number of days, begin to inch it toward where you want it in the house.
If you have more questions or concerns about your cat’s scratch fever, check out Dr. Burch’s written works.
[Source: Paw Nation]