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How to Teach Your Cat Proper Scratching Habits

January 15, 2016

Is your kitty shredding your sofa? Fluffy has many endearing traits: that adorable face, her cute antics, and her lovable purrsonality are all very charming. Your cute little furball isn’t perfect, however. One habit cats have that often frustrates their owners is scratching. We are here to help! In this article, an Oconomowoc, WI vet offers some helpful tips on teaching your kitty proper scratching habits.

Offer Suitable Options

You won’t have much luck stopping your furry buddy from tearing up your belongings if you aren’t offering any alternatives. Make sure Fluffy has a good kitty tower or scratching post. Your kitty will want to use her tower to stretch her muscles out on. All that napping is hard work! Get one that’s tall enough to allow your cat to stretch to her full length. You’ll also want to make sure to pick something that is sturdy, so it doesn’t wobble or tilt. If your furball knocks her tower over, she may be frightened of it afterwards.

Avoid Punishment

Never punish Fluffy for scratching improperly. It’s an instinctive behavior, and one that is deeply ingrained in cats’ psyches. After all, those sharp little nails are very important to kitties’ survival in the wild. If you see your cat scratching something she shouldn’t, make a loud noise, or squirt her with water. It can also help to apply two-sided tape to things your feline buddy is using as a manicure station. Chances are, your furball will hate the stickiness of the tape, and will look elsewhere.

Other Options

If you’re not having any luck changing your kitty’s nail-care regimen, consider clipping her claws. This is painless and temporary, just like a human manicure. Many people are nervous –or downright scared –of cutting their pet’s claws. If you’re uneasy about doing it yourself, just call us to schedule a quick manicure for your furry little diva. You can also consider getting claw caps for your feline pal. These are very much like fake nails for kitties. They glue on over your furball’s real claws. They don’t hurt, but the rounded tip will stop your cat from scratching. Fluffy can even wear cute colors like pink or red! Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? We can help! Contact us, your Oconomowoc, WI animal hospital, anytime!