Its a common problem. Kitties like to sharpen their nails on all the things they aren’t supposed to. The couch, the carpet, the wallpaper, you name it. Everything is fair game. Does your cat scratch inappropriate items? This all results in yelling, and “No! Stop! You know better!” We’re all guilty. There is help.
So, if you don’t already have them you go out and buy expensive cat condos and scratching posts. The kitties are supposed to love their new furniture, but inevitably, they just don’t.
If you go online people will recommend all kinds of crazy things from spraying your cat with water, facing speakers against the wall, covering walls with double sided tape, the lists go on and on.
First it helps to understand why cats scratch to begin with again, it can be a long list.
Why Is My Cat Scratching?
*To stretch- Think about the position your kitty is in when they stretch. They elongate themselves and their backs go concave. If you turn up the thermostat, they’re practically doing hot yoga. If you are seeing your cat scratch, they might be stretching.
*To clean and sharpen their claws- Scratching naturally helps cats to shed their outer layer of nail and file down rough edges. Its a kitty manicure!
*To spread their scent- Just like marking (another very much unwanted behavior,) cats use the scent glands in their claws to claim their territory.
How Can I Stop The Cat Scratch Craziness?
Now that you know the three most common reasons cats scratch, its time to figure out how to solve it. There are two things you want to do sooner rather than later.
Have your kitty groomed- If the thought of trimming kitty’s nails is enough to send you up a tree, you are not alone! Have a professional do it! We are happy to offer local recommendations. This is an important step. Trimming the nails will eliminate that need for a mani/pedi.
Second, move the cat condos and scratchers to the areas where the cat is already scratching. I’d be willing to bet that its in places you spend a lot of time. Cats naturally want to spend time with you where you love to be and know that they belong there too.
Rewards When Your Cat Scratches Where You Want Them To
Reward your kitties when they scratch in appropriate places. Keep a bag of Party Mix near by, give them some play sessions with a Go Cat up and around the cat condo. Make being in and on “their furniture” rewarding.
Keep this up for awhile. Behaviors in kitties with any other animal are learned when you continue positive rewards and reinforcement. Let us know if you have other positive suggestions for a cat scratching where they shouldn’t.