Cat Scratching

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Scratching is a normal part of a cat’s behavior.  They scratch to leave a scent and to mark their territory, to flex their feet and claws and to get rid of the dead outer layer of their claws.  You do not want to try and stop your cat from scratching rather you want to provide them with proper places to scratch so they leave your furniture alone.

Cats like to scratch something they can sink their claws into.  Something which has a textured surface or a coarse surface will entice the cat to scratch.

If you want to keep the cat away from a particular object make it unpleasant for him to touch.  Cover an appealing surface with aluminum foil or sandpaper or a plastic carpet runner with the pointy side facing out or double sided tape.  Since cats are all about the feel of an item they will not want to scratch the area you have covered.  You can also place some menthol or citrus scented items near the area where you don’t want the cat to scratch since most cats do not like these odors and will avoid them.

When you catch your cat scratching in an off-limit spot you don’t want to scream at him, instead clap your hands to make a loud noise and then redirect the cat to a more acceptable scratching spot.

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You need to provide your cat with a place where he can scratch.  There are all kinds of scratching posts available for cats.  You can purchase or make an upright post covered in rope or sisal or carpet.  You can find a flat pad made of corrugated cardboard.  You can provide a piece of carpet for scratching.  There are hanging scratch pads too.  Some cats prefer one type to the other and other cats will use any style scratching post or pad.  To entice the cat to use a scratching post try putting a little catnip on the post.  Many posts come with a small attached toy or you can attach one yourself.

Since cats like to scratch when they wake up or when they are excited try putting a scratching post near the place where your cat sleeps  You might want to have a scratching post near the door since many cats will get excited when they see you  are arriving back home.  If you home has multiple levels it is a good idea to provide a scratching post on each level.,

Cats who live indoors do not wear their claws down so the claws may become overgrown.  Every few weeks check your cat’s claws and trim them if necessary.  When claws get too long they are uncomfortable and can cause problems.

Do not try to prevent your cat from scratching.  Instead provide proper places for him to enjoy engaging in his scratching activity.