We love our feline friends, but what we don’t love is the destruction they do with their claws! How many times have you come into the living room and found a long, running claw mark down the side of your couch slashing the fabric, or small puncture holes in the cushions on your leather couch? This is real damage and it’s never cheap to replace.
At The Vet Set, we understand how destructive cat scratching can put a damper on your relationship with your cat and your wallet! Get the best tips to prevent cat scratching to keep your belongings safe and protected!
Although cats can be fussy and have an attitude towards you at times, they don’t scratch to spite you! Scratching is an innate behavior that you’ll see in both wild and domestic cats and they do it for both mental and physical reasons.
Stretching – We all need a good stretch from time to time, right?! So do cats! It just happens that when they get a long, cathartic stretch in, they have razor-like claws at the end that can rip and shred whatever they’re on.
Maintaining their predatory instincts – Cats are notorious for two things when they’re outdoors — hunting prey and climbing, and, both rely on cat’s claws. They need to scratch to capture and kill prey and they need sharp claws that can climb trees to catch the prey!
Protection – If your cat roams the streets, they need to have the protection to defend themselves from any pesky dogs that try and attack or other felines trying to pick a fight.
Marking their territory – When cat’s scratch, their paws secrete a scent that marks their territory. This is a valuable piece of information in the cat world because it communicates to other cat’s and helps maintain a social hierarchy.
Nail care – It’s important that cats keep their nails trim and healthy so they can hunt, climb, and do other behaviors with ease, and this involves scratching to for nail care and maintenance.
Emotional relief – Cats need to release stress too! Not only does scratching help cats release any stress and frustration, but they also do it when they’re excited. Cats need to scratch to help maintain a healthy emotional balance!
Movement – Scratching is a natural movement, almost like yoga, where they can root their claws and stretch their muscles and also extend and retract their nails, giving their paws good exercise!
Now that we have a better understanding of why cat’s scatch, let’s explore how we can prevent them from ruining our belongings!
It’s not about preventing the itch to scratch, it’s more about finding better outlets that are less destructive to your belongings!
Scratching is innate and it’s something that you can’t prevent or stop in a cat, you can, however, offer them a better solution than your couch!
Scratching is personal for your cat! – Every cat has their own personal preferences on the type of texture and material they like to scratch, so it’s vital that you figure this out. Start by investing or making a couple of different scratching areas that vary in size, material, and style. Common scratching posts are made from rope, carpet, cardboard, and wood and are available in both horizontal and verticle surfaces.
Create the perfect scratching space – Cats like to be social and in the same room as us, so create a scratching area where you are. Even better, put a couple of scratching posts around the house to keep the area and variety fresh for your cat! It’s also important when you’re making a scratching area to ensure that the posts are strong and sturdy. Your cat will be scratching and stretching with all the bodyweight and a wobbly surface can be dangerous and it can easily deter your cat.
What we’ve learned so far is that cat scratching is natural and it’s not something that can be stopped. You can, however, remove the temptation by creating a scratching space just for them!
There are a lot more things to cover on destructive cat scratching, so look for part two soon!