In part one, we discovered why cats scratch and began to look at ways to better combat destructive cat scratching.
At The Vet Set, we’re here to tell you that cat scratching is totally normal, and when you work with your space and create a scratching area that your cat loves, it can help prevent damage. Join us to learn more about what you can do.
In our last post, we mentioned how cats love textures, so while they’re not trying to damage anything, the texture of your couch is so appealing. You can combat the damage by setting up a space just for them! Get more ideas below.
Attract your cat – It’s important to make their scratching post both fun and relaxing, and not a place they’re forced into. To make it more appealing, leave catnip toys and toys they can bat at, at in the area. This way, they’re more likely to play, take a cat nap, and scratch — it’s an all-in-one play place for your cat!
Keep your cat busy – Like any pet, when your cat gets bored, they’re more likely to be destructive through scratching. So, keep your cat happy and entertained where they can play and express their innate behaviors. Not only are scratching areas crucial, but providing them with stimulation whether that be from chasing a toy mouse for predatory play or letting them patrol the yard and engage in a hunt.
Trim their nails – The reason for scratching has a lot to do with keeping their nails trimmed, so when they don’t have the opportunity to do it regularly, their nails may get long. You can help address the issue by trimming their nails or taking them to the groomers to clip them.
Now that we know the importance of the perfect cat scratching environment, there are ways to help keep them off the couch!
To get them off the couch and onto the scratch post, consider the following:
Apply a citrus scent around the area – Cats have a natural aversion to citrus scents so keep them at bay by diffusing citrus near your couch or even placing cotton balls with essential oils in the corners of the cushions.
Place a barrier on your couch – Texture is huge for cats, especially when it comes to scratching. So, if they love your leather or fabric couch, tuck a sheet over the couch or place aluminum foil in the places they are known for scratching.
Block them with furniture – If your cat routinely scratches the side or back of your couch, try using furniture to detract them. Side tables are perfect to place at the side and a long chest or storage piece of furniture works great at the back. The best case scenario? Finding a place where you can move your couch to the wall so less of it is exposed and tempting to your cat.
For some, declawing your cat seems like the perfect solution, but for whom? Yes, it keeps them from destroying your belongings, but at what cost? Cats claws don’t grow from skin — they’re actually an extension of their bones in their paws.
Declawing is a major surgery that is an amputation of this bone where nerves, tendons, and ligaments are severed. Not only does this put your cat at risk for post-surgery complications, but it puts a huge damper on their physical and emotional health.
They no longer can defend themselves nor climb, in addition to relieving stress and anxiety. Declawing your cat disrupts every part of their life and how they interact in the world.
Claws and scratching are an integral part in which cats are able to interact with their world, and though it can be frustrating for us, it’s what comes naturally to them.
If you have a cat who repeatedly scratches your furniture, the best course of action is to create an area or multiple areas that allow them to stretch and scratch in freedom.