No matter how much you love your cat, it can be very distressing to see the damage their scratching can cause to your home and belongings. Here are some interesting facts about cat care to help you manage their scratching.
It is instinct for cats to scratch as it provides them with nature’s manicure keeping their nails trim and healthy by removing the brittle layers that develop on their claws. As well cats use their scratching to announce their presence both visually with scratch marks and through a scent left behind from their paws. Scratching also offers them a nice stretch and helps them to relieve stress. Cats will scratch more if they feel threatened, but they also scratch as part of their playful activities.
The surfaces cats scratch will vary from pet to pet. Some cats will focus on a favourite piece of furniture whereas another cat might prefer to scratch at wood in the home such as base boards. Providing the right scratching surface for them will allow them to act out on their instincts without damaging your belongings in the process. Watch to see if your cat prefers to scratch at something on the ground or in an upright position. If they like scratching at your sofa, chances are they like the fact that it is upright, very stable and the perfect height that allows them to get that stretch they love. On the other hand if they prefer scratching on the rug or base boards, then they will want something they can scratch at on the floor.
Try to provide a barrier to protect areas they are damaging. If they love scratching at the carpet, throw a cheap area rug over that area and allow them to continue scratching without causing any damage. If they prefer a piece of furniture cover it with something they won’t like such as tin foil and try to redirect them to another upright scratching surface you provide for them.
Do not try to punish your cat for scratching. This can back fire and make them afraid of you. It can also simply stop them from scratching when you around or worse cause them to be nervous and skittish in their own home.
Part of good cat care is offering them a loving home where they can feel safe and comfortable. These tips can help keep them happy and your furniture free from unsightly damage.