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Teaching Fluffy Proper Scratching Petiquette

September 15, 2022

Is your kitty slowly shredding your chair or sofa? If so, you’re not alone. This is a common frustration with people owned by cats. However, there are ways to correct this bad petiquette. A Roanoke, VA vet offers some insight on this below.


An Instinctive Behavior

It’s important to realize that scratching is instinctive for kitties. In the wild, cats very much depend on those little paw daggers for survival. Fluffy uses her nails to hunt, defend herself, and climb to shelter, safety, and vantage points. This is why you should never punish your feline friend for scratching improperly. Because she’s driven to do it, she won’t know what she did wrong. Instead, focus on redirecting her to a more appropriate target.


Proper Tools

Speaking of proper targets, you’ll need to make sure that your furry little diva has a good manicure set. Cat towers are ideal here, as they also offer Fluffy vantage points and napping spots. However, you can use a post or board, or even make something yourself. You don’t want to make sure that it’s sturdy, so it doesn’t topple over on your kitty. It should also be high enough to let her stretch when she is doing her nails.


Encouraging Good Petiquette

When it comes to teaching cats good habits, you definitely want to go for positive reinforcement. Tempt your feline buddy to use her new scratching post by giving her toys, treats, and attention near it. (A little catnip won’t hurt, either.) Be sure to praise Fluffy, and tell her she’s being a good furball. Kitties love compliments!


Correcting Bad Habits

So how do you get Fluffy to stop shredding your carpet or recliner? You should never hit or yell at your furry pal: that will just make her scared of you. What you want to do is startle her. Loud noises often work well here. Bang two pots together, clay your hands, or just say “no!’ in a sharp tone. Chances are, your kitty will scamper off to a safe spot to mull things over.


Options

Declawing became a very common practice in the twentieth century. It’s fallen by the wayside as people realize the pain and issues it causes. However, you can look into claw caps, or even clip your feline pal’s claws.


As your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, we’re here to help! Please contact us anytime.

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