How to Stop Destructive Cat Scratching;
Cats are no strangers when it comes to using their claws. Scratching is a normal behavior and a natural instinct for all cats. They love to scratch things and do so for a variety of reasons, especially when playing, stretching and exploring their surroundings. Scratching their nails on various surfaces also removes any claws that are dull and worn to make room for sharper claws, and allows for cats to mark their territory.
While all cats love to scratch, their owners do not typically feel the same way about this habit which can become quite destructive. Cats can scratch and ruin your furniture, curtains/drapes, carpets and walls before they move on to almost any other surface in your house that is no match against their determined attitudes and sharp claws. There is no way that you will be able to stop your feline-friend from scratching entirely, however it is possible to make sure your cat is only scratching acceptable surfaces and not destroying your home. The following are some suggestions on how to help stop this habit from becoming a destructive one.
One of the most effective and easiest ways to prevent your cat from clawing on unacceptable places in your home is to place several scratching posts throughout their environment. Cats enjoy scratching their claws on these surfaces and their natural instincts provide them with the knowledge to use them. Make sure the scratching posts are long enough so your cat can extend and stretch his or her entire body, and it may be a good idea to get a few different kinds. Cats like to have different places they feel comfortable around your home
Instead of buying a scratching post you can make your own by using things around the house like a sturdy log or the back of a piece of carpet. Cat condos and jungles also make great additions to your home because they not only provide a place to scratch but also provide your cat with exercise.
Discourage inappropriate scratching:
In order to stop your cat from scratching your home to pieces, you must make their favorite places to scratch seem undesirable. When a cat scratches a surface, their scent is left behind which makes them drawn to that surface over and over again. Using an herbal spray deterrent or cotton balls soaked in an unpleasant smell, you will be able to cover up your cats scent and make the surface unappealing to your cat.
Another option is to use double sided tape on any surface your cat is scratching because cats do not like being stuck to things. Some other things you can use to make the surface unappealing are sand paper or sheets of aluminum foil. It could take a while for your cat to fully be trained to not scratch on inappropriate surfaces, so once your cats is only scratching on a desirable surface remove the items that deterred them progressively. Make sure your praise and reward your cat when he or she begins using appropriate surfaces for scratching.
Clip their claws:
A cat that spends most of its time indoors is being denied access to nature’s emery board. Cats that live outside usually have duller claws because they are worn down by natural surfaces. If you keep your cats nails trimmed they will be less likely to scratch on surface to try and expose their shaper, new claws.
If you plan on trimming your cat’s claws yourself it may be a good idea to get another person to help hold the cat while you cut the nails. If you do not feel comfortable trimming your cat’s claws or he or she is feeling a lot of stress from the situation, it may be a good idea to seek help from an experienced veterinarian.
A controversial subject that surrounds a cat’s claws is the issue of whether or not you should declaw your cat. Most people think declawing your feline friend is as simple as cutting their nails, in reality it is an inhumane procedure that involves essentially amputating the last joint of your cat’s toes. It is an irreversible surgical process that could cause physical, emotional and behavioral problems.
When you remove your cat’s claws you are removing their primary source for defense. Cat’s rely on their claws to hunt and catch their food, and to protect them if necessary. If a declawed cat gets loose or escaped, he or she will have no way to defend themselves. A cat who feels defenseless could also become hostile or aggressive towards you out of fear of being harmed.
The practice of declawing is a discouraged procedure because of the pain it is likely to inflict on a cat. Most of the time it is not recommended at all until every other option to stop inappropriate scratching has been expended and the owner is considering to put the cat down.