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Cats and Scratching - Tips to keep everyone happy!!

Cats are going to scratch, learn how to teach them where to scratch at!

 

  1. First, cats have an instinctual need to scratch. They use scratching to stretch their muscles, mark their territory, and relieve boredom. Cat preferences can make a huge difference in the perfect scratching post. Some cats like a vertical surface to scratch on and other like a horizontal surface but making sure that your cat’s scratching post is tall enough for them to stretch out and really scratch is important. But scratching post covering can make a huge difference to the success of the post. There are a variety of options for scratching post material such as cardboard, carpet, rope, or sisal fabric and sisal rope. It seems that most cats prefer the feel of sisal fabric but be sure to check out options and make sure your cats have the scratching post they prefer!! Having enough scratching posts for your cats to prevent competition is always a good idea.
  2. Location, Location and Location!! Hiding your cats scratching post in the back bedroom away from everyone and everything will not promote use. Because your cat uses a scratching post not only to scratch but to mark territory, it needs to be in an area that your cat spends the most time. Any scratching post must be stable and secure. If it is not, cats will find other things that are secure and stable.‚ÄčTraining! It may not be enough to just provide scratching post options to your cat. You may need to train your cat to use it. There are several options on training cats to use scratching posts.
    1. First, we recommend Feliscratch on the scratching posts. It is designed to attract your cat to the scratching post, playing near the scratching posts with toys that allow your cat to grab and pull will encourage them to dig their nails into the scratching post.
    2. Second, monitor your cat and stop them from scratching where you do not wish them to scratch. This may be done by using Feliway spray, double sided tape, distracting before they can start scratching in inappropriate places with toys, treats or anything else that gets their attention. But timing is everything so you must be sure to start before they scratch, or you may be rewarding them for scratching there. If you catch your cat in the act of scratching somewhere you don’t want them scratching, moving them to their scratching post is ideal.                                                                                                                                                                                              
  3. Nail Trimming – if you are finding that your cat is still preferring the couch and need to prevent damage while training them to their scratching post, nail trimming is always a great choice. By trimming the tips off the nails with nail clippers, you can reduce the amount of damage that you cat can do while scratching. This is also a great alternative to prevent accidental scratching to people in the household.
  4. Nail Covers – another great option is to apply nail covers such as Softpaws. These covers are glued onto the nail. They are soft silicone tips that greatly reduce the damage that cat claws can do to furniture or people. In some cases, they can be applied at home, but many people prefer their veterinary clinic do it for them.

If you are finding your cat's scratching habits to be a problem or concern. Please be sure to consult your veterinarian for more cat scratching tips to keep everyone happy!!

 

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