Teaching Fluffy Proper Scratching Habits

Is your cat tearing up your sofa or carpet? Kitties have many endearing attributes that make them great pets, but Fluffy’s manicure routine doesn’t always go over so well with her humans. In fact, scratching is one of the biggest complaints cat owners have. We are here to help! Read on as a local Chesapeake, VA vet offers advice on teaching your furball better petiquette.

Why Cats Scratch

The urge to scratch is a very deep-set instinct in our feline friends. Cats that live in the wild depend very much on their claws for survival. Those little nails help kitties climb to shelter and safety, catch their dinners, and defend themselves. Even though your housecat leads a much easier life, she’ll still be driven to take care of her nails.

Nail Care Stations

If you don’t want your kitty destroying your things, you’ll need to provide her with proper manicure station. We recommend a cat tower or tree: it will not only give Fluffy a great scratching post, it will also offer her a napping station, a jungle gym, and a high vantage point from which she can observe her kingdom and servants (that would be you).

Discouraging Bad Petiquette

Never punish Fluffy for scratching your sofa. Your cat is only following her instincts, so she won’t understand why you’re upset. Instead, redirect her attentions. Make the sofa unappealing by putting clear, two-sided tape down. You can also try squirting your feline buddy with water when she scratches improperly. Put toys and catnip around her cat tower to make it more tempting for her, and reward her with treats and praise when she uses it. Be patient, and consistent.

Other Options

Another thing you can do is to put claw caps on Fluffy. These are rather like fake nails for cats: they’re temporary and painless, but have rounded tips, so your kitty can’t ruin your things. Fluffy can even sport cute red or pink claws! Ask your vet for specific recommendations. You can also consider trimming your furball’s claws. This won’t hurt, and your feline pal’s nails will grow back. If you’re nervous about doing it yourself, just call us to schedule a pawdicure.

Is your kitty due for shots or an exam? Please contact us, your local Chesapeake, VA animal hospital, anytime! We are here to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

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