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Fluffy’s Scratching Habits

Is your kitty leaving her mark on your favorite armchair? Does your pet think your sofa is her own purrsonal nail-care station? Kitties have many lovable habits and traits. However, Fluffy’s manicure regimen isn’t exactly getting rave reviews from her human buddies. Here, a Riverbend, ON vet offers advice on how to deal with improper scratching.

Offer a Suitable Nail-Care Station

First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure your cat has a suitable manicure station. Cat towers are great, but you can also offer your kitty a scratching post or board. Choose something tall enough to let your furball stretch out as she does her nails. Also, make sure your pet’s claw-care station doesn’t wobble. Fluffy may become wary of a post that isn’t sturdy.

DIY

If you’re working on a tight budget, you can go the DIY route and make Fluffy a kitty tower. One easy way to do this is to wrap carpet or sisal rope around an old stepladder, storage rack, or bookcase. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can use PVC pipe, lumber, or even a thick branch. Look online for step-by-step instructions.

Avoid Punishment

Never punish your furry little diva for scratching. This may just confuse or frighten her! The urge to scratch is a very strong instinctive behavior in cats. In the wild, kitties’ claws are crucial to their survival. Fluffy learned long ago to take good care of her nails. Therefore, she may not understand that she did something wrong by scratching. If you catch your furball in the act, squirt her with water or make a loud noise. These things will startle and annoy your cute pet, but won’t hurt her.

Bribe Your Cat

If you tell your furball to use her scratching post, she may just yawn and start scratching your carpet. (Actually, you may have better luck telling Fluffy not to use her post, but that’s another topic.) Bribery, however, may be much more effective. Sprinkle catnip around your kitty’s tower, and offer her toys, treats, and praise for using it.

Last Resorts

No luck? Consider trimming Fluffy’s claws. Just like a human manicure, this is painless and temporary. You can also use claw caps, which are basically fake nails for kitties. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you need to schedule a claw trim for Fluffy? Contact us, your Riverbend, ON pet clinic, today!

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