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And Meow, A Word About Fluffy’s Scratching

Is your cat slowly shredding your sofa? Kitties are very cute, but their nail-care regimens aren’t very popular with their human friends. We can help! In this article, a London, ON vet discusses cats’ scratching habits.

Why Cats Scratch

It’s important to understand that your furry friend isn’t deliberately trying to ruin your sofa … even if she does look suspiciously pleased with herself. In the wild, cats depend on their nails for hunting, defense, and reaching safety. Our feline buddies learned long ago to take care of their claws, and keep them sharp. That’s one reason you should never punish your kitty for scratching. Because it’s an instinctive behavior, Fluffy won’t understand that she did something wrong, and may get scared or confused.

Fluffy’s Manicure Station

Mother Nature has already provided cats with the purrfect nail-care station: the tree. (Trees also give cats shelter, safety, and lookout points.) You probably don’t have a full-sized tree in your living room, so you’ll need to offer Fluffy the next best thing: a good scratching post. Cat towers are great, but you can also just get a regular scratching post or board. Our feline pals like to stretch their muscles while they scratch, so choose something that’s tall enough to allow your furball to work out all those kinks in her shoulders. You’ll also want to pick something sturdy, as kitties can get a bit wary of wobbly scratching posts. To encourage your furry little diva to use her scratching post, offer her toys, treats, attention, and catnip near it. Also, whenever you see your pet using her post, reward her and tell her she’s being a good kitty. Cats love compliments!

Breaking Bad Habits

If you tell Fluffy to stop using your couch as a nail-care station, she’ll probably just yawn at you. You’ll need to make her fall out of love with her current scratching spots. One way to do this is to simply make them less appealing. If your kitty is scratching the corner or a wall, couch, or chair, put two-sided tape down. She’ll hate the sticky surface. You can also try squirting Fluffy with water or making a loud noise. That’s bound to annoy her, which may do the trick!

Please contact us, your London, ON vet clinic, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re here for you!

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