6 Ways to Keep Your Cat From Scratching Improperly

Does your kitty have a habit of scratching up your furniture? Is Fluffy using your sofa as a manicure station? Cats are very clean pets, but their nail-care routines aren’t particularly popular with their humans. Here, a Columbia, MD vet discusses teaching your cat better manners.

Offer A Good Scratching Post

In order to teach your furry little diva better nail-care habits, you’ll need to offer her a suitable scratching post. Be sure to choose something sturdy: if Fluffy’s manicure station wobbles when she uses it, she may become wary of it and stop utilizing it. Cats like to stretch when doing their nails, so pick something tall enough to allow your pet to do that. Cat towers are great options, as they will also give your kitty a napping spot, vantage point, and jungle gym. Scratching posts or boards are also fine.

Try DIY Options

Do you have limited space? Get a smooth board, and attach a small mat or piece of carpet to it. Then, just hang it on the wall, just over Fluffy’s head. Voila!

Discourage Bad Petiquette

You never want to punish your cat for sharpening her nails. It’s an instinctive behavior, and one that is very important to kitties’ survival in the wild. However, you can try to redirect Fluffy to a more appropriate manicure station. When you see your cat scratching something she shouldn’t, do something that will startle and/or annoy her. Make a loud noise, squirt her with water, or just say ‘Bad Kitty!’ in a firm tone of voice.

Keep Things Fresh

Has Fluffy stopped using her scratching post? Sometimes kitties lose interest in things. You can revitalize a cat tower or scratching post by cleaning it, moving it, or recovering it.

Sweeten The Deal

To make the scratching post more enticing, sprinkle catnip around it and put some of Fluffy’s favorite toys nearby. Also, be sur to offer your feline buddy praise and treats when you see her using her scratching post.

Claw Caps

No luck? Ask your vet about using claw caps, which are basically fake nails for kitties. Your pet can even sport pretty colors, like pink or red. We only recommend these for indoor cats, however: if Fluffy goes outdoors, she’ll need her nails for defense.

Please contact us, your Columbia, MD vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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