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Why cats scratch

Cats are affectionate and loving pets, but you should know they are real climbers and often like to test their sharp claws out on your living room furniture. In their opinion that is very funny and healthy, because it acts like a massage for their paws.

But scratching is easier to deal with, if you understand why cats scratch in first place. In the wild, cats scratch on objects around them just to signal the other cats that is their territory. There are two forms of marking they are doing: visual and olfactory. The first form is when they leave clawing marks and the second one is when they release pheromones. These pheromones are secreted from the body, causing them to alter their behaviour.

Scratching, when done as a marking behaviour, follows a well-recognised sequence:

1.Your cat will approach the surface to be scratched
2.The surface is smelt and your cat will then exhibit 'flehmen' (a special type of sniffing action which helps it detect the pheromone)
3.Limbs are stretched with extension of the spine.
4.Scratching with alternate forepaws takes place.

Cats typically have two scratching patterns. One is usually near one or more zones that it considers to be its territory, such as where they eat, nap or plays in. The other pattern is when they patrol a larger area and mark more obvious objects, such as sofas, windows, doors.

Where this occurs it may indicate that something has occurred to psychologically stress your cat - often over-crowding/bullying or repeated territorial invasions by other cats in an area important to your cat.

How you cat stop your cat from scratching

It is impractical and unfair to expect cats to stop scratching entirely. Cats that go outside may be content to do all their scratching outdoors, but the urge may still arise while the cat comes back indoors. Cats that spend most of their time indoors will of course, need some outlet for their scratching and marking behavior, so do not be surprised if you come home to objects strewn all over the floor, scratches on your furniture, and your cat playful climbing or dangling from the drapes. Therefore, while it may not be possible to stop a cat from scratch, it should be possible to direct the scratching, climbing and playing to appropriate areas indoors. That is where scratching equipment comes in. Get the right scratching gear and place it correctly and you can have your cat and furniture, too.

No matter how hard you try, you will not train your cat to stop scratching, so you may consider the following options:

- Provide your cat with scratching posts or board. It is critical to her health. It not only relieves it on her innate desire to scratch, but it is a form an exercise as well. Learn how to make your cat scratch the scratching post.

- Provide your cat with tall cat furniture like cat tree or cat tower. Cats love to climb and can literally exhaust themselves playing with them.

- Provide your cat with cat toys and spare more time to play with her. Good toys will encourage activities like scratching, chasing and batting.

- The last and the most drastically solution to stop your cat scratching is declawing.

How to punish my cat for inappropriate scratching?

All forms of physical punishment should be avoided. There are many ways of preventing your cat from scratching your furniture without having to resort to physical punishment, which usually serves no purpose other than to make the cat scared of you and nervous, taking away the purring, affectionate personality we love them for.

Learn More About Cats

How to Avoid Cat Urine Spraying

How to remove cat urine

Plants that will poison your cats

Cat Declawing. Is it Necessary?

Cats and the Cold Weather

How to Prevent your Cat from Scratching Furniture

Heartworm Disease in Cats

Cares for newly born kittens

Cat's Nutrition

Cat Neutering

What you should know about Cat's Shedding

Cat Diseases

Putting Your Cat out to Pasture

What every cat owner should know about cat litter box

How to make your cat to scratch her scratching post

Care of Older cats

How to play with your cat

Domestic Cats

Siamese Cat

Maine Coon Cat

Ragdoll Cat

Persian Cat

Why cats climb

Cat's Characteristics

Turkish Van Cat Breed

About Cat's Skills

Cat's Temperament

Cat Massage - a hands on experience