Cats are affectionate and loving
pets, but you should know they are real climbers
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
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 your 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,
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, it is a form an exercise.
See How to make your cat to scratch her
- Provide your cat with some cat
furniture like a cat tree. Cats can literally exhaust themselves
playing with it. See Why cats climb
- Provide your cat with cat toys.
Good toys will encourage activities like scratching, chasing
and batting. See How to play
with your cat
- The last and the most drastically
solution to stop your cat scratching is declawing. See Cat
Declawing. Is it necessary?
How to punish my cat for
All forms of physical punishment
should be avoided. There are many ways of preventing
your cat from scratching your furniture without having to resort
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. See How
to Prevent your Cat from Scratching Furniture