HELP: Cats Clawing Your Furniture?

HELP: Cats Clawing Your Furniture?

Cats often claw at furniture as part of their natural grooming behaviour, helping them to maintain healthy nails. This behaviour may also be habitual and overly destructive and as many of you know, while dogs are generally only to pleased to do as their owners wish most of the time, many cats are much less willing to oblige… “dogs have owners and cats have servants”!

Starting your kitten off with a scratching post at a young age will help them learn that this is an appropriate object to use, especially with positive re-enforcement like praise. Cat nip (a plant that has special properties inducing a state of relaxation in many cats) can be a useful addition to the scratching post.

If your cat is an indoor cat then regular manicures and pedicures are important to help prevent claws getting too long, uncomfortable, stuck in the carpet and also used to scratch furniture. Cats, mainly having white claws make it easy to see the pink part closest to the toe which is painful and bleeds if it is cut but trimming nails lower than this is often an easy way to prevent undesirable cat nail activity!

Sometimes negative re-enforcement of inappropriate behaviour is also useful like having a water pistol to squirt the cat when they scratch the furniture. BUT it is important that squirting is done “on the sly” without emotional reaction otherwise cats can sometimes use scratching inappropriately as an attention seeking behaviour – a double edged sword!