Cat scratching is a natural behaviour, but it can be destructive if it’s not directed to an appropriate outlet. If your cat is scratching your furniture, carpets, or other belongings, there are a few things you can do to stop them.
Here are five proven methods to stop cat scratching:
1. Provide your cat with scratching alternatives
The best way to stop your cat from scratching where you don’t want them to is to provide them with scratching alternatives that they do want to use. Look for scratching posts or pads that are tall enough for your cat to fully stretch out on, and that are made of a material that they like to scratch, such as sisal or cardboard.
Place the scratching post(s) in areas where your cat likes to scratch, such as near their favourite napping spots or in front of windows. You can also try using catnip or other attractants to make the scratching post more appealing.
2. Train your cat to use the scratching post
If your cat is new to using a scratching post, you may need to train them. One way to do this is to hold them next to the scratching post and gently scratch their paws on it. You can also try giving them treats or praise when they scratch the post.
Another way to train your cat to use the scratching post is to move it to a spot where they like to scratch. Once they start using the post, you can gradually move it to a more convenient location.
3. Trim your cat’s nails
Trimming your cat’s nails regularly can help to reduce the amount of damage they do when they scratch. You can trim your cat’s nails yourself, or you can take them to a professional groomer.
To trim your cat’s nails, use a sharp pair of nail clippers. Be careful not to cut the quick, which is the pink part of the nail. If you’re not comfortable trimming your cat’s nails yourself, ask your veterinarian for help.
4. Use deterrents to discourage scratching
There are a number of products available that can be used to discourage scratching. These products typically contain a scent or taste that cats don’t like. You can apply these products to the areas where your cat scratches, or you can use them on a scratching post to make it less appealing.
Some popular scratching deterrents include:
- Bitter apple spray
- Citrus-scented spray
- Double-sided tape
- Aluminium foil
5. Consult a behaviourist
If you’ve tried all of the above methods and your cat is still scratching, you may want to consult with a behaviourist. A specialist can help you to identify the underlying cause of your cat’s scratching and develop a plan to address it.
Here are a few additional tips for stopping cat scratching:
- Be patient and consistent. It may take some time for your cat to learn to use the scratching post or stop scratching where they’re not supposed to.
- Don’t punish your cat for scratching. This will only make them more stressed and more likely to scratch.
- Make sure your cat’s environment is enriched and that they have plenty of opportunities to play and exercise. A bored cat is more likely to engage in destructive behaviours, such as scratching.
By following these tips, you can stop your cat from scratching and protect your furniture and other belongings. Just remember to be patient and consistent, and don’t punish your cat for scratching.