Destructive Scratching

Curbing Destructive Scratching Q & A

Why do cats scratch?

  • To mark their territory with scent and scratch marks
  • To maintain and sharpen their claws
  • To stretch and strengthen their muscles

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Selecting the proper scratching post is important

  • There are many coverings you can find on a scratching post:  sisal rope, corrugated cardboard, wood, carpet
  • Sisal rope and corrugated cardboard are favorites of many cats, while claws may get caught in carpet loops

Where should scratching posts be placed?

  • Close to current areas of damage
  • In areas where other marking behaviors are noted, like cheek & tail rubbing, or spraying.
  • In an area that the cat enjoys being in

What are some of the ways you can encourage a cat to use the scratching post?

  • Catnip
  • Toys
  • Verbal praise and food treat
  • Proper location
  • Don’t force cat to use it

What are some of the ways you can discourage a cat from scratching on furniture, etc.?
Physical punishment will not work and may cause aggressive behavior in your cat.  Instead, try:

  • Double sided tape to hold foil or crinkly plastic on the area being damaged
  • Motion activated air sprayers like “Sssscat”,  and noise makers like “Tattle Tale Vibration Alarms”
  • Scented sprays, like “Pet Organics No Scratch”

How frequently should claws be trimmed? 

  • Every 4-6 weeks, depending on the cat
  • As soon as possible, from kitten-hood on into adulthood

Consider Soft Paws / Claws which cover & soften your cat’s claws 

  • They last approximately 6 weeks
  • Have them applied by your veterinarian or learn to do them yourself!


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