Cat Scratch Fever

Cute Cat With Closed Eyes Scratching A Scratching Post

Does your cat scratch things you don’t want it to, like the new sofa? Or the curtains?  You are not alone in this vexing problem. Many cat owners seek a way to curb this “bad” cat habit!!

“The goal in resolving scratching problems is to redirect the behavior onto acceptable objects” Suzanne Hechts, Ph.D. Strategically placing a scratching post, an old rug, or a cardboard box can redirect your cat’s scratching area. You may be wondering “W hy do they do it in the first place?”

There are several reasons why a cat scratches:

1. To stretch their kitty limbs and flex their feet!
2. To mark an area (cats have scent glands on their feet that deposit a smell on the scratched object)
3. To get the dead outer layer of skin off their claws
4. To show dominance in front of another cat

And the reason they choose to claw your favorite chair, the one you spend the most time in?
Simply, kitty is marking you as his or her human and since that chair smells like you (or bed, or sofa).

So now we know why they scratch, let’s go over how we can get them to do it only in specific, acceptable places.

1. Cover objects you don’t’ want scratched with something kitty won’t like:
a. Double-sided sticky tape
b.  aluminum foil
c. sheets of sandpaper
You will need to leave these up for several weeks until kitty develops the new habit.

2. Buy a vertical scratching surface, one tall enough for kitty to fully stretch out while scratching
The post ideally should  be similar to tree bark, and many have sisal fiber rope wound around, that is coarse and perfect for kitty claws

3. Have more than one scratching post. Especially if you have more than one cat! Ideally, you should place one near where they sleep so that when they wake up and stretch, they have a place to flex their muscles. “Placing a scratching post in a prominent location in the most used room in the house, even directly in front of the piece of furniture the cat has shown a preference for, will often encourage the cat to scratch the post to mark his territory”-Petfinder.

Some recommended scratching posts include:
•    Carpeted board/ Tree perch (you can make this yourself by wrapping scrap carpet on a 4 by 4
•     Sisal Cat Scratching Post
•    Horizontal Super Scratcher made from cardboard