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Teaching Your Cat Proper Scratching Habits

Kitties are very charming little furballs, and they have many wonderful qualities that make them great pets. Our feline friends aren’t purrfect, however. In fact, they have a few bad habits, such as scratching improperly. In this article, a local White Rock, TX vet offers advice on teaching Fluffy better manicure habits.

Why Cats Scratch

Fluffy isn’t purposely trying to ruin your belongings. Cats just have a very strong instinctual urge to keep their nails in good condition. There is a very valid reason for this: those little nails are crucial to cats’ survival in the wild. Kitties use their claws to hunt their dinners, defend themselves from other animals, and climb to safety or shelter. Even though your housecat is only hunting a toy mouse, and climbing onto the bed for a nap, she’ll still be driven to take good care of her claws.

Choosing Fluffy’s Manicure Station

If you want your kitty to stop shredding your belongings, you’ll need to offer her a suitable manicure station. Pet towers are a wonderful option, as they offer not only a scratching post, but a lounging spot and a jungle gym as well. Pick something sturdy: if Fluffy’s tower wobbles, she may become wary of it. Cats like to stretch while they scratch, so get something tall enough to allow your furball to stretch out to her full length.

Teaching Good Petiquette

Never punish your kitty for scratching improperly. While it may be a bit of an understatement to say that cats don’t think like we do, it’s important to realize they really don’t understand punishment, especially when they are just following their instincts. You can clap your hands, or make a loud noise to startle your furball, but beyond that, it’s better to focus on rewarding good behavior. When Fluffy uses her scratching post, pet her and praise her, and maybe give her a treat. To keep your furball from scratching improperly, put clear two-sided tape on the corner of the couch or chair she is using as a nail-care station. It won’t show, but she’ll hate the sticky feeling.

Other Options

No luck? Call us to schedule a peticure! Nail trims are painless and temporary, and will keep Fluffy from scratching improperly.

Do you have questions about caring for your cat? We can help! Contact us, your White Rock, TX animal clinic, anytime.

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