How many times have you chased your cat away from your carpet, curtain, couch, and other furniture?
The bad news is, destructive scratching habits is bad.
The good news is, its not the end of the world.
Even if they destroyed the most expensive furniture in our home, we still love them.
Why do cats scratch?
“Stit, stit, stit, scratch”. Sounds familiar right? It’s a dreadful sound whenever your cat drags their nails down the armchair of your sofa, or any of your furniture. Okay, most of us know why they scratch right? If you don't, then let's find out together WHY cats love to scratch. Here some of the reasons behind your cat’s natural urge to scratch:
to remove the dead outer layer of their claws
to mark their territory by leaving both a visual mark and a scent.
to relieve stress and express other emotions.
to stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws.
As you can see, scratching serves a number of important functions, and cats are instinctually programmed to exhibit this kind of behavior. Scratching plays an important role in your cat’s health and wellbeing. Although cat scratching might seem inevitable, there are a lot of time-tested, effective methods of minimizing this problem.
What to Do About Your Cat’s Scratching Habits?
Here are some of the house tips shared by our fellow cat owners to discourage your cat from scratching unwanted places:
Make your own homemade cat scratching spray by mixing vinegar and essential citrus oils, or even garlic and peppermint.
Strong mentholated ointments also works. Just rub it on places where you would like the cats to avoid.
All of these smells are which cats normally find repulsive. In cases with non-fabric surfaces, try attaching cotton balls and spray with the homemade solution. This is a much safer, effective, and cheaper alternative that can be easily found at home.
You can also try making the area unappealing by attaching sandpaper, double-sided tape, or aluminum foil to the scratching surface.
Cats’ paws are extremely sensitive to touch, so changing the feel of the surface can easily discourage scratching.
If you have scratching posts, make sure the scratching posts and surfaces are tempting for your cat. Cats like textured surfaces where they can really sink their claws into such as sisal rope or fabric, cardboard, and even uncovered wood.
You can show the cat how to use the scratching post by scratching it yourself or picking up the cat’s front paws and moving them up and down the post.
If your cat is not attracted to the scratching posts, you might not be doing the following:
Lure your fur baby to its scratching post by dangling a toy mouse on the post or sprinkling them with catnips.
Put the posts near the places where they usually scratch. It can help block access to where they usually scratch, so their only option is the scratcher.
Cats are pretty smart, and reward-based teaching techniques are one of the effective tricks to train them. Your praise and treats will make the kitty keep scratching on the preferred places even more.
Lastly, trimming your cat’s nails as part of a regular grooming routine is a good way to reduce damage to furniture and other household items.
There's a variety of products available that run from basic to extravagant scratching posts - from simple vertical, horizontal to angled position scratchers, that come with dangling toys to ceiling-high towers with scratchers.
Check out some of our best scratching posts here. Surely, your cats will love to get their claws on these.
For your cat to be the happiest and healthiest they can be, it is really important that they have a satisfying place to dig their claws into. For sure your cat will thank you with energy, curiosity, and bright-eyed interest that says, “Thanks, mom. I love you MEOW and FURever!”
So, there you have it! We hope you’ve learned why cats scratch and the importance of this behavior, as well as ways to help ensure that you and your cat can live together with their scratching behavior.
Visit our Blogs Section for more interesting and fun facts about our beloved cats here!