Fluffy’s Scratching Habit

Is your kitty using your sofa as a manicure station? Is Fluffy tearing up your carpets, or even scratching the walls? Our feline buddies are certainly full of adorable habits, but their nail-care routines aren’t always very popular with their human buddies. We can help! Read on for some great tips from a Mattoon, IL vet on teaching your furry little diva better scratching petiquette.

Why Kitties Scratch

Fluffy isn’t trying to ruin your things, even if she does look extra smug while she’s clawing your favorite armchair. Scratching is a very strong instinctive behavior in cats, and one that is crucial to their survival in the wild. Those sharp little claws help our feline pals hunt, climb to safety and shelter, and defend themselves. It’s no wonder kitties take nail care so seriously!

Fluffy’s Manicure Station

Make sure your feline friend has a suitable peticure station. Cat towers are great for this! You can also get a scratching post or board. Kitties like to stretch when they are doing their nails, so get something that is tall enough to allow your cat to stretch to her full length. Also, be sure to pick something sturdy. Fluffy may become wary of her scratching post if it wobbles! To encourage your pet to use her scratching post, sprinkle catnip around it, and offer her toys, treats, and praise nearby.

Teaching Fluffy Proper Habits

Never punish your cat for scratching. It’s a natural behavior, so Fluffy really won’t understand that she did something wrong. Instead, redirect your pet towards her scratching post. If your kitty is scratching your sofa, put clear, two-sided tape on it, in the spot where she is scratching. She’ll hate the sticky feeling, and will hopefully look elsewhere. You can also try squirting her with water, or making a loud noise.

Last Resorts

If your furball simply won’t stop scratching your things, consider clipping her claws. This is painless and temporary, just like a human nail trim. (Note: we don’t recommend this for cats that go outdoors: they need their nails for defense.) If you’re nervous about doing it yourself, just call us to schedule a quick peticure for Fluffy. Claw caps, which are basically fake nails for kitties, are another option. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you need to make an appointment for your kitty? Call us, your Mattoon, IL animal clinic!

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