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How to Stop Your Cat From Scratching Improperly

Is your kitty tearing up your carpet or sofa? Fluffy has many adorable habits, but her nail-care regimen isn’t one of them. Read on as a local Arlington Heights, TX veterinarian offers advice on teach your furry little diva better manicure habits.

Understanding Kitty’s Nail-Care Obsession

Even if your cat looks suspiciously proud of herself when she scratches, she isn’t trying to ruin your things. In the wild, cats depend on their claws for survival: they use them to hunt, defend themselves, and climb to safety. It’s no wonder that kitties learned to take good care of their nails!

Offer Suitable Options

If you want your feline pal to stop shredding your belongings, you’ll need to offer a suitable alternative, such as a scratching post or cat tower. Choose something that is tall enough to allow Fluffy to stretch out to her full length. You also want to make sure to pick something sturdy. If your kitty’s tower is unsteady, your furball may become wary of it and stop using it.

Breaking Bad Habits

Never punish your cat for scratching. Fluffy is only following her instincts, so negative reinforcement won’t work. You can tell Fluffy ‘No’ or ‘Don’t scratch there,’ or rattle a jar of change to startle her, but aside from that, you’re better off using other tactics. To get your furball to use her scratching tower, you’ll want to make it a more appealing option than your couch. Put toys and catnip around it, place it in a spot with a great view, and give your kitty treats and praise when she uses it. At the same time, make your sofa unappealing by putting two-sided sticky tape along the side she is scratching. It won’t show, but your pet won’t like the sticky feeling.

Last Resorts

If you aren’t having any luck, consider clipping Fluffy’s nails. This is painless and temporary, just like a human manicure, and will keep your kitty from damaging your belongings. We only recommend this for indoor cats, though: if your furry buddy is allowed to go outside, she’ll need her claws for defense. Another option is to get your feline friend fake nails, or claw caps. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Does your kitty need a peticure? Is Fluffy due for vaccines or an exam? Contact us, your Arlington Heights, TX animal clinic, today!

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