Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Scratch Happy in Frederick, MD
Scratching is a normal behavior that allows your cat to condition his claws, mark his territory and have a nice stretch. Cats are naturally drawn to the biggest, most stable thing in the room and unfortunately your couch, among other furniture, meets those requirements.
The veterinarians at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital have some suggestions to prevent destructive scratching. Provide alternative, appealing things for your cat to scratch on like scratching posts or corrugated cardboard. Encourage your cat to use the posts by placing one near her favorite sleeping area and a second post in a prominent area.
Remember a scratching post must be tall enough for your cat to stretch with his legs fully extended and sturdy enough to support his weight without toppling. You can make the post more attractive by rubbing catnip into it, attaching toys, or providing a more elaborate structure with climbing and perching areas.
Use positive reinforcement when your cat uses the scratching post by offering your cat a food reward each time she approaches the post and multiple rewards whenever she actually scratches the post.
Remember our registered veterinary technicians are always here to answer questions. If problems persist despite your best efforts, there are other options (like placing plastic coverings over your cat's nails) that we can discuss with you.