Cats As Pets
Do you have a cat as a pet? As a cat parent, you know how much joy they bring to your life. There are millions of households around the world with pet cats. Not only are they adorable, but they are also independent, loyal, and curious. Compared to dogs, they are low maintenance.
Cats don’t require walks, training, and constant companionship. No wonder people love having cats as pets. However, their independent and stubborn streak at times can result in undesirable situations. Peeing around the house or scratching your furniture are just two of them.
Before teaching your cat not to scratch, you must understand why it is doing so in the first place.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
After a long day, you reach home and find your favorite couch or sofa with deep scratches. Or you wake up in the morning and find scratches on your recliner; what do you do? Is it something your cat regularly does, or is it new behavior? It would be best if you found the main cause behind the scratching habit. Cats can scratch things due to several reasons, including:
- Stretching: cats like to stretch because it is like exercising. All the muscles and tendons in the cat’s body require a good stretch from time to time.
- Marking: the paws of a cat contain scent glands, and when they scratch, an odour is released. This is a way to mark their territory. It is a way of feline social communication.
- Maintaining claw health: by scratching, a cat can shed the outside layer of the nail when needed. It keeps the claw healthy.
- To feel good: all cats love to scratch. It makes them happy as it helps in releasing stress.
How Can You Control This Behaviour?
If you find your cat scratching things around the house, again and again, you could be getting annoyed. What can you do? Can you discipline more strictly or keep it locked more often? The good news is that you can change the behavior of your cat. Just follow the easy steps given here to stop your cat from scratching.
- Purchase several cats scratching posts as well as interactive toys around the house. It is important to choose the right kind of scratch posts. The post should be strong, sturdy, tall, and made of the best scratchable material.
- Place the scratching posts in the right areas. Choose the places where your kitty likes to hang around. Cats love to stretch and scratch when they wake up from a nap. Placing a post near the regular sleeping area is a good idea. You can also place posts near the couch or sofa, which your cat usually likes to scratch; whenever the cat scratches the post, praise and gives the treat to reinforce the behavior.
- Make the couch or other usual scratching areas unattractive. You can do this by:
- Tucking a sheet tightly around the couch.
- Use aluminium foil or tape to make it difficult to get to the couch surface.
- Spray the couch with a citrus scent because cats are naturally averse to citrussy smells.
- Spread some catnip or any other interesting food on the scratching posts to make them more attractive to the cats.
- After doing this for a few days, you will notice that your cat is not scratching the sofa or couch anymore. If it is still doing it, you can try other things such as feline pheromone sprays to resolve the issue.
- Consider using nail caps. These are hollow and made with vinyl and can cover the cat’s claws. They are non-toxic and easy to apply.
What Is Declawing And Why Is It Not Advised?
Paws and claws are crucial tools for cats and affect their physical as well as psychological behavior. You need to understand that declawing is an amputation up to the first joint of the digits. It is painful, and there can be complications either during or after the surgery. It changes the way a cat walks, balances, or behaves. It is considered inhumane and is even banned in some countries.
Declawed cats should strictly be kept indoors because their claws are their first line of defense. Many declawed cats are left in the shelters and find it difficult to defend themselves. They may even develop new unwanted behavior and health problems. It is best to avoid even thinking about this option. To save some furniture from your cat’s scratches, you cannot put your kitty through such an experience.
The Best Products To Protect Your Furniture
If you are getting fed up with your cat scratching your carpet, sofa, or couch, here are a few options that can be helpful.
- Scratching posts: we have already mentioned these, and they are quite helpful.
- Furniture guard: it protects the corners of the legs of a sofa or upholstered chairs and can be helpful.
- Cat deterrent spray: made with natural and safe materials, they can be used to keep a cat away from your favorite furniture.
Always choose good-quality products which will not harm your cat. You want to get rid of the bad habit, not hurt the cat.
Learn How To Trim Your Cat’s nails
If you keep your cat’s nails trimmed neatly, there are fewer chances of your furniture getting damaged. Ideally, it would be best if you trimmed your cat’s nails every 2 to 3 weeks. Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking after the nails of your cat.
- Start trimming the nails of your cat when they are still young. You can handle them better, and they get used to having their nails trimmed quite easily.
- Paws are probably the most sensitive parts of a cat’s body. If you try to hold the paws, they will pull them away. Starting slowly is best. You can train your kitty to get used to your holding her paws by doing it repeatedly while playing. When you first cut a nail, take a pause, and see how the cat reacts. One or two nails at a time are enough. Praise them and give them treats after trimming their nails.
- If your cat sleeps deeply, you can try trimming a nail or two while it naps. It would be best if you were extremely gentle and quiet. A cat takes several naps in a day so that you will get many chances.
- Trim as little as possible because it is only the sharp part that damages the furniture. By cutting too deep, you may end up hurting your cat. It is even more important when you are new to trimming. If you think you have cut too little, you can do it again.
Only use sharp nail trimmers. Dull ones can splinter the nail or cause more damage.
It would be best if you remembered that being a pet parent is a serious commitment. It means that you take care of your pet and work through any unwanted and inappropriate behavior.
You can build a deeper bond with your pet, be it a dog or cat, if you can replace any negative habits with more positive ones. A well-loved pet is a confident pet. If you want to share many long years with a happy, healthy, and loyal companion, then you need to nurture and teach the right habits right from the start.