How do you stop cat scratching?
It’s a common search for cat owners.
Cats are adorable, but they can also be destructive with their claws. It’s not their fault. It’s simply how they’ve been designed to keep their claws in order.
Many cat owners, especially first-time owners, find it difficult to stop cat scratching and save their walls and furniture. Fear not!
The following tips can help you save your home from your cat’s pointy paws of destruction.
Why Cats Scratch
Cats scratch at walls, furniture, and carpet for a couple of reason.
Cats have incredibly sharp claws, and when they’re not trimmed, they can grow into the cat’s paws.
Scratching is one way for cats to keep their claws in check. You may also have seen your cat nibbling at their feet. That’s another way they keep them in check. You’ll often find pieces of cat nail around the house for this reason.
Another reason cats scratch is to explore. Cats are extremely tactile creatures.
They love to climb. They love to explore with their paws. Scratching is a form of exploration for them, and it just feels good.
How to Stop Cat Scratching
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In order to stop cat scratching, you need to address the biological imperatives that cause them to scratch in the first place.
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1- Trim the Nails
To begin with, it’s important to have your cat’s nails trimmed regularly. Regular trimming keeps the nails short, and therefor, eliminates one reason that your cats are scratching up everything in the house.
2- Get Cat Scratchers
Another way to help stop cat scratching is to get a scratching post
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Many posts come covered in carpet. These posts offer your cat an outlet for their scratching needs by giving them a tactile experience allowing them to explore with their paws.
Other, floor-based scratchers have a surface that’s similar to a nail file. This allows your cat to get their scratch on while simultaneously keeping their nails to a manageable length.
Trimmed nails, scratchers and cute cat trees are great starts, but chances are, you’ll need to do more than that.
Use your cat’s tactile nature to help deter him from scratching. Cover the inappropriate areas where your cat scratches with a coating that doesn’t feel good on his feet. Effective coatings are double stick tape, aluminum foil, or sandpaper.
You can also help stop cat scratching by using scents that your cat doesn’t like.
In addition to covering walls, furniture legs, and other things that your cat is destroying by scratching, attach cotton balls soaked in citrus or menthol to the area. Many cats hate those smells and will give the area a wide berth.
4- Claw Covers
Some owners opt to put claw covers on their cat’s nails.
These rubbery covers slide snugly over the nail and are held in place with a light adhesive.
As the claws grow, the covers are pushed outward, eventually needing to be removed and replaces. These can help keep your cat’s nails from damaging the house and give your cat a “splash of sass” as one client at the vet where I worked used to say.
Stop Cat Scratching Without Declawing if Possible
I always advocate for preventative methods to stop cat scratching rather than declawing whenever possible.
Many owners don’t understand that declawing is quite involved, and while cats may not show it, painful. Declawing is more aptly called deknuckling.
The reason a declawed cat has such soft, pillowy paws is because their nails aren’t the only things removed. When a cat is declawed, the first knuckle of each toe is actually what’s removed.
So if you need to stop cat scratching in your home, try the methods above before considering a declaw. It will save you money, save your cat discomfort, and allow him to continue to explore his world in the tactile way he was designed to.
Have you discovered another way to stop your cat from scratching up your walls and furniture? Share in the comments!
Ben is an animal lover, blogger, and all around geek. He divides his love equally between his family, his animals, and his video games. In his spare time he is attempting to get a blog off the ground. Boy, are they heavy!