In the fantastic, cats use their claws to catch prey, defend themselves and escape from predators. At home plate, that translates to attacking toys and climbing to favorite perches. Cats scratch to stretch their muscles and help hed their out nail cocktail dress. Because they have aroma glands on their paw, rub is besides a room of putting their odorize in their district, which helps them feel at home and batten .
“ Scratching is a full of life depart of cat behavior, ” says veterinarian Susan Krebsbach with the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. “ It ’ s a sign of a felicitous cat. ”
Of course, this natural behavior can placid be aggravating when it ’ south directed at your rug, drapes or sofa. But living harmoniously with your computerized tomography ’ south claw international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate unmanageable, says Krebsbach. “ You fair need to take a few preventive measures and redirect their rub to areas where you find it allow. ”
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Scratch here, not there The solution to your cat ’ s destructive cancel can be ampere simple as providing him with option objects to scrape, shred and leave his scent on, says Katie Lisnik, film director of guy protection and policy for The HSUS .
offer a variety of scratching posts and pads from different materials like carpet, sisal, wood and cardboard. While some cats like vertical posts, others prefer horizontal or angle boards. Some like both, as each gives them a different stretch and feeling on their pads. “ once you find the one your computerized tomography likes better, they will get into a scrape routine, ” says Lisnik .
You can buy scrape posts and boards, or you can make your own by wrapping a nibble of wood with a carpet leftover or sisal, a hemp- like character. Schelling recommends sisal framework over sisal r-2, which “ frays very well and that can be a danger, ” she says.
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Steer clear of cheap vertical posts with a lightweight free-base. If a post is wobbly or topples over when your cats use it, “ they ’ ll never want to scratch on it again, ” says Lisnik .
Satisfy the itch Place scratching posts and boards in different locations, with at least one on every level of your sign of the zodiac. Schelling besides places corrugated cardboard pads under her bed, which prevents her kitties from scratching the bottom of her mattress .
If your caterpillar seems leery or indifferent to his new scratching partition, act like a big cat and model scrape on it. Seeing you use the post could motivate him to give it a try. Another well scheme, says HSUS pet care issues coach Matt Wildman, is to drag a toy across the station so that your cat-o’-nine-tails inciden-tally scratches it while playing.
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Anytime you see your cat scratching the posts or boards you ’ ve set out, reinforce the good demeanor with praise or a treat .
No scratch zone You can make furniture and other scratching hotspots less attractive with double-sided sticky videotape or a scent hindrance such as a citrus atomizer formulated to repel cats. But in Wildman ’ s know, the most effective scheme is to temporarily cover the object your vomit has been scratching with a tight-fitting sail and then place a scratching post next to it. Rub catmint on the post to excite his attention, or use honeysuckle spray for felines uninterested in catmint. “ then they have the hindrance and something interest nearby to take its position, ” says Lisnik .
To deter territorial scratch, Wildman recommends gently rubbing a cushy framework first on your kat ’ south boldness and then on the object. This saves your big cat the trouble of using his hook to transfer his olfactory property to the object .