Friday, 29 January 2010

How To Stop Your Cat Scratching Walls and Furniture

IT can be one of your cat’s most annoying habits – scratching the furniture and walls.

You may feel like tearing your hair out and getting cross with kitty, but there are things you can do to solve the problem.

First, you need to know why your cat scratches. They need to remove old layers of claws; they may be leaving a message that this is their territory; or it could be an attention-seeking action.

When they scratch they leave a scent behind from the scent glands on their paws so they will revisit the scratched area regularly to renew the smell.

So how do we deal with the problem?

Don’t punish your cat. They won’t understand and won’t link the punishment with the crime.

1 One effective way is to get your cat a scratching post. Make sure it’s not so light that it will tumble over when kitty scratches. It must be tall enough too; cats like to s-t-r-e-t-c-h! If they don’t immediately take to the post, try spreading some catnip on it or hang a few toys on it. Cats like stripes so drawing some on the post with a felt tip could help.

2 Keep your cat’s claws trimmed which could reduce the need to scratch.

3 If you think the problem is attention-seeking, ignore your cat when they start to scratch. Don’t try to stop them, shout at them or get angry because that is giving them the attention they seek. Leave the room.

4 If your cat is accessing walls or wallpaper via the floor, put some double-sided sticky tape on the place where they put their back legs when they scratch. They hate the feel of it.

5 Stress could be the problem. In this case, always remain calm and soothing around your cat. Don’t let other pets in your household upset it. Don’t keep it in a room with noisy or boisterous children.

6 There are sprays you can buy which claim to stop cats scratching. If you use this, make sure you have an alternative place for your cat to use, like a scratching post.

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