Pets bring all sorts of joy and affection into our homes. Along with the characteristics we find so endearing come habits that we find infuriating yet learn to live with over time. For cat owners, one of these maddening habits include the scratching of furniture.
Couches, cushions, rugs and even curtains are not spared when it comes to their destructive scratching habits. It is a very common act among felines. Although it may be near impossible to stop them from scratching completely, there are many precautionary measures which can be taken to prevent them from damaging your favorite couch sitting in the living room.
1. Scratching posts
Scratching may be inevitable but introducing posts around your home can divert your feline from scratching the objects they shouldn't scratch. They can enjoy all the satisfaction of the act itself without damaging something with real household value.
While purchasing a scratching post, it is important to make sure the post is sturdy enough to withhold the weight of your cat as it leans against it, tall enough for your cat to stand up on its hind legs, and is made out of material that your cat prefers. Different types of texture may include wood, sisal and various types of carpet material.
As for where to put the post, it is recommended to place the posts near their beds or the places they usually like to do their scratching. Also, adding toys or scattering a bit of catnip can also peak their interests in the initial stages.
2. Plastic nail caps
This trick, although a little tedious, shows immediate results. With the help of pet-friendly adhesive, blunt plastic nail caps specifically made for your felines can be glued to each of their nails. They can still enjoy the action of scratching without really doing any harm to the surfaces.
The obstacles with this could be the compliance of your pet and the frequent changing of the caps. Fortunately, once your cat becomes comfortable with you or a professional handling its paw, the rest is quite simple and can be done monthly after proper grooming.
3. Shortened nail length
If the upkeep of the nail caps starts to weigh you down then the simpler alternative is to keep the nails short.
Kristi Flynn, DVM, Assistant Professor, Primary Care, at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine says, "Start by clipping one nail per day and give them a treat each time. This way they are learning it is worthwhile to sit still for nail trimming and it isn't overwhelming. By the time you are done with the last nail, the first one is ready to be trimmed again."
Over time this will become a routine act and in time help with the scratching issue.
4. Physical deterrents
Try using the textures they dislike to steer them away from the furniture. Cats do not like the texture of sticky tape or sandpaper. Surrounding the piece of furniture they keep obsessing over with these textures will make them avoid that area altogether.
Although this technique is not as promising as the others, it still acts as a distraction and temporary barrier.
Patience is key when it comes to correcting certain behaviors. With time and consistency, they will know better than to attack your favorite Persian rug and all will be well.