Cat Scratching

Where did those strings in the carpet come from?! Do you have a cat clawing the carpet? Learn how to fix that, pronto!

My roommate has a cat, Mitzy, who can never seem to get enough of sharpening her claws…on anything. She is a very privileged cat, with her own scratch post, scratch board and a cat tower that she can scratch on as well. Yet, what is her favorite item to use her claws on? The couch, of course! I have a sneaky suspicion that my roommate is not the only person with this problem. If you are a pet owner in a similar situation, here are some helpful tips to keep cats from clawing furniture or other place.

  • Give her a mani-pedi!: If your cat’s claws are too long, she’ll need to scratch in order to file them down. So a combination manicure-pedicure might be in order. If you’ve not done this before, get some special claw-clippers, and take the clippers and your cat to your vet to learn how.
  • Tone of voice: whenever you catch your cat scratching something other than a designated post, use a strict tone of voice. A sharp “No!” will often work, and you do not necessarily need to yell at your pet. Then, pick your cat up and place it by the correct post. This will help train your pet to know what not to claw, and what they can claw.
  • Water: you can also opt to use a spray bottle filled with water. However, only spray your pet if you catch them right before they begin clawing the furniture, or mid-scratch. Otherwise, they get confused. Other options are to rattle a can of pebbles, coins or even newspaper. These options are most effective if you begin by first rattling the object and then approaching the cat with a firm “No.” After a few times of this, the cat will learn to associate the rattling with your approach and will stop—and you won’t even have to get up or go into the same room.
  • Citrus Oil: Some cats hate the smell of orange oil, and you can use that to your advantage! Just place the smelly stuff around where the cat scratches in the wrong places. You can find citrus oil sprays at your local pet store, or you can make your own: mix a cap-full of eucalyptus oil and a cap-full of orange spray with water. After you have a spray, simply give the furniture a light coating. (Test the fabric in an inconspicuous place, first, to make sure it won’t damage the dyes in the fabric. Wait up to a day to make sure the fabric doesn’t discolor.) In a pinch, orange or lemon peels in a bowl by the wrong scratching “post” can work.

If these tips don’t work, you can protect your furniture by making the favored scratching areas unavailable. We’ve heard of people pinning plastic wrap or aluminum foil on the corners that get scratched, making them less attractive to a cat.

No matter what tips you try, be patient and consistent with your cat, just like you would when teaching a child the right behavior. For other ideas, speak with your veterinarian.

Did you have this problem with your cat scratching? How did you deal with it? Give us your tips in the comments!

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1 Response

  1. Teresa Gennett says:

    Try have cat put soft paws (plastic claw covers) it can help a lot ask vet about it because most vets don't believe to declawing cat's claws…I don't approve anyone who wants cat to declawing!!

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