Cat Scratching Tips
Reasons for cat scratching
There are several reasons why cats scratch:
- to maintain the health & sharpness of their claws
- to place their scent on objects surrounding them
- to stretch & burn off energy
- to defend themselves
- because they enjoy it
Cat scratching you?
If your cat scratches you it may be due to aggression and/or anxiety:
- Scared cats will often lash out at the perceived threat. Working on reducing their anxiety will help reduce the amount of attacks on you or other animals.
- Attack cats often enjoy the game. They use this aggression to win resources or to get attention. Understanding cat aggression may help you understand your cat's scratching.
De-clawing & punishment are not the answer
Solutions for cat scratching
Owners often place the cat scratching post where they would like it to live, usually in the corner, perhaps in a room they don't even use. Guess what - your cat doesn't use the scratching post!
You need to place the scratching post where your cat likes to scratch. This will often be where your cat enters the room, where guests sit or where belongings are placed when you arrive home. This is where unusual scents have gathered and your cat scratches near them to cover this scent with their own.
If you have precious areas of your home or pieces of furniture that you do not wish your cat to scratch and you cannot be there to supervise your cat, close the door.
Tips for scratching post use
1. Take your cat to their scratching post at times they are likely to need to scratch - on waking, after a meal, after a play session or every hour or so.
2. Wait for your cat to use the post and reward them with your attention "Good cat!" or a treat when they do. You can place treats on the post to encourage them to go there when you are absent.
3. Some owners like to place their cat's paws on the scratching post. This needs to be done very gently.
Most of all, be patient!