Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cat Scratch

Prince is the king of his ‘castle’.  You can tell by the scratch marks on Nikki’s couch, her chairs, even a few areas of the carpet.  She sometimes feels like her house looks a little too cat friendly.  Does your kitty have all of his claws?  Does he wreak havoc on your furniture?  Maybe these tips can help.

First, remember that scratching is a natural cat behavior.  Your cat is sharpening his claws, of course, but he’s also marking with his claws and with scent glands around his pads.  With this in mind, we need to provide a scratching location that is in a prominent area of the home (like the legs of the couch).  He also wants to stretch to his full length so everyone can see his mark, and we don’t want the covering of the post to shred when he scratches.  Instead of stashing a short, carpet-covered scratching post in the corner of the room, try a sturdy, sisal-rope covered post next to the couch.  (Don’t worry.  Once he starts using the post, we can gradually move it a little more out of the way.)  If he doesn’t run right over and start using the post, you can place his paws on it or even sprinkle a little catnip on the post to attract his interest. 

One more tip:  If you have more than one cat, a few scratching posts can help everyone to express their need to mark without feeling the need to mark in other, less acceptable ways or locations.

Kelley Wagner, C.V.T.

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