Just Like Home doesn’t just take care of dogs (though that’s our main focus). Many of our cat owners have us come to their home to provide attention and care for their purr babies while they are away. Many have asked us over the years about how to stop their cats from scratching. The truth is, the cat isn’t scratching to annoy you or make a statement about your choice of furniture. They physically have a need to scratch.
First, cat’s have glands between their toes and when they scratch they are relieving the pressure on those glands. In the wild, this would mark their territory telling others to ‘stay away’. Now, of course, it just adds glorious detail to your sofa’s cushions. The other reason cats need to scratch is that their claws are constantly sharpening themselves by shedding off the old layer and putting on a new, sharper, layer. The shedding bits have to come off somehow.
So, you aren’t going to stop them from needing to scratch. BUT, you can save your furniture by offering alternatives and acceptable places to scratch, such as carpeted posts, corrugated scratching blocks, or those posts covered with rough jute roping. Place these alternatives in the areas where they typically like to scratch anyway. Then, after a while, you can gradually move it into another, more aesthetically pleasing, area of your house.
Rubbing catnip on the post can often be all that is needed to get them interested in the post, but believe it or not, demonstrating what it’s for works too! Cats LOVE to watch and study things, so it will not take them long to figure out what you are doing and want to try it themselves.
While they are transitioning over to the new scratching posts, make sure that you deodorize the areas where the cat has previously been scratching, even going so far as to use sticky masking tape on the surfaces to deter this activity.
With an acceptable place to use their claws, your cat will be purrrrr-fectly happy to make the switch, and your sofa and blood pressure will thank you. For those kitties that need a little more attention during the day, or while you are away for the weekend, or on holiday, feel free to give us a call!