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Our wonderful feline friends have some very cute habits. Fluffy may sleep in your lap, follow you around, or meow when she wants to be petted or picked up. However, not all of Fluffy’s mannerisms are that endearing. One in particular—scratching—is often a source of frustration for her human pals. We can help! Here, an Ashburn, VA vet offers tips on teaching your pet proper scratching habits.
You won’t have much luck trying to get your kitty to stop scratching your sofa if you aren’t offering her a better option. Make sure your furball has a good scratching post. Cat towers are great, because they also give Fluffy a napping spot and a jungle gym. You can also go with a regular scratching post or board. Choose something sturdy enough so that it doesn’t wobble. Cats often like to stretch while they scratch, so your feline pal will likely enjoy something tall enough to allow her to stretch out to her full length.
Whenever you see your furball using her scratching post, reward her with treats, toys, compliments, and attention. This will help Fluffy form good associations with her nail-care station.
Never punish Fluffy for scratching improperly. Your pet is only following her instincts, so reprimanding her will only confuse her. Instead, squirt her with water or make a loud noise. These things will startle your cat, but they won’t hurt her. You may also need to circumvent your furball’s old habits. If your kitty is tearing up the corner of a couch or chair, put clear, two-sided tape down where she is scratching. She won’t like the sticky feeling, and will likely go elsewhere.
If you aren’t having any luck, consider putting claw caps on your feline buddy. These are painless and temporary. Fake nails for kitties even come in different colors, so Fluffy can sport cute pink or red claws! Ask your vet for recommendations.
Another option is to simply trim your pet’s claws. We don’t advise this for cats that are allowed outside, however, as they need their claws for defense. Don’t want to cut Fluffy’s nails yourself? Call us to set up a quick peticure!
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us! As your Ashburn, VA animal clinic, we’re here to help!