Why Cats scratch
All cats scratch and this is a natural and necessary behaviour. By scratching, your cat is shedding the outer sheath of its nails to help keep them healthy as well as exercising the muscles in their legs. In doing this your cat is also marking their territory by leaving their individual scent behind. All perfectly normal behaviour.
Understanding that scratching is a natural behaviour which cats really enjoy, will help you deal with the situation in keeping them from scratching on or in undesirable places eg. lounge suite.
You won’t be able to stop them scratching, but you can deter them from scratching your favorite things.
Some suggestions that may help:
- have their nails trimmed on a regular basis by your Vet or learn how to do them safely yourself (ask your Vet) and start as soon as you can, the younger they are the easier it will be for both you and your cat
- redirecting them to a scratching post, or perhaps a specific mat just for them (we use both in our Cattery)
- spraying 'No Scratch' on furnishings can deter them but you need to be persistent and follow up regularly
- spraying 'Cat Nip' on the area that you want them to scratch really does help, but again this needs to be done regularly so they learn that scratching on certain things is o.k. and it becomes second nature to them. You should find that after a week or two of really persisting that your cat will choose to use the scratching post or mat that you have sprayed.
Just remember scratching is what cats do and they really enjoy it. They just need to learn what they can and cant scratch.