Hello there, and welcome back to West Ballantyne Animal Hospital’s blog! Today we would like to discuss your cat’s scratching behavior and why they might be doing it. When it comes to stopping your cat from bad behavior, it’s important to remember that knowledge is power. The more you know about cats and their actions, the more likely it is that you will be able to change their behavior.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

Scratching is actually a very normal cat behavior. This may not be surprising if your couch or curtains have suffered the wrath of your kitty’s little razor blades (or so it feels!). However, cats scratch for a few different reasons. This is how they remove the dead outer layer of their claws. Clawing items is also an effective way to mark their territory, as they leave behind both visual markings and a scent. Finally, scratching feels good for your kitty! It stretches their bodies and their feet.

Can I Prevent My Cat from Scratching?

We’re sorry to say that no, you can’t keep your kitty from scratching. What you can do, however, is keep your cat from scratching the items you care about most. Putting in an appropriate scratching post is a perfect way to distract your cat from your other furniture or carpet. However, in order for it to be a scratching post that your cat will love, it needs to meet the following criteria:

  • The post cannot tip over! Your cat will lose interest immediately and not come back.
  • It should be tall enough for the cat to stretch out their body entirely, so around 28 inches high, on average.
  • It should be rough and durable. The ideal scratching post is a tree trunk if that gives you a better idea of what you should be looking for in a post.

How Do I Get my Cat to Prefer the Post?

To start, put the post where your cat normally goes to scratch. Whether this is behind the couch or next to the curtains, your cat isn’t going to choose a new spot unless there is something more interesting. Rubbing dried catnip on the post can help, as can rewarding your cat with treats when they choose to use the post. Eventually, your fuzzy friend will learn to love the post on their own and come to scratch whenever they feel the urge.

Are there Alternatives?

Yes, there are alternatives! If your cat will hold still, clipping their claws will help reduce the sharpness and the impact left behind on your furniture. You can also try one of those temporary claw covers, like Soft Paws caps. You glue them over your kitty’s claws and they come off naturally as the claws grow.

Contact Us

If you are looking for cat care in Charlotte, it’s time you came to see the professionals at West Ballantyne Animal Hospital. We are here to help you take care of your furry friends. If you have any questions about our services, contact us today!