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Convince Your Cat to Stop Scratching Up the House

September 1, 2015
Your calico cat Lucille is gearing up for the Regional Clawing Championships. With this prestigious competition only days away, your industrious four-year-old cat has taken every spare minute to hone her tiny razors. Unfortunately, she has chosen your new living room set as her practice ground. For two days, your busy feline housemate has been methodically shredding your couch and loveseat. First, she turned the seat cushions into piles of fabric and stuffing. Next, she focused on the arms and back supports. Although scratching makes Lucille’s claws and paw muscles stronger, you don’t want her to destroy your entire house. This week, she’ll visit Fairfield Animal Hospital, your Cypress, TX vet, for much-needed behavioral counseling. Until then, consider some other promising strategies.

Less Effective Claws

By taking the edge off Lucille’s little daggers, she won’t be able to inflict as much damage on the furniture (or carpet or curtains). During your cat’s next physical exam, ask the vet to trim her tiny claws. If your home might not last until then, schedule a brief nail-clipping appointment immediately.

Horrible Scratching Experience

By providing your determined cat with an absolutely rotten scratching experience, she’ll hopefully reconsider her career path. Cover her favorite targets with abrasive sandpaper or sticky plastic wrap. When the harshly textured sandpaper rubs her tiny paws, or the clingy wrap snags her feet, she’ll likely escape into another room. Because she’ll probably return, keep the covers intact until she has clearly taken up another occupation.

Acceptable Scratching Surfaces

Now that you’ve captured Lucille’s attention, give her something more appropriate to scratch. Place a sisal-covered or carpeted scratching post next to her favorite furniture piece. If she has taken a break from the upholstery, and is focused on hand-carved frames and legs, position a fragrant cedar post alongside those items.

No Punishment Necessary

Naturally, you want to give Lucille a long “time out” for her antics. However, she won’t understand her mistake; and she’ll probably expect similar treatment each time you approach her. Instead, keep her guessing by periodically adding new scratching surfaces. Ask Fairfield Animal Hospital, your Cypress, TX vet, if spritzing the objects with an enticing feline pheromone, or sprinkling them with intoxicating catnip, will help your cat to banish the furniture from her mind. If your cat has been destroying the furniture, and shows no signs of stopping, contact us for expert advice.

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