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What to Do If Your Cat is Scratching Improperly

Is your feline friend using your couch to sharpen her claws? Kitties have many wonderful habits and characteristics that make them great pets, but they aren’t purrfect. Fluffy’s nail-care routine doesn’t always go over very well with her human servants. Read on as a North Las Vegas, NV veterinarian offers some great advice on teaching your feline diva better manicure habits.

Offer Proper Options

You won’t have much luck convincing your furball to stop shredding the sofa if you aren’t offering her any suitable alternatives. Give Fluffy scratching posts or boards, so she can use her own personal kitty manicure station instead of your furniture. Be sure to choose something sturdy, as your furball may become wary of her scratching post if it wobbles or topples over. Cat towers are great options, because they are tall enough to allow your kitty to stretch her muscles on.

Correcting Bad Habits

Never punish your cat for scratching. Your kitty’s desire to take good care of her claws is a natural instinct, and one that could save her life if she lived in the wild. Those sharp little nails help our feline friends catch their dinner, climb trees for shelter and safety, and defend themselves against other animals. If Fluffy is scratching improperly, try putting clear, two-sided tape on the spots she’s using. It won’t show, but she won’t like the texture. You can also startle your cat by squirting her with water, or making a loud noise.

Bribery

As noted above, punishment isn’t a good tactic to use when dealing with bad petiquette. Bribery, however, can be very effective. Offer your feline buddy toys and catnip near her scratching post, and shower her with praise and compliments for using it. Cats love compliments!

Other Options

If you’re still having trouble convincing Fluffy that your couch is not a feline nail-care station, consider clipping her claws. Just like a human manicure, this is painless and temporary. We only recommend this for indoor kitties, as cats that go outdoors are helpless without their nails. Claw caps are another thing to consider. Your feline diva can sport fake nails with rounded tips, which will prevent her from scratching. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Does your kitty need shots or an exam? We can help! Please contact us, your North Las Vegas, NV animal clinic, anytime.

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