According to the 2012 U.S Pet Ownership Statistics there are around 74 million cats in America, and around 30% of households own a cat. What isn’t recorded is how many of those households have had furniture scratched by their cats.
If you are reading this the chances are you have had some furniture scratched, I know I have. But fear not, it can be resolved by following some simple steps and having some patience to train your cat.
Identify Where Your Cat Is Scratching
There should be one or two places where your cat always scratches, typically they like to use the same place(s), and they do this for a number of reasons. It’s a form of exercise for their legs allowing themselves to stretch and strengthen their front legs. In addition, scratching cleans and sharpens their claws and leaves a scent to mark the area as territory.
Purchase a Scratching Post or Board
There is no way to stop your beloved cat scratching altogether, it’s part of their genetic makeup and necessary to keeping them in shape. So you are going to redirect them to an affordable scratching post or board that can be easily replaced, I’m sure you’ll agree this is a better option than having your expensive furniture damaged.
A scratching post will take up less room and can be hung from a wall or in place of the original area being scratched. They are covered in a tightly wound thread that will be more appealing to scratch than a piece of furniture.
A scratching board serves a dual purpose. They are larger than scratching posts and usually entice cats to sit or stand on them while they are sharpening their claws. Cats usually end up spending time sleeping or resting on these as they become more familiar with it as a piece of furniture over time.
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Train Your Cat to Use the New Scratching Post
There will likely be a little persuasion needed to ensure they use the new scratching post after becoming familiar with the furniture they have been using. You can both make the old scratching area less desirable by covering it up for a while, or placing a strong odour near it.
Felines detest citrus, so put some lemon or orange peel by the area for a few days and that will repel them. Meanwhile add the new scratching post where you want it and guide your cat near it, once they are familiar with the texture of it they should start to try it out.
Play with Your Cat
Playing with cats is often overlooked in busy modern living. Almost all domestic cats love attention and have an abundance of energy to burn off. It will help associate you with positive energy and trust and make your job of training your cat slightly easier in the long run.
Be Patient and Correct Any Relapses
Do not be alarmed if your cat occasionally tries to visit its previous scratching area, just stop this immediately and place your cat near the new scratching area to continue their scratching.
Be patient and remember that cats have personalities too, and along with this come habits and varying levels of discipline. But isn’t that why the 30% of cat households love them so much ?
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