Do you sometimes find your cat using your sofa as a nail-care station? Is your kitty slowly shredding your carpets and furniture? Kitties have many adorable habits, but their nail-care routines aren’t always very popular with their human buddies. Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet discusses Fluffy’s scratching habit.
Even if your feline friend looks tremendously pleased with herself after scratching your sofa, she isn’t deliberately trying to ruin your things. Cats have a strong, instinctive urge to take care of their claws, and with good reason. In the wild, kitties need their claws for survival. Although your pampered pet may never need to hunt for her dinner, climb a tree to escape a predator, or defend herself against anything but the vacuum cleaner, she’ll still feel driven to sharpen her claws.
If you want your furry little diva to stop scratching your things, you’ll need to provide her with a suitable nail-care station. Choose something that is tall enough to allow Fluffy to stretch out to her full length. Make sure it doesn’t wobble: if your furball’s scratching post isn’t sturdy, she may become wary of it and stop using it.
If you just tell Fluffy not to scratch your couch, you’ll probably just get a yawn and a meow in reply. What you’ll need to do is get your cat to form a bad association with improper scratching and a good association with her scratching post. When you see your kitty scratching improperly, do something that will startle and/or annoy her: make a loud noise, squirt her with water, or stamp your foot. Your furball will probably bolt for a quieter spot. When you see Fluffy using her scratching post, reward her with toys, treats, praise, and ear scritches.
If you aren’t having any luck, contact your vet to set up a nail-trim appointment for Fluffy. This is painless and temporary, just like a human manicure. Claw caps are another option. These cute fake nails for kitties come in many bright colors. Like nail trims, they are also painless and temporary. (Note: we don’t recommend these options for cats that go outdoors, as they need their claws for defense.)
Please contact us, your local Roanoke, VA pet hospital, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!