The average house cat rules over his domain with a soft paw and sharp claws, some with no claws at all.
Some people opt to remove their cat’s claws instead of teaching them not to shred the furniture. They believe that it is impossible to stop an ingrained habit. That really isn’t true.
I have been asked, why do cats sharpen their claws on my drapes and couch?
Answer: they not only sharpening their claws, they are shedding off the dead outer layer, stretching their muscles and leaving their mark so other cats will know who belongs here.
The pads on a cats paw give off a scent, which marks their territory. The scent glands are located on a cats face, body and paws. We can’t smell that odor it’s only for other cats to notice. The claw marks left behind are the cat’s calling card.
They may spray if they aren’t neutered or spayed.
Even though a household may only have one cat, the human inhabitants come and go bringing in scents from the outdoors.
A good cat owner realizes that a cat needs to stretch, and clean off his claws.
So how do you prevent your cat from tearing up the furniture?
Answer: teach them the appropriate behavior. Just like anyone coming into a new environment, there are rules we need to learn.
Having a scratching post available and show your cat where she can scratch immediately. Right along with pointing out where the liter box is, is a great way to introduce your cat into your home.
Rebecca is a writer and animal advocate. She has four cats and graciously offered to answer a couple of questions.
Gerardine: How did you stop your cats from tearing up your couch?
Rebecca: I bought them an appropriate place to scratch-a 5 foot tall cat tree.
Many cat owners make the mistake of buying cat trees that are too short, and then they wonder why their cat won’t use it.
When a cat scratches he’s also stretching out all the muscles in his legs and back. My cats easily reach 3 feet tall when they stretch upwards. Most cat scratching posts in pet stores are only 20 inches or so.
Why would a cat want to bother with a short scratching post when there’s a taller couch nearby? That’s why I recommend the large cat trees that are 4 feet or taller, with at least one leg made of sisal.
Gerardine: Do you find it hard to teach a cat where they can sharpen their claws?
Rebecca: If you provide your cat with a scratching post he’d truly enjoy he will naturally be drawn to it.
Spread a little catnip on it and give him plenty of praise when he uses it.
If he does approach the couch verbally reprimand him with a firm “No” and lead him to his cat tree instead.
If necessary you may need to use a squirt bottle filled with water when he approaches the couch to scratch, or a spray (for the furniture) or tape sold at pet stores to teach the cat where not to scratch.
Thank you, Rebecca for your helpful advice.
Directions to HomeDepot near Hampshire Illinois
Petsmart near Hampshire Illinois
And if you missed it, Rebecca’s link