Cat scratching is a normal instinct for cats. They do this for various reasons such as expressing emotions, marking their territory, and removing the dead portion of their nails. Regardless of the reasons, you should not stop your cat from scratching. However, you can prevent any damage due to scratching. This article will provide you a better understanding of aggressive scratching and how to avoid this behavior.
Keep in mind that cats do not categorize any of their actions into right or wrong behavior. When they feel like scratching something, they just look for a suitable place to scratch. Also, they cannot think about what you prefer, but how they can meet their needs at the moment. Therefore, you need to find a solution suitable for both you and your kitty. Let's look at some reasons for your cat's destructive cattitude.
Why Your Cat Scratches Your Furniture?
Cats do not only scratch the furniture because they love to do so. Scraping different items offers mental and physical satisfaction to your cat. Consequently, you need to understand your cats' needs and preferences. Still, you can use various strategies to prevent any damage to your furniture while your cat scratches. But, before prevention, you should understand the underlying reason for this behavior. That way, you can satisfy the needs of your cat and avoid any damage: So, let's get started:
1. Practicing Claw Motion
Naturally, cats are carnivorous, and they have to utilize their claws to attack and hold their prey. Therefore, they need to practice their claw motion. Other than hunting, cats also practice their claw motion for climbing. The movement what you think is scratching is an exercise for muscles and spin. As a result, it keeps your cat in excellent condition.
2. Expressing Emotions
Cat scratching is more like an exercise or emotional behavior instead of aggression. You feel it destructive because cats express their emotions differently. Scratching helps your cat to relieve pain. They also scratch with excitement and arousal. This behavior, no doubt, is destructive for you, but it helps your cat release their frustration. That's the reason why most cats scratch when their owners are home from work. If this happens with you, your cat is expressing her joy.
3. Strengthening Muscles
Cats scratch when they have to stretch or exercise their muscles. So, cat scratching helps them maintain their shape. They can retract and extend their nails while stretching their body. Similar to humans, cats also love to stretch, but they got different techniques for that.
4. Shedding Dead Nails
Have you ever noticed the furniture your cat loves to scratch? If you do, you might find moon-shaped nail sheaths on those spots. Well, there is a good reason for that. Your cat scratches to remove the dead part of the nails and expose the new layer. This results in the healthy growth of your cat's nails.
5. Communicating Other Cats
Most cats scratch on the furniture to communicate with other cats. Their scratches leave marks on the location and scents. This helps to inform other cats they have been to this location. The cats release scents through the glands in their paw pads. Other than scents, cats also place small gouges through scratching. This works as visual signals for other cats.
6. Having Fun
Your cat may develop cat scratching behavior for various reasons. But, sometimes, they just need to have fun. They scratch, play, and stretch when they are in a positive mood. This may irritate you, but it keeps your cat happy and healthy. Therefore, instead of preventing this behavior, you can avoid the destruction of your furniture.
How to prevent
Let's understand how you can protect your furniture during claw enforcement:
1. Building a Scratching Post
A scratching post is helpful when the cat scratching is aggressive. However, you need to place the scratching post at the right location so they can adopt scratching the post instead of the furniture.
2. Cat Scratchers
You can use a cat scratcher to divert the attention of your cat. Building a post is expensive, but you can replace this method with cardboard scratchers. Before introducing the posts, you should understand the preference of your cat. The card scratchers are helpful to identify the needs of your cat. For instance, some cats can scratch ropes, but others prefer a wooden piece to scratch.
3. Prevent Scratching
When you have a cat as a pet, the above technique may not work. Maybe you were unable to understand the reason behind the cat scratching or what your cat prefers. However, you can try various home remedies to prevent your cat from scratching the furniture. You need to remove the pleasure from the component they scratch. Here are some methods you can try:
- Use a non-stick plastic protector for your cat.
- Tinfoil covers will also work.
- Placing a vinyl carpet runner with spikes can also avoid scratching.
- Place double-sided tape.
How to care for your cat's Claws
Your cat involves in a number of activities throughout their day. Their activities can cause wear and tear on their feet. Therefore, you need to take good care so they can stay healthy and strong. You do not have to give any additional care or spend time with manicures and pedicures. All you have to do is to trim your cat's nails and make sure that their paws are clean. Here are some ways you can care for your cat's claws:
- Firstly, keep the claws of your cat clean. Use wet wipes to clean their paws every day. Debris and litter traps on their paws can cause a toxic reaction when they lick their feet.
- Examine your cat's paw pad and nails for injury. Sometimes, they develop tiny scratches and cuts. You need to clean those wounds with soap to avoid any reaction.
- Splinters also stuck on your cat's paw. You can remove the splinters with the tweezers.
- Trim your cat's nails once a month. Over-sized nails can cause many problems, such as wear and tear. Therefore, you need to trim it to size and let the nails re-grow. This will affect their health and decrease their scratching behavior.
Many cats scratch the furniture with aggression when you establish limits for them. Also, they may scratch in excitement. Therefore, it is essential to understand their pattern for cat scratching and observe their behavioral change through introducing new distractions.
For instance, toys for scratching can divert the attention of the cats towards the toys instead of furniture. You can also include a protective layer for anti-scratching. When your cat scratches on that protector, they don't have that satisfying feeling. This will discourage them from scratching behavior. Your main purpose for the diversion should be reducing the aggressive behavior and not the scratching, as it will maintain the health of your cat.