Cat Scratching

Cheryl Falkenburry

Pet Lady

September 7, 2005

 

Q:We just got a cat and sheís scratching on our furniture.I donít know what to do with her.I heard that declawing a cat is cruel, but I canít take much more of this.

 

A:All cats need to scratch to help keep their nails sharp and shed the outer layer of their claws.You can teach a cat to do this in appropriate areas by providing cat scratches of various heights.Every time the kitten scratches undesirable surfaces, pick her up and bring her to the appropriate area.Do not force her to scratch, but take a toy on a string and encourage her to climb and chase after the toy all the while scratching on the cat scratch.If the cat still returns to your furniture, temporarily put double-sided sticky tape on those areas to discourage her.Cats donít like the feel of tape on their paws.She will soon learn that her cat scratch is much more comfortable, and eventually you can remove the tape.Declawing a cat can cause behavior problems.When a cat is declawed they lose the first knuckle of each toe.Since this takes away their first-line of defense, many cats turn to biting instead, not to mention how weird it must feel to walk without that part of their foot.Itís much better to take a little time to train the cat to scratch and stretch in appropriate places so everyone in the house is happy.For more ideas on this topic, log on to www.centerhillschool.com.

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