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Cat Scratching the Itch: Retracting Kitty’s Claws.

 by zack on 01 Oct 2012 |
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Ah, the smug and snuggly kitty cat. It sprawls out comfortably on your keyboard to quietly survey its domain. Its eyes lazily gaze over to your new sofa. Claws go out and retract in sudden anticipation. A moment later mittens has carved a brand new pattern into the rich Italian leather. Meanwhile, you’re grinding away at work, blissfully ignorant of the damage you will find upon returning to the homestead.  
Worry not! The cat scratch fever doesn’t have to infect your life. Keeping cat scratches in a contained and manageable area doesn’t need to be a source of constant worry. It’s as easy as ABC. You know, that is if ABC spelled constant supervision and a thorough plan of attack.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

Cat scratching is mostly about marking territory. They love to rip up hard, highly visible surfaces. It’s a way for them to decorate their living space, while simultaneously leaving their scent, (through glands located in their paws). Moreover, they think it is perfectly acceptable and normal behavior. Even if you berate them verbally or spray them with water bottles, they will only know that sometimes their scratching will draw punishment, without making the connection that it’s bad manners.

Cat Scratch the Itch

That's a little more like it. Let's keep the ripping and tearing to designated areas, please.Instead of trying to stop the cat scratching, a tactic that is sure to fail, you have to redirect the scratching to an area of your choice. In other words, you need to give your cat a more tempting target. That’s why scratching posts are effective, and in some cases: high dollar items. The ideal scratching post is taller than your cat—at least 28 inches, a rough and tough surface that they can really sink their claws into, and placed right in the middle of everything. A high visibility area is important because your cat wants everyone to know what a good little scratcher he or she is. Some preferable materials for scratching posts are as follows:
  • Wood. A tree stump to be more precise. Evolutionarily speaking, it’s what they’re used to. It’s a tough surface they can tear up with pleasure, and it gives a homespun log cabin-esque aesthetic to your humble abode.
  • Sisal. Sisal rope or material, are both excellent choices for cat scratching posts, and have long been considered the industry standards.
  • Carpet. These posts are a highly diverse option, with numerous patterns and materials to match your personal décor.
  • Cardboard. Most Cardboard cat scratching posts are refillable, making them more practical than the carpet ones that have to be replaced entirely after heavy useWho let this kitty into the classroom? That noise is making this the worst show and tell ever..
Further Countering Cat Claws

Beyond the material, you might also try putting cat nip on the posts to attract the cat. Also remember that all cats aren’t created equal. Some might prefer a certain material over another. You may have to try a few different options before settling on the best fit for your feline.

Now that you’ve armed yourself with knowledge, get to work and keep your couch cat scratch free from now on!

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