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No – No Bad Kitty! Solutions for Cat Scratching

Aside from litter box problems, cats destroying furniture runs a close second on the list of things that annoy cat pet parents. Many kitty parents just want their cat to stop scratching all together and consider declawing their cat. There are so many things to try before taking such a drastic step. That is where the educational process begins.

A Cat’s Gotta Scratch : Scratching is innate and necessary for cats. Check out places where a cat routinely scratches and you’ll probably find the outer dead sheath of the cat’s claws. Scratching helps cats shed those dead claw tips. When a cat scratches, she also leave some of her scent on that spot, and labels the area as hers. Cats are territorial creatures and they need to mark their spaces in order to live there comfortably. The act of scratching also provides stretches for the cat’s frame and muscles. Cats have to scratch, even a declawed cat will continue to paw at furniture and other surfaces.

Scratch Here: In order to provide kitty with good alternative scratching area, check first to see whether she chooses horizontal or vertical surfaces (or both), as well as what kind of surfaces kitty prefers. Giving a cat that likes to scratch on carpeting or the top of the sofa (horizontal) a tall cat tree (vertical) might not solve the problem. Kitty might like the tree to sleep on, but she might not use it for scratching.

*Try the cardboard scratcher for cats that like horizontal surfaces. Some come with catnip which makes them more appealing. These scratchers are inexpensive and easy to replace when used up.

*Cats that reach up to the top of a sofa/chair to start their scratch will need tall cat scratchers or a cat tree. Look for sturdy ones with a heavy base that won’t fall over or tip when kitty throws her body weight into her activity.

*Carpet is okay for sleeping spots on the cat tree, but make sure the tree also has post wrapped in rope, which is pretty irresistible to most cats.

*If the home has multiple cats you may need multiple scratching options, maybe as many as one per cat. You’re dealing with territory issues again, and cats may not appreciate sharing.

Place appropriate scratchers, posts and cat trees in places the cat already enjoys. Cats often enjoy scratch trees near windows where they can watch birds or enjoy the afternoon sun on their bodies. Introduce kitty to the new scratching places by putting catnip on them, or by using interactive toys, such as fishing pole toys to lure the cat on to them. You can even leave some small treats on the new cat tree to reward kitty’s exploration. Re-directing cat scratching takes a little bit of work, but both pet parent and kitty benefits from the effort.

I hope these tips help solve your scratching problems.

Please call/text me if you would like more information at(480) 652-4900 or email or visit my website at

Kathy Fabish, Owner of Pet Services of Ocean Isle Beach

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