Is your feisty feline scratching your furniture?
Cats scratch for a variety of reasons, including:
- To mark their territory. Cats have scent glands in their paws, and scratching helps to deposit their scent on objects. This helps them to feel more secure and in control of their environment.
- To remove the dead outer layer of their claws. Cats' claws are made of keratin, the same material as human fingernails. Over time, the outer layer of the claw becomes dead and worn. Scratching helps to remove this dead layer, exposing the new, sharp claw underneath.
- To stretch and exercise their muscles. Scratching is a great way for cats to stretch their muscles and get some exercise.
- To relieve boredom or anxiety. If a cat is bored or anxious, they may scratch as a way to self-soothe.
If your cat is scratching your furniture, there are a few things you can do to discourage the behavior:
- Provide your cat with a scratching post. Scratching posts come in a variety of materials, so you can find one that your cat likes. Place the scratching post in a location where your cat is likely to scratch, such as near their food or water bowl.
- Trim your cat's nails regularly. This will help to keep their claws from becoming too sharp and damaging your furniture.
- Apply double-sided tape or a citrus-scented spray to your furniture. Cats don't like the smell of citrus, so this can help to deter them from scratching.
- If your cat is scratching out of boredom or anxiety, try to provide them with more stimulation. This could include playing with them more often, providing them with more toys, or giving them a cat tree to climb on.