Behavior Tip: Feline Scratching

Scratching is a natural cat behavior. Scratching is used for stretching and for conditioning the cat’s claws. The visible marks left after scratching and the scent from the cat’s feet provide information about their territory. Cats must be allowed to express this natural behavior, yet most owners are unwilling to sacrifice their couches or table legs.  

Directing scratching behavior to appropriate areas is possible, although with some cats you will need patience and creativity. Scratching posts should be tall and sturdy. Your cat should be able to stand on her back legs and extend her front legs high on the post without knocking it over. You may need to experiment with materials. Many scratching posts are designed for durability, but your cat probably prefers material which will tear during scratching.  Placement of the post is also important, because most cats prefer a central location.

If your cat is scratching on furniture, you will need to make these spots inaccessible or undesirable. You can try placing double-sided sticky tape or draping aluminum foil or plastic over the area.

If you are having a problem with your cat scratching, contact me for a free 30 minute phone consultation to see if I can help you.