Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Pet's Best Friend - Tattered corners often lead to frayed nerves for cat owners

SUBMITTED Enlarge Image

While most cat owners understand scratching is a natural behaviour for cats, inappropriate scratching can lead to real irritation for some cat owners.

Enlarge Image

(SUBMITTED)

Enlarge Image

(SUBMITTED)

It’s important to remember that for cats, this activity has multiple benefits. Scratching keeps their nails in tip-top condition, improves muscle tone, and can also be a means of marking territory.

Cats don’t scratch to be destructive or act out their frustration — this is simply a natural part of being a cat.

If you’ve ever visited a pet product store or stepped into the pet isle at a department store, you have probably noticed that there are quite a lot of items designed for cats to scratch.

I could take a page out of a Dr. Seuss book when it comes to different kinds of scratchers for cats. Some are big, some are small, and some are very, very tall! There are some designed to hang and dangle, and others that twist and turn at an angle. From carpet to cardboard and sisal rope, too. There are a million things for a cat to do!

You get the picture.

One of the most important things to remember is that there are tons of different kinds of scratchers out there, so if your cat isn’t interested in one type, try another.

Don’t expect that every cat will be drawn to a scratching post covered in carpet. We had a cat for many years that loved nothing more than a plain old cardboard box to rub his claws on.

All cats aren’t cut from the same cloth — and it’s important to find the right angle and surface that your cat prefers.

Forcing a cat to use a particular scratcher in which he’s not interested can deter him from using it altogether.

Many experts agree that making a noise to distract a cat that is scratching inappropriately is a good way to create a negative association with scratching in that spot. (However, it is important that you do not take your cat immediately to an appropriate scratching spot after making a noise to correct him, as he may associate the appropriate scratching spot with the negative noise.)

There are many methods out there to discourage inappropriate scratching behaviours. Here are just a few that I’ve heard have had good results:

Keep nails trimmed

@: For some cats scratching is simply about keeping nails in good shape.

Cover the surface

This is a very simple and effective trick. Most cats are selective about the type of surface they scratch, so covering the area with a sheet or another item that changes the surface area can be a simple and effective deterrent.

Tin foil

Most cats do not like the way tin foil feels, although it doesn’t work for all cats. Some pet owners have great success covering a surface in tin foil to keep their cat from scratching at it or walking on it.

Double-sided tape

Most cats do not like the feeling of a sticky substance on their feet, and double-sided tape can be used to cover a surface to discourage some cats from scratching at it or walking on it. Note that tape is only effective if not placed in an area where it will gather dust and loose its "sticky" properties.

Bitter apple:

@: Some cats are turned off by bitter smelling sprays, and spraying a surface with bitter apple or another type of bitter spray can be quite a turnoff for some cats.

Pheromone sprays

These are odorless sprays or diffusers that are used to emit a pheromone into the air. The pheromones are especially effective with cats that are territorial markers, as they have a calming effect on most cats, and can help reduce your cat’s urges to mark his territory.

While I can’t say all of these methods will work on every cat, these are a few ideas that have been successful in discouraging inappropriate scratching.

Remember that your cat does need to scratch, so providing an appropriate outlet for this behaviour is important.

Dana Grove is an animal lover who works with several pet organizations in Brandon.

» communitynews@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 14, 2013

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

While most cat owners understand scratching is a natural behaviour for cats, inappropriate scratching can lead to real irritation for some cat owners.

It’s important to remember that for cats, this activity has multiple benefits. Scratching keeps their nails in tip-top condition, improves muscle tone, and can also be a means of marking territory.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

While most cat owners understand scratching is a natural behaviour for cats, inappropriate scratching can lead to real irritation for some cat owners.

It’s important to remember that for cats, this activity has multiple benefits. Scratching keeps their nails in tip-top condition, improves muscle tone, and can also be a means of marking territory.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media