If you have a cat, chances are you’ve probably caught your feline friend sharpening her claws on your sofa or carpet at some point. Kitties have many adorable quirks and habits, but their nail care routines aren’t always very popular with their human pals. We can help! Read on as a local Springdale, ON vet offers tips on improving your cat’s nail-care regimen.
Why Cats Scratch
Never punish your furball for scratching. Fluffy isn’t out to ruin your things: she’s really just obeying her natural instincts. In the wild, cats depend on their claws for survival, so keeping them sharp is a very deeply-ingrained instinct. Trees are of course the ultimate scratching posts, but since you probably don’t have a full-sized tree in your living room, your feline pal will opt for the next-best thing … which may very well be your couch.
Fluffy’s Scratching Post
If you don’t want your furry friend using your belongings as a manicure station, you’ll need to offer her a suitable alternative. When shopping for Fluffy’s scratching post, make sure to choose something that is tall, so your kitty can stretch to her full length while she is doing her nails. It’s also important to choose something sturdy, like a cat tower. Cats don’t like wobbly scratching posts! If you are working with a tight budget, look online for DIY ideas.
Teaching Good Petiquette
Once you have selected a scratching post, the next step is to get your furry little diva to use it. Offer your feline buddy toys, treats, and praise near her new manicure station. (Tip: if Fluffy doesn’t seem interested in her scratching post, try telling her not to use it. Reverse psychology is very effective with cats!) You’ll also need to discourage bad habits. Try putting clear, two-sided tape up in the spot your pet is scratching. It won’t hurt, but your furball will hate the sticky feeling. You can also try squirting your kitty with water, or startling her by making a loud noise.
If you are still not having any luck, consider clipping your cat’s claws. Just like a human manicure, this is painless and temporary. You can also ask your vet about using claw caps, which are essentially fake nails for kitties.
Please contact us, your Springdale, ON animal clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are happy to assist!