Paws off!

How to get your cat to sharpen its claws on the scratching post instead of the designer sofa.

Many a cat owner can tell you a thing or two about this. You just nip into the kitchen for a moment while the little tiger is alone in the living room. On your return, ugly scratch marks already adorn the expensive leather sofa and the foam stuffing is poking out in shreds. Our good couch!

Quite often, cats use furniture to sharpen their claws. That’s because it’s about more than just the sharpening in itself, and kitty’s also marking the furniture as “mine”. Of course, because you can’t (and shouldn’t) break the velvet pawed creature’s scratching habit, there’s only one solution– offering an alternative which convinces them to leave the furniture in peace rather than pieces.

To begin

Observe the scratching preferences of your pet carefully. Does she best like sinking her claws into wood, rattan or softer material? Look for a scratching post that will withstand your moggie’s claws accordingly. There is an almost unlimited choice of different models. Natural wood trees or banana leaf, sisal posts and luxury variants with hollows, climbing facilities and lounging surfaces, nicely upholstered with soft plush… whatever takes Felix’s fancy! Some cats get excited by a true scratching environment, using their tree to its full advantages.  Others scorn such complex models and prefer a plain and simple post. Give it a try!

Reward your kitty

If after setup the cat makes no real effort to use the “tree”, try making it “tasty”. And that’s in the truest sense of the word: tempt the little tiger to the new piece of furniture with treats, and give praise if she noses around or even tests it. If your cat continues to scratch the sofa, simply take your moggie (when caught in the act) gently in your arms to the scratching tree. Don’t forget to praise and reward her if she sinks her claws in once there!

If your pet has a passion for catmint, you can also rub this into the apparatus or fix a nice catnip toy to it. Some felines then can’t resist the scratching tree and will carry on sharpening their “weapons” there, as if magically drawn to it.

If the cat just can’t warm to the post in general, there are also great scratching toys which will serve the purpose. Try mice and fish made of sisal instead. Some armchair tigers even prefer scratch mats to a post.

And if none of that works and your cat continues to punish the couch covers? Well, there’s yet another solution – you can fix some scratching boards to it. These will preserve the furniture and kitty can run riot without care. You can also put special sisal utensils in the corners of the room. For visitors, this might indeed take some getting used to… but what wouldn’t you do for to keep your pet happy and your furniture in one piece?

Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts