Has your feline buddy scratched up your couch? Is Fluffy tearing up your carpet? Cats are very fun and charming little pets, but their nail-care habits can be quite frustrating. A local Louisville, KY vet offers some information on your pet’s nail care regimen below.
Why Kitties Scratch
It’s important to understand that your kitty isn’t trying to purposely destroy your things. The urge to keep their nails sharp is completely instinctive, and is very deeply ingrained. Fluffy’s sharp little paw daggers are actually crucial to her survival in the wild. Cats need their claws not just for hunting, but also for defense and climbing to safety and shelter. They also leave scents on things they scratch, as a way of communicating—and likely marking territory—amongst themselves.
Forming Good Habits
Make sure that your furry little friend has an appropriate manicure station. Cat towers are great options for this. Not only are they a pretty good substitute for trees, which are Fluffy’s natural scratching posts, they also offer napping spots and high vantage points. You can also get a scratching board. Just choose something that is sturdy. Most kitties like to stretch while they sharpen their nails. If you can, opt for something tall enough to allow this. Be sure to pet and praise your feline friend when you see her using her scratching station! Sprinkling some catnip on or around it won’t hurt, either.
Stopping Inappropriate Scratching
You should never punish Fluffy for scratching. Since she’s just following her natural instincts, she won’t understand what she did wrong. However, you can direct her away from your sofa, and towards something more appropriate. If you catch your kitty scratching something she shouldn’t, squirt her with water or make a loud noise. These things won’t hurt your furry buddy, but they will startle her, which should do the trick.
Another thing you can do is clip your feline pal’s nails. Unlike declawing, this is temporary, just like nail trims are for us. Of course, this will work best if you get Fluffy used to the idea when she’s still a kitten. Another thing you can do is try claw caps, which are basically fake nails for cats. Ask your vet for more information.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your local Louisville, KY animal clinic, we’re here for you.