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5 Tips to Stop a Kitten From Scratching

5 Tips to Stop a Kitten From Scratching

Have you got yourself a cuddly new kitty only to find that your kitten’s exercising their claws on your furniture or carpet? Remember that scratching is a natural behaviour for cats so don’t be annoyed at your kitty for doing something that comes naturally to them.

Luckily, there are some ways that you can redirect any misplaced kitty’s claws to a designated scratching post or board! The tips below will help you understand your kitty - and help them understand where’s best to scratch!

Why Do Cats Scratch?

Understanding why your kitty needs to scratch is essential if you want to redirect their claws to a more appropriate place. Here are 5 reasons why your kitty enjoys exercising their paws!

1. To Exercise Their Claws!

Indoor cats still need somewhere to scratch and exercise their claws. If they aren’t provided with a designated scratching post, then they’ll likely direct their scratching to your furniture. In the wild, a cat’s claws are an excellent climbing aid as well as a hunting tool and they need to keep them sharp to be effective - but this is hard to do indoors where there are no trees!

2. Your Kitty Loves To Scratch

Your furniture, carpets and wallpaper can feel really good for your cat to scratch. They enjoy the act of scratching and it can sometimes be a part of or a precursor to play. Sometimes your furniture is just too tempting for your kitty if they haven’t learned to scratch on a post!

3. To Entertain Themselves

Your kitty may also scratch out of boredom or curiosity. For example, a fascination with the wallpaper may occur after a loose piece encourages play, or an accidental grab that results in some wallpaper falling off. We all know that kitties love to play with paper! If your kitty has too much time to themselves without enough stimulation or social contact, you may find that they start scratching more than usual.

4. As A Form Of Communication

Cats may scratch the same area around the home repeatedly to reinforce that this is their territory. By scratching an area, they are leaving a scent as well as a visual marker - as a communication to other cats and to make them feel content and secure within their territory.

5. To Feel Secure

When cats feel vulnerable, they will try to rub their own scent on prominent places in a room to feel more secure. Although they may not resort to spraying, scratching can provide this feeling of comfort! If your kitty is trying to feel more secure in their environment, they may be likely to scratch multiple surfaces.


How To Stop Your Kitty Scratching Where They Shouldn’t

1. Use A Scratching Post Right Away

From a young age, encourage your kitten to scratch a post or board rather than your furniture. When preparing to welcome your kitty to your home, a scratching surface is essential! It’s key to provide your pet with an outlet for claw sharpening in the form of a scratching post, given they don’t have access to the trees outside.

2. Consider Scratching Post Location, Type and Size

Place the post near to where your kitty already likes to scratch. They often like a stretch and scratch on waking so near their bed is a good spot. Some cats prefer scratching vertically, some horizontally, providing a scratching post and board gives them a choice. Scratching also enables your pet to stretch the full length of their body so it’s best to use a post that allows them to stretch completely.

3. Be Patient With Your Feline Friend!

Remember, your kitty isn’t scratching out of spite or trying to destroy your furniture. So, be patient with your new feline friend. If you notice your kitten scratching elsewhere, offer them the post near that area. But do not get cross with your kitty or punish them in any way as this can damage your relationship, as well as cause them stress - which can make scratching behaviour worse. Cats respond best to positive reinforcement so reward them for using the scratching post instead.

4. Ensure Your Kitty Has Enough Exercise

If your kitty seems to enjoy the feeling of clawing at soft furnishings, try and encourage your kitty to find other outlets for their energy. You can do this by setting a more regular playtime with your furry friend. Play with them often throughout the day, they tend to prefer short
bursts of activity, and use a range of toys which they can pounce on and exercise their claws.

5. Help Your Cat Feel More Secure!

If you can see that something may be causing your kitty stress - for example, a change in the household or another cat near their territory, try and make your cat feel more secure. Keep windows and curtains closed, give your kitty plenty of places to relax and perch up high, and make sure that your kitty has all the resources they need. Your cat should have easy access to their own food and water bowls, scratching post, litter tray, bedding and toys. Remember that they like to feel in control and always have access to everything!

Help Your Kitty Keep Their Claws Away From Your Furniture

Introducing them to their scratching post as early possible will show them that this is the appropriate outlet for their claws. Placing the post next to their bed is a good way to encourage them to adopt it when they’re a kitten, as they often like to stretch and scratch when they wake up. A FELIWAY DIFFUSER can help your kitten feel reassured in their new environment and settle in sooner. Targeted use of FELIWAY SPRAY on furniture you don’t want scratched can encourage feelings of calm and relaxation in that location.

Following the steps above can help you teach your kitty good habits from a young age!


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