Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What to do about Cat Scratching the Furniture!

Nani, a regular reader asked me about her kitty Kaline's scratching obsession with the loveseat and as it happens I do have a couple of suggestions. First, apply a layer of double sticky tape or bitter apple spray to the area you don't want Kaline to scratch. I've never personally used the bitter apple spray I've just heard it works. I KNOW the double sticky tape works. Tin foil works as well. Cats do NOT like the feel of tape/foil on their paws and will not sharpen their claws on something unpleasant to them. Its a texture thing. Foil has no texture and tape is obviously sticky. Kitties LOVE things with texture. You can also use a Kitty Off spray (I found this at Petco). It does have a bit of a nasty odor until it dries which is just minutes but the downside is you have to keep re-applying it every day until the habit is broken. Usually several weeks. Kitties also do not like citrus odors. Lemon scented sprays, popourri or even orange peels applied to the area will also help deter Kaline.

You will also need to remove her scent. There are scent glands in her face as well as her paws that help her mark her territory so use a pet odor remover to remove her smell from that spot. Natures Miracle products come to mind on that one.

Put the post where she goes to scratch. Scratching is a territorial behavior usually done in a "family area". It shows other people and animals that this is her territory and BACK OFF! There are only 3 rooms in my home that do not have a scratching post! Spray your scratching post with kitty "feel good" pheramones like Feliway brand. You could also use catnip either the spray or just rub it on. I know some cats just aren't into catnip so Feliway would be a good alternative. Personally, I would use both. Attach toys to the post. The idea is to send a clear message to Kaline that this is hers and the loveseat is not and to make the post irresistable to her.

If all else fails a squirt bottle of water when catching her in the act will also get the message across.

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