Veterinarian Joel Todd Leroy Prince: Tips for Dealing With Your Cat’s Scratching Habit

As most people know, scratching comes naturally to felines. However, it can be annoying and potentially destructive when your house cat turns his or her claws on your furniture. Joel Todd Leroy Prince, D.V.M., a partner at Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Elmhurst, Illinois, provides tips on how to handle a cat-scratching problem.

1. Give your cat a variety of scratching surfaces. Some cat owners wonder why their cats continue to scratch the furniture after they have provided a scratching post. It may be because the cat enjoys scratching a variety of textures and surfaces. Provide a variety of scratching surfaces, such as carpeted posts and wooden boards, to give your cat a range of scratching options.

2. Make your scratching surfaces more attractive. Using catnip to scent the cat’s approved scratching surfaces or adding play toys to the area may entice your cat to use the scratching posts more often.

3. Make your cat’s nails less destructive. Remember to clip your cat’s nails regularly. In extreme cases for indoor cats, consider getting nail coverings that fit over the cat’s nails. They do not harm the cat, and they protect surfaces from scratching.