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Can a cat be trained not to scratch on furniture or other inappropriate places?

Truths and Alternatives to Declawing…

SCRATCHING DETERRENTS

·         As a diversion, attach bubble wrap, tin foil, slippery wax paper, or double-sided sticky tape to the object your kitty scratches and place the scratching post in front of the item you don't want scratched.

·         Smear citrus-scented liquid or commercial cat repellant on the item your cat likes to scratch.

·         Provide a scratching post or other appropriate scratching surface in every room of your house. Carpet covered post, wicker baskets or hamper, sisal-covered posts, or even scratching boxes made of cardboard make good scratching surfaces.

·         Vertical scratching posts should be high enough for your cat to stretch out when scratching (at least 30") and sturdy enough not to tip over when they work away at it (a 16" x 20" minimum base size is recommended). To entice them, drag a string across the floor and up the post: most cats can't resist this game of chase. Or, loop a string around the post, near the top, and saw it back and forth. The motion attracts the cat's predator instinct.

·         Praise your cat when they scratch where they should and interrupt them when they scratch elsewhere. A squirt from a squirt bottle of water may provide negative reinforcement when they scratch in the wrong place. Or make a noise, such as clapping your hands, or using a shake can or jar filled with a few pebbles or coins.

·         If your cat isn't interested in the scratching surfaces you provide him, sprinkle or spray the surfaces with catnip to entice their interest. Do this on a weekly basis to keep your kitty interested.

·         Ask your veterinarian to show you how to correctly clip your cat's claws/nails. A cat's front claws should be clipped every week or two. Trimming the back claws is rarely necessary.

·         Getting your cat accustomed to having his or her paws handled is a must prior to initiating nail trimming sessions by lightly stroking their paws and gently separating their toes so that the claw is visible. Do this on a regular basis until they are comfortable enough to allow you to trim their claws. Trim just enough to make the claws blunt, but not so short that you cut into the quick.

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