Does your cat scratch too much? While the act of scratching is natural for kitties, a cat may scratch excessively out of stress or nervousness. If your cat has become obsessive about scratching, these steps can help.
First, understand that scratching is natural and necessary for your cat. You can't eliminate scratching completely, but you can cut down on destructive scratching and redirect the rest to appropriate targets. Scratching is your cat's way of maintaining her nails and marking her territory.1 A big, long scratch lets your cat stretch her muscles, and it can be a playful way to show she's excited. But sometimes, scratching gets out of hand and leaves a lot of damage. A cat that is stressed, nervous, or bored is more likely to scratch excessively.
You can help decrease scratching by building your cat's confidence.2 Provide your cat with more "territory" to call his own, like cat trees and window perches. Play with him to build your bond and try clicker training. A bored cat with too much energy can be more destructive, so help him get that energy out in positive ways. Don't forget to provide enticing alternatives to scratch. Use horizontal and vertical scratchers until you discover which your cat prefers. Ensure the scratchers are sturdy since most cats will lose interest if they wobble. Some indoor-only cats might also need a nail trim.
Comfort Zone Calming Diffusers can help reduce stress. While we often focus on a cat's physical health, her e-meow-tional health is just as important. Comfort Zone products are designed to help cats feel safe, happy, and calm by using signals they understand. Place a Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser with Opticalm Diffuser in each room where your cat spends the most time. If you have more than one cat, use the Comfort Zone Multi-Cat Diffuser with Opticalm Diffuser. If your cat has more space to roam, put on a Comfort Zone Calming Pheromone Collar, so the calming notes are with her no matter where she is. And don't forget to spray Comfort Zone Spray & Scratch Control Spray once a day on areas where you don't want her to scratch. The effects of the spray last for several hours.
Scratching is perfectly natural, but it can get destructive if your cat is stressed or doesn't have a more enticing alternative. By following these steps, you can help your kitty move on from his bad scratching habits and help him feel calm and relaxed.
1. Sung, Wailani. "Why Does My Cat...Scratch Furniture?" VetStreet, 21 October 2014, http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-cat-scratch-furniture.
2. The Humane Society of the United States. "Cats: Destructive Scratching." HumaneSociety.org, https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/cats-destructive-scratching#.