The cat is a somewhat difficult animal to train, since it conserves in its genes the atavism of the feline that was in the wild , that is, a solitary hunter . With this inheritance, it is normal that you do not have too much predisposition to adapt to different domestic situations, but to learn what really interests you. How can we pretend that our cat does not scratch if, instinctively, it is still a hunter and, as such, it must keep its hunting, defense and land marking weapons , which are its nails , in perfect condition ?
Let’s remember that its species has preserved feline morphology for 60 million years, but less than 10,000 years tolerating our habits. Whether we like it or not, the feline has to scratch and will always do so . With a good teaching, you will activate your nails, but not where you want, but where we indicate.
To achieve this, we will deploy a series of strategies, which we explain below.
Educate your cat not to scratch
Here are a few tips and instructions to keep your cat from scratching where it shouldn’t.
1. Chandelier furniture:
- When you scratch the furniture , remember that you do it to sharpen your nails , far from malice.
- In these cases, it is not advisable to suppress your instinct , but do find a place where you can sharpen your nails without causing any mess.
- If you catch it red-handed , scratching your favorite piece of furniture or another object, say firmly “NO” and direct it with the left hand towards the scraper.
2. Tear your bed:
- If you see that scratches your mattress or bedding , think that it does not even occur to throw you out of it, only that your instinct drives you to scratch the place where you want to rest .
- In this way, it infuses the bed with its scent to scare off intruders and feel at ease.
- This scent mark , imperceptible to humans, is unmistakable to other cats .
3. Scratch your shoes:
- What happens to your kitty when it scratches your shoes ? Not that I intend to spoil them, far from it.
- For your feline, it can be just a form of fun , a shoe is something that moves and that catches your eye.
- It is also possible that they do so because they want to play with you and show you that they love you.
- Or, following their hunting nature, they want to scratch to sharpen their nails and since they are so close, they take advantage.
- So that he doesn’t continue decorating your shoes with his engravings, when he tries to scratch them, quickly and decisively remove his feet ; with this gesture you will understand that this is not the right place to sharpen your nails .
4. Bite and scrape your hands:
- This occurs when a cat is used to playing with his hands from a young age , as if they were easy prey that can scratch and bite at will.
- Do not play your puppy or make him rage with your hands , so you will not have to correct this habit in adulthood, since, if you do not, the results will be seen in the form of bites and scratches.
- Remember that, from one month to two months of age, the cat learns self-control and the intensity of its bite from its mother and siblings . If he lives this stage with us, we must teach him just as his cat family would.
- If your cat plays with your hands and causes you pain, quickly make a high-pitched scream to let go; cats often emit a huge meow when their young harm them by romping.
- Mothers take their young from the nape of the neck to take them from one place to another, this relaxes the puppies; Take the kitten from the nape of the neck that does not stop scratching your hands and keep it like that for a few seconds , you will see how it calms down and leaves you alone.
- For educational strategies to take effect, you must apply them at the right time when the action occurs; if you do it later, the cat will not know what to expect.
- Get your cat used to being distracted by balls, strings and other toys designed for him; he will relax and you will avoid that he becomes obsessed with your hands.
Scrapers and tips to avoid scratches
If cats in the wild scratch the trunks of the trees to sharpen their nails, at home we can replace them with something similar, such as vertical scratchers , which you can find in traditional establishments or online.
If you want a vertical and horizontal ambivalent scraper , you also have this option.
Keep in mind that cats are animals of habit and tend to always scratch in the same place ; the peculiar scent mark they leave leads them back to the starting point again and again.
- To be successful with scratching posts, we must offer scratching areas that are attractive to your cat, and will be if they are located in their preferred locations and have an appealing shape and texture to them.
- It is important to have the scratcher at home before the kitten arrives , so that you become familiar with it as a puppy and do not see it as something strange.
- A good idea is to attract the cat to the scratcher with the help of a treat .
- If you want to change the scraper, do it little by little, moving it away each time by about 50 cm.
- Make sure the scraper is stable and does not move when the cat scratches its nails.
- Pour water in the area where you do not want your cat to scratch , but without being seen, because if he observes the action, he will scratch again when you are not there; feeling another texture, you will stop seeing it as attractive.
- Protect your cat’s favorite items (table, sofa, furniture, curtains …) to sharpen her nails ; You can cover these areas with a material that does not like to do the manicure.
- The use of catnip or catnip is stimulating and will help you become interested in your new scraper . It is marketed in a practical spray format. Some experts recommend moderation in the use of this plant, so before applying it, it is best to consult with your vet .
- You can also use a pipette , directly on the scraper, to redirect their behavior ; they contain pheromones similar to those left by cats when scratched.
To cut or not to cut the nails?
The fact cut your cat nails can avoid some scratches, but does not eliminate the cause , because when they grow are repeated scratches.
However, if you want to cut your cat’s nails, remember the following:
- Use a cat- specific nail clipper .
- Cut nothing but the tips , you should never get to the pink area of the nail or the root of the nail : doing so would be a serious disorder for your cat throughout its life.
In our posts “Rebel and Destructive Behaviors of Cats” and “Rebellious Behavior of Cats” , we have already scratched some lines on today’s topic, which we invite you to consult.