Cat Scratching Behaviors – Why Does Your Cat Scratch?
Scratching is a very natural behavior to a cat. Because the claws of a wild cat are so important to its survival in terms of hunting, defense, and even navigating difficult terrain, many innate behaviors have sprung up to keep these claws in good shape. Even though pet cats rarely need their claws to hunt, have few predators if kept inside, and have no real difficult terrain to traverse, these behaviors remain with them.
There is no solutions to stop a cat from scratching away. It is a behavior that simply goes along with being a cat, but there certainly are ways to cut down on the amount of damage that a scratching cat might cause. There are many cat owners who choose to declaw their cats. However, this is not advisable for cats who like to spent time outside the house, as they might need to defend themselves from time to time.
Most cat owners do not understand the implications of declawing a cat. Instead of simply removing the claws as many believe, the surgery actually involves amputating the ends of the toes from which the claws protrude. This can cause a considerable amount of pain during recovery.
There are other surgeries available such as removing the tendon that allows a cat to retract its claws, but this can create more problems as a cat will not be able to control the growth of its claws.
Many veterinarians will advise to try getting your cat to wear claw caps. The function of these caps is to reduce the damage the cat can cause, however they only have a life span of about four to six weeks.
There are a couple of reasons that cause cats to scratch. Scratching is a form of exercise for the cat and a chance for her to develop different set of muscle groups across the legs and back. Regular exercises will prevent joint problems down the road. It is also a good pastime activity for cats who get bored easily. Cat claws are similar to human nails. They continue to grow over time and need to be maintained continuously. If your car allows her nails to grow and do nothing about it, they might start to grow inward and cause an infection. Living in a home situation where a cat will only encounter carpet or at best tile, a cat needs to find an alternative to keep the nails short.
Getting a scratching post for your cat is one of the best solutions. Scratching posts are made using materials that a cat will find very appealing for scratching and these devices will probably save your couch and curtains from a lot of damage. The scratching post can be position in an area where your cat loves to scratch. Provide it as an alternative, but also try to cover up the area where the scratching is the worst using something like sandpaper or another material your cat will have a difficult time scratching.
If you happen to catch your cat scratching, distract her by making some noise, such as a loud clap or whistle. This will tell her that there are rules within the house and that you can constantly watching her behaviors. Do take note not to scare her too much such that she develop a phobia towards you.