Why do Cats Scratch Furniture and Carpet?

Mobile Veterinarian
3/21/2017

Most cat owners realize that oftentimes their cat is scratching objects because they are trying to sharpen or trim their claws, however, there are other reasons for feline furniture scratching, as well. Scratching can be used as a source of communications. You see, cats have scent glands on their paws, so by scratching the corner of the couch, they’re claiming that spot. If you have multiple cats, you may see the same spot claimed by multiple cats, and around it goes. For whatever reason, it has gotten into cat owners’ heads that any problem behavior can be fixed by spaying or neutering, which is not the case when it comes to scratching (although, you really should get your cats fixed for several other reasons).

Besides sharpening their claws and claiming their territory, cats will scratch as their playing, to say “hi”, to stretch, and even to let out frustration on occasion. No matter the reason for the scratching, it is always easier to try and prevent scratching or nip it in the bud, rather than trying to change their behavior after they’re already accustomed to it.

Our recommendations:

1. Put multiple scratching posts and boards around your house in places that your cat likes – especially places where they spend a lot of time playing or sleeping.

2. Give them some encouragement by using catnip on the posts or hanging up enticing dangling toys.

3. Cover the area they like to scratch with a material they do not like.

4. Show them appreciation when they use their posts and scratching boards.

At Creature Comfort Veterinary House Call Services, we are proud to provide Kalamazoo and surrounding areas with our mobile pet vet. Check out our services page for information about what mobile veterinarian services we offer. If you have any questions or would like to request an appointment, do not hesitate to contact us! 

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