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Why does my Cat

Scratch Things?

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What's the reason behind Cats Scratching things?
By: Alfred

To better understand why your cat scratches things you will
need to learn a little about cat behavior and the reason
behind the scratching instinct.

Scratching is a behavior in cats for several reasons. But
whatever the reason, bear in mind that you are not going to
get your cat to stop scratching. Some people maim their cats
by declawing them in order to get them to stop, but this
causes pain and emotional damage in the cat that will likely
make your cat's behavior worse rather than better.

The first thing that you as a cat owner must understand is
that your cat will scratch. There is no stopping it. So your
first challenge will be to teach your cat that your couch or
your table leg is not a good place to scratch. Once you
accept that your cat will scratch you can get started trying
to solve the problem instead of getting frustrated with your

Cats are notorious for doing as they please, so understand
that along with trying to entice your cat to scratch
something else you may also need to outthink your cat and
make your couch or other furniture a less desirable place to

See also: How to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture

It should be understood that a cat will not correct its
behavior because of punishment. Cats don't understand
punishment. If you can catch your cat doing something wrong
and frighten it with a burst of water from a water gun or
the like, you may teach the cat that bad things happen when
it does that thing.

But you can't let the cat know that the punishment came from
you, or the cat will just think that you are being cruel and
if you continue to try these methods the only result is that
eventually the cat will be frightened of you and will not
like you and the cat will probably still just keep right on
doing what you were punishing it for. Once you break a cat's
trust and damage the relationship that you have with your
cat it may never trust you and may remember the offense for
the rest of its life.

One reason cats scratch is as a way of marking territory.
When a cat scratches it is doing more than simply tearing up
your furniture, it is scent marking and placing a visible
signpost that a cat lives here. They aren't thinking to
damage your prized furniture they are just marking the most
visible object in a room.

Scratching also helps the cat stretch out the muscles and
tendons in its body. It takes quite a bit of muscle to
scratch something, especially if you want to work at it, so
scratching provides exercise as well as marking territory.

Plus it just feels good. Have you ever woke up and given
your back and arms a good stretch? Well, for your cat,
scratching is the equivalent.

Scratching also is a grooming technique for the cat's nails.
It is a way to keep the nails from overgrowing and causing
problems. Scratching wears down their nails and keeps them
at a good length and sharp for hunting. (Well, if your cat
was wild, it would have to hunt, and it may still do so if
it is allowed outdoors.)

It also satisfies the cat emotionally. It's like a human
eating chocolate. Scratching is good for the cat's soul.

You can retrain your cat to scratch something like a
scratching post.

First you need to remove the cat's scent from its scratching
area. Then place something over that area that smells bad to
your cat. You can even cover the area with something like
aluminum foil or plastic wrap, which the cat won't be
tempted to scratch.

Next you make the scratching post obvious in the room and
make it smell good to cats. Catnip is great for this if your
cat is attracted to it and not allergic to it.

Keep in mind that the less attractive the old scratching
area is the more attractive the thing you want it to scratch
will be. Once your cat develops a habit of scratching the
scratching post it will start to look for it if it feels the
need to scratch. So then the post can be slowly moved to
some other location in your house if you wish. But if you
hide the post away, the cat may stop using it. Scratching is
a social activity for cats and your cat will want the post
near to where you usually stay.

A cat can suddenly revert and your couch can end up shredded
again. Don't get frustrated, just reinforce where you want
the cat to scratch and repeat the steps to make the spot
unattractive for the cat.

Alfred would like for cat parents to realize:
When your kitty is a good kitty, then it's time for some
Savory Treats

Get with the program and let your four legged partner
try some of these Treats

Alfred's Feline Treats   Meow, Meow, Me ooooooooow!

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