Solutions for a Scratch-Happy Cat

Learn how to live with this natural, cat-scratching behavior.

By Wendy Bedwell-Wilson

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Sue Beckett, of Roseburg, Ore., loves her Siamese cats Blue and Rocco. They romp like kittens all day and purr her to sleep at night. What she doesn’t love is her cats’ penchant for shredding the arms of her $3,000 couch.

To remedy the problem behavior, she tried scratching posts, double-sided tape and even protective plastic sheeting.

"They just dug in their claws and wouldn’t let go,” Beckett says. "No matter what I did, they always went back to scratching that couch.”
Once Beckett consulted her veterinarian and realized why they scratched, however, she successfully redirected their behavior.

"It helped to get into the cats’ minds and figure out why they scratch in the first place,” Beckett says. "Scratching is innate; it’s something cats do. I can’t stop the behavior, but I can provide surfaces that are OK for all of us.”

**For the full article, pick up the December issue of CAT FANCY**

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Read the accompanying CatChannel Exclusive article, Easy as 1-2-3 about how to clip your cat’s nails.

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Reader Comments

Denise    Sacramento, CA

12/22/2010 9:35:19 AM

It is definitely the one thing that is hard to deal with when your cat is indoor only. I just bought a home and bought all new furniture. I noticed that both cats were scratching up the couches so I bought one of those cardboard scratch things that are on a "slope". The female used it without a problem, my male was a different matter. I bought this spray at one of the pet stores for $12 and it would work for a day or so. I then bought sticky tape and they just found another area of the sofas to scratch. I finally bought a 5 ft tall cat tree with 2 perches and put the other scratcher and a flat cardboard scratcher and made it like their little hangout and the problem was solved! One of my new sofas suffered some damage, unfortunately, but at least they're not destroyed!

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