Common Reasons Why Cats Scratch
If you’ve been living with a new cat for a while, you’re probably no stranger to scratched-up doors, furniture, and carpet around the house. Scratching is part of your cat’s primal nature, so there’s always the possibility of your cat scratching people, including you.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
Cats scratch for different reasons. Learning why they do this behavior may help you on how to deal with this common problem.
For one, scratching is a form of exercise. Cats scratch things to stretch and strengthen their muscles. Another common reason is that they are marking their territory. Cats leave their scent on scratched surfaces to signal other animals of their space. Scratching is also their way of honing their nails or relieving their anxiety. Lastly, cats may scratch people when they feel threatened.
How to Stop Your Cat’s Unfavorable Scratching
The best way to stop your cat from scratching your furniture or other parts of the house is to first understand your cat’s scratching behavior and preferences. Look at the frequently scratched surfaces and find an appropriate alternative with a similar texture. If your cat likes to scratch wood, find a large enough scratching post made of wood and place it right next to the surface they normally scratch. If they like to scratch horizontally, get them a mat that mimics the surface of the carpet they scratch. If you have more than one cat, make sure they each have at least one post or mat each.
To avoid getting scratched by your cat, always watch their behavior when you’re playing. A hint of aggression on their demeanor means that they want to be left alone.
Scratching is a normal and healthy habit of cats. You can’t completely stop them from doing it, but you can make it more favorable for you, your home, and your cat. By understanding why they engage in such behavior and how to deter them from causing destruction, you can have a more harmonious life with your cat.
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