and clawing is a natural instinct for cats. It helps sharpen their claws,
marks their territory, and lets them stretch out. Scratching is done frequently
when playing. Eliminating cat scratching is virtually impossible. The best
solution is to redirect the scratching from the curtains or the sofa to
an appropriate alternative such as a scratching post. Keeping claws trimmed
can also help reduce the need for cat scratching.
If a cat has a particular spot that he likes to scratch, try blocking that area
by covering it with aluminum foil, a spare cloth, or place double stick tape
on the area. A cat may also be deterred by putting an unpleasant odor such as
a sport liniment on the spot or by taping balloons to the spot. A squirt gun
is often an effective deterrent. Punishing a cat after the fact will only confuse,
anger, or scare him. He won't understand what the punishment is for.
After blocking the current scratching area, the next step is to replace the scratching
spot with something else. A scratching post is the most common alternative. Use
a post made of a different material as the spot he is presently scratching. You
want him to feel the difference between the two. Try to have a scratching post
that matches the angle of whatever he is now scratching. If he scratches the
carpet give him something horizontal. If it is the leg of a chair then, a vertical
post may be a better choice. Put the post near the favorite scratching area and
try to get the cat to play around it to become comfortable. If possible, place
his paws on the post, but don't force him. If he starts using the post then slowly
move it away from the initial scratching area. When he is clearly using the post
on a consistent basis you can remove the barrier placed on the initial area.
With a little luck your cat will stick to his scratching post and leave your
valuable furnishings alone.