— NOT THAT!
A NEW CATTITUDE By rita reimers, cat Behaviorist
One of the most common distress calls I receive at my office is from cat parents
upset about their cat’s destructive claws.
While we humans may feel like our cats must
secretly hate us (why else would they ruin our brand-new designer sofa?!), they’re really just following their
natural instincts when they do a little redecorating with
One tip: Offer appealing scratching items to help redirect your cat’s need to
scratch. there are many types of scratching pads available, and observing how
your cat uses his claws will help you choose the right style.
If your cat is a rug scratcher, a
flat vertical scratching pad or box
Cats who like to claw on
sofas tend to prefer a horizontal
Offer your cat a variety of
types and textures, so he won’t get
bored with just one.
Scratchers let your
cat flex his paws and
keep his nails filed,
while keeping him
away from your rug
Tip two: Put
around your home
where your cat likes to hang out. A
place central to the household’s action is
ideal, especially if it’s a place where you
tend to be. If you tuck scratching pads
away from everyone, your cat won’t
go out of his way to find and use it.
Tip three: Put catnip on the
scratcher, and lead him toward it with
toys and goodies. When he chooses
the scratching post over your sofa,
give him praise and a yummy treat to
make it a memorable, positive experi-
ence. Should you find him scratching
your sofa or carpet, gently guide him
to the “good” scratching spots and
give him a treat. Bribery works, and
he’ll soon get the idea that he gets a
reward when he uses the pads and
posts instead of the sofa.
Tip four: Give your cat lots of love
and playtime. Boredom can cause
your cat to create his own excitement by attacking your furniture,
enabling him to release his pent-up
energy at the expense of your decor.
Play with your cat daily to tire him
out, so he won’t redecorate your
house with his claws.