Dr. Zucker's Sofa Saving Tips
1. Provide an appealing scratching post. This is the most important cat care purchase (or do-it-yourself project) you will make! The scratching post should:
Be in a pleasant location near the cat's preferred sleeping area.
Have appealing texture(s) (carpet, sisal or even wood)
Be large enough to allow the cat to stretch.
Be enticing! Use treats, toys or even the food dish to attract your cat to the scratching post.
2. Trim the nails every two weeks. You can use pet nail trimmers or normal nail clippers. Do be careful of nicking the quik because it will bleed if you nick it. Ask the nurse to teach you how to trim your cat's nails next time you are in if you aren't confident. It's easy!
3. Discourage inappropriate scratching
Banish the cat from the area by closing doors or putting up temporary barricades.
Put a scratching post right there where he loves to scratch!
Shoo the cat away with a "hiss", a loud noise (like shaking a coke can full of pebbles) or a squirt from a water gun. Try to make sure the cat doesn't realize the noise or water comes from you because if he knows it comes from you, he might just learn to avoid the sofa only when you are around!
Cover the favorite scratching spot with a loose cloth, a piece of plastic or strips of double sided tape.
Spray the problem spot with an aversive odor such as perfume, vinegar or a commercial product.
Never hit! Cats don't respond well to physical punishment. They'll only learn to avoid you, not the problem behavior!
4. Gets a Claws Consult. If these tips alone don't solve your problem, we can help find a solution! Animal Medical Center is committed to helping you solve behavior problems. We have lots of options and endless patience. If behavioral approaches don't work, we offer Soft Paws plastic claw covers which don't stop the scratching behavior but do prevent damage from scratching while the cat is learning to behave. Just ask any time you are in for an appointment and we will help you with this issue. If you aren't due to come in for an exam soon but need help now, we offer a free Claws Consult. During this consultation, we will discuss all claw care options with you and we will even teach you how to trim your cat's nails and get them all trimmed that day.