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Fluffy’s Nail Care Habits

Does your sofa look like it’s been through a shredder? Is Fluffy tearing up your favorite armchair? Our feline pals are definitely adorable, but they do have a few bad habits. Read on as a local Portage, MI vet discusses your kitty’s scratching.

Why Cats Scratch

Although your pet may look quite pleased with herself when she scratches, she isn’t deliberately trying to ruin your things. Our feline buddies just have a very deep-seated instinctive urge to care for those sharp little claws. That’s because in the wild, kitties depend on their nails for survival. They use them for hunting, self-defense, and climbing to shelter or safety.

Choosing A Scratching Post

When it comes to cats and scratching, you won’t have much luck getting Fluffy not to scratch. What you can do, however, is direct her to a suitable manicure station. Cat towers are great, as they provide napping spots, jungle gyms, and nail care stations, all in one. However, you can use a scratching post or board. Just make sure that it’s sturdy, and is tall enough for your furry pal to stretch out to her full length when she does her nails.

Stopping Bad Behavior

You should never punish Fluffy for scratching. Because it’s an instinctive behavior, she won’t understand that she did something wrong. If you see your kitty scratching your sofa, clap your hands or make a loud noise. You’ll also need to make her scratching post tempting. Put toys near it, and sprinkle catnip on and around it. When your furry little diva uses it, pet her, praise her, and give her treats.

Making Your Stuff Unappealing

Another thing that will help is making your furniture a less attractive nail-care station. If your furry buddy is using the side of a chair or sofa, block her access to it by putting furniture or a pet-safe plant there. You can also try using two-sided tape: kitties absolutely hate that sticky feeling!

Last Resorts

If all else fails, you can clip your pet’s nails. Don’t do this if you let your cat go out, though: if Fluffy is allowed outdoors, she’ll need her claws for defense. Or, ask your vet about using claw caps, which are basically fake nails for kitties.

Please reach out to us, your Portage, MI vet clinic, for all of your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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