Your cat doesn’t mean you or your belongings harm. He’s just genetically predisposed to these behaviours.
Cat teeth and claws can do a lot of damage to couches, furniture corners and drapes. The truth of the matter is that this is in their nature, and the way to avoid it is to provide suitable alternates.
Let’s talk about your cat’s bad habits, and find a solution so you don’t have to buy a new couch every three months.
Why Do Your Cats Claw Things And Climb?
Most people have indoor cats rather than outdoor cats, but they evolved to live vertically.
Because they mostly live indoors, we need to be sure to create for them the environment they need.
Cats need to be able to climb, jump, and roam.
They love heights, because it allows them to see and track their prey. As well, because out in the wilds they could also be prey to larger animals, cats tend to feel safer in high, hidden places.
This goes a long way to describing some of the seemingly weird habits your cat has. They act like predators sometimes, and prey sometimes. This is because in the wild, they were both.
Climbing your drapes is the way they recreate this in your home, if they have no other place to turn to.
How To Get Your Cat To Stop Ruining Your Stuff
The best way to discourage your cat from ruining your home furnishings is to give them what they need. That way, they can do with it what they want, without causing problems.
Below are five factors you should be aware of when creating their own space for them.
1. First, Don’t Punish Them
The first thing to keep in mind is that what they are doing isn’t inherently wrong. It comes naturally to them.
As a result, it doesn’t make sense to punish them for it, any more than you should punish them for eating. It’s a thing they do, and they need it in their lives.
Pet psychology cautions that punishing a cat for being a cat can lead to aggressive behaviour later.
2. Address The Underlying Reasons
As we mentioned above, cats need to climb to feel safe. They want to watch their prey and stay safe from predators.
Create that environment by adding a cat condo, hanging baskets designed for cats to nestle in, or a bed on top of a sturdy set of shelves.
This gives them what they need, without sacrificing your furniture to do it.
3. Create A Safe Area For Clawing
The reason cat condos come covered in carpet is that it’s a safe and preferred spot for a cat to stretch their paws and sharpen their claws.
You can always create your own with some scrap wood and carpet samples.
As long as you train your cat properly to use this, instead of your furniture, almost anything works.
4. Train Your Cat Not To Claw – For Kittens
Kittens are rambunctious, so playing with them is a good first start.
You can train them to only play and exert their curiosity and sense of exploration in the space designed for them.
Cats love to hunt. Try placing a toy on the higher levels of your cat’s area. This will encourage them to play there.
Putting cat treats in a soft bed at the top of the structure encourages them to go up THERE, not elsewhere.
If you cat is fond of catnip (and what cat isn’t?), leave them a treat up where they can chill out for a while.
5. Train Your Cat Not To Claw – For Adults
You can train an adult cat mostly the same way as a kitten. It’s important though to accommodate for their age.
The older cats get, the harder it is for them to jump, climb and leap.
Adult cats may not want to make it the whole way to the top, so be sure to leave treats along the way for them. That way they have a reward no matter how far they go.
Call Bickford Park Animal Hospital
If you’re having some growing pains with your kitten or cat, we’re your local animal specialists here at Bickford Park Animal Hospital.
We can help you keep your cat in good physical health. We can also help you understand their behaviour and how to fit it into your life.
Call now to book an appointment with Bickford Park Animal Hospital, and we’ll help you with training strategies for your cat.
Bickford Park Animal Hospital is a veterinary clinic in Toronto, located across from Christie Pits park, committed to the highest level of caring and treatment for cats and dogs.