If you’re reading this, you probably already know that cats are pretty close to perfect. Just ask my human, Jeff! With that being said, we have to have some flaws, right? Cats can be known for scratching places we shouldn’t necessarily scratch. But we’re not just trying to ruin your brand-new couch, there’s actually a reason for it. Even better, there are ways that you can train your cat to not scratch the carpet (or other furniture). But first, let’s start with the why.
Why Do Cats Scratch the Carpet?
There are many reasons why cats will scratch various surfaces. Scratching is a natural behavior for cats. It’s something that both indoor, outdoor, house, and wild cats all do. This is because when we scratch something, it sharpens our claws. Not only does it sharpen our claws, but it helps remove the outer layer of our claws which is essential to cute little kitty paws. In addition to this, scratching is an instinct for us. The act of scratching actually strengthens our arms and legs for hunting. While us indoor kitties don’t need to hunt, it is an instinct still engrained into our DNA. Your fur baby might also be using scratching as a way of marking their territory. When we scratch, we actually leave a little bit of our scent on the object. This is also an instinct that we have automatically.
Scratching can also be a way for us to communicate with our humans or another animal in the home. Unfortunately, we cannot communicate with you in form of human language, but often our behavior will tell you exactly what we need. It’s important to notice any changes in your cat’s behavior. We might be trying to tell you something! Your kitty might be trying to tell you they want to play, or they need a little more attention and love.
How to Keep Cats from Scratching
So now that you know why we scratch, you may still want to know how you can prevent your kitty from scratching your carpet. Hold on to your whiskers! I have all the best tips here. First of all, my human Jeff and I would recommend trying a bunch of different types of scratchers. They make scratching posts, scratching pads, and even scratching houses! Every cat has different interests and needs, so it’s important to try different shapes and materials of scratchers. My favorite, of course, is the ScratchLadder, which Jeff created so I would stop scratching the furniture.
Another tip is to put whichever scratching device your kitty likes best near where they usually scratch. This can be helpful, so you are able to redirect your kitty if they start scratching the carpet. It’s essential to not resort to negative reinforcement. We may act tough, but cats want to be loved and accepted. Negative reinforcement or punishment can often lead to us avoiding contact with owners altogether. If your kitty is still not interested in the scratcher after being moved to a central location, you can try putting catnip on the scratcher to attract your furry friend to it. Another way you can help prevent your kitty from scratching is to get their claws trimmed at the vet or groomer. This is different from declawing and just trims our claws versus fully removing them. If your kitty is still having trouble scratching the carpet or furniture, you can try using a scented repellent on the area where you don’t want them to scratch.
Do Cat Scratching Posts Work?
Scratching posts are a great way to take care of your fur baby. They are usually made of hard materials that effectively file down your cat’s claws. There are many different materials that are used for scratchers. These include cardboard, rope, wood, fabric, and sisal material. Scratching posts provide the important purpose of giving your kitty the chance to follow their natural instincts in a way that doesn’t ruin your carpet.
It’s important to remember that your kitty isn’t trying to destroy your carpet on purpose. There are many reasons why cats are drawn to scratch things, such as the ones we mentioned earlier. This is a natural instinct of ours. And thankfully, there is an easy fix to save your carpet! All you have to do is find a scratching device that your fur baby enjoys using. Your kitty will be happier, and you will be happier! It’s a win-win, really. Make sure you check back on our blog for other tips for you and your kitty. Scratch ya later!