How to Deal With a Destructive Cat
Although cats are cute, lovable creatures, some of their favorite pastimes can be quite destructive to our homes. Furniture, carpets, rugs, and even clothing are just a few of the things at risk. If you’re dealing with a particularly feisty feline ruining your article, keep reading for a few tips on dealing with the situation.
How to Deal With a Destructive Cat
Invest in Scratching Posts
One of the main problems that owners have with their feline companions is them scratching up their furniture and other wooden objects. Many people assume this is to get their claws even sharper. However, cats actually do this to get rid of the new growth around the sides of their claws. Cats that spend most of their time outside will be able to get rid of this naturally either while hunting, climbing, or simply using trees.
To protect your furniture, you’ll need to provide a suitable replacement. Most owners invest in a few scratching posts. Each cat is different, so try posts that have various material such as cork, burlap, or carpeting. Orientation could also be a factor as some cats prefer vertical surfaces while others prefer the horizontal variety. Try putting one or more posts near furniture you want your cat to avoid scratching.
Use the Sense of Smell
Although dogs have a well-deserved reputation for being great at smelling, cats are capable of smelling pretty well too. In fact, they use this sense to determine what exactly they’ll go back to scratch again in the future. Once the scent gets on your furniture, they’ll be attracted to visit and attack again.
You can attempt to get rid of the scent using a deodorizing spray. Alternatively, you can try to dissuade your cat from even wanting to go near the area in the first place by using a scent cats don’t particularly like. One of the best ones to use on your furniture is ammonia. Also, if you’ve gotten a few scratching posts as previously advised, put a little catnip on them to really attract your cat to them.
Clipping Your Cat’s Nails
As you’ve already learned, cats scratch up objects in order to address new growth around the claws. If your cat is targeting your furniture, one object is to clip your cat’s nails on a regular basis. This will help reduce the need for this very natural behavior.
It is vital that you know what you’re doing if you choose to clip your cat’s nails yourself. You can easily cause your cat a great deal of pain if you don’t know what you’re doing. There is a blood vessel that you can easily snip. This article on cat claw care will give you a few tips. Otherwise, you can hire a professional like a groomer to get it done.
Dealing With a Chewing Cat
Although scratching is by far the most common undesired behavior, a few owners have to deal with their cats chewing up stuff. This can also cause irreparable damage, although fortunately not to very expensive items like furniture. Still, your chewing cat can target items such as pillows, sweaters, blankets, and other materials. You’ll definitely want to avoid leaving anything made from wool lying around.
When it comes to chewing, it’s not even just about the loss of your property either. Chewing and swallowing the material can cause issues with your cat’s health. The fabric may not be able to pass through the gastrointestinal system properly and lead to obstructions that can be quite serious.
The best way to deal with this behavior is to avoid giving your cat access to items she’d be prone to chew on. Many of the items you’ll find in your bedroom, so you may not want your cat to have access to that while you’re not at home. You can also leave out bait materials that you don’t mind your cat having fun with. Just keep in mind that you don’t want much if any of the material ingested.
Entertain Your Cat
If your cat is displaying some of these destructive behaviors, try entertainment to keep her mind off of those behaviors. Provide lightweight toys to play with, especially when you’re not around. There should be more than enough to keep your kitty from becoming bored easily. A simple option is to have a few toys put away. After a few weeks, give your cat access to these stored away toys while removing the regular ones, and just keep them in rotation.
Cats really love to climb, so you’ll want to provide yours with a few climbing posts around the house. You don’t want cats to climb on other places like shelves or appliances since they could easily get hurt if the height is too high.
Of course, no toy could completely replace playtime with their owners. Try to spend a good deal of time with your cat on a daily basis. You could play with her while reading a book or watching TV if you can’t completely devote one-on-one time. Laser toys definitely keep most felines interested.
Avoid Punishing Your Cat
One thing to keep in mind is that you should avoid outright punishing your cat no matter what destructive behavior she displays. In most instances, they are only following their natural instincts, not blatantly trying to destroy stuff. Punishing your cat physically will do nothing to fix the situation. It will only change her behavior whether it turns her mild or aggressive.
Simply shouting at your cat or squirting her with a stream of water will be enough to stop anything you catch her doing. If worst comes to worse, then you may have to simply confine your cat to a cat-proofed area while you’re away from home.